AQ # 21: Backwards Update

Fifth Installment

Can you believe I am already on my fifth installment of sixteen quilt finishes! You are probably thinking, “Hurry up and get this thing over with.”  Sometimes I get so excited about sharing my progress that I forget how boring it might seem to you. I know this is taking a long time and for that I apologize. 🙂 If you can bear with me I promise to not turn this into a novel. Okay!

Being showcased today is AQ # 21: Backwards.

AQ # 21_ Backwards.jpg

I took a nine day solo retreat this past summer. Many, many projects found new life during my time away. One of them was the origin of this mini art quilt.

I have been on a very long quest to re-purpose a grouping of blocks I received during a block swap. The only one I liked was my own. Of course that’s no surprise. It would be pretty sad if I didn’t.

Block Swap_2
My Courthouse Square Block

I didn’t document the process of cutting the blocks apart nor how they were stitched back together so I have no way of knowing exactly how this piece evolved. LOL! I can, however, share the journey it took on my retreat.

The Transformation

The transformation of Backwards was a rocky one. I don’t usually want to admit defeat but this stubborn critter darn near pushed me over the edge.

This was how it looked after one of my marathon efforts to make it behave.

AQ # 21_ Backwards-Version One.jpg
AQ # 21: Backwards (before being sliced apart)

If you look closely you can kind of see the remnants of the original swap piece straddling the center teal strips.

Slice it Apart

Being totally frustrated with its appearance I followed the mantra I learned while taking one of Rayna Gillman‘s classes. She told us that there is almost no block that couldn’t be rescued. Sure, that’s what they all say! If we weren’t happy with a block we were told to slice the block apart with our rotary cutter. Using those segments as new building material, we could then begin the process all over again. It gave us a clean slate. Sad to say but that’s what I had to do with this.

Clean Slate

I definitely had a clean slate. I tried numerous times to turn my shredded block into something I could live with. First I added some red fabric.

A Touch of Red
AQ # 21: Backwards (with the addition of red fabric)

Then I tried lime green. Lime green is one of my favorite colors so how could I go wrong. Right? It was also already present in some of the other fabrics. To achieve a well-balanced piece its important to distribute a color in multiple areas.

Lime Green Added
AQ # 21: Backwards (after adding the lime green fabric strips)

I certainly accomplished that. But the green seemed to be screaming, “Look at me, look at me!” Argh! So now what? Well, I figured I needed to tone-down the screaming child and what better way to do that than by adding black.

Backwards with Added Black Fabric
AQ # 21: Backwards (after adding the black strips of fabric)

The black made somewhat of an improvement but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. For whatever reason I decided to flip the piece over to see what it looked like on the other side. The colors were definitely more subdued and the texture created by the multiple layers gave the piece an organic or earthy feeing. Hmmmmm? What if?

What If?

What if I designated the back as my new right side, or top? I enlisted the assistance of my camera and phone to take photos. I flipped back and forth between the two sets trying to decide which version was more appealing. Eventually the back side was the option I chose. Finally I had an art piece that I could fall in love with!

A View of Backwards From the Back
AQ # 21: Backwards (before the addition of the outer black border)

Let’s Finish It

I surrounded the outside edges with a frame of black cotton. Then, just like with my other art quilts I also added a layer of batting, black so that it wouldn’t show through, and a layer of black cotton fabric for the backing.

Backwards Ready for Quilting
AQ # 21: Backwards

The quilting on this one was slightly different from my other projects. If you recall, the center had exposed raw edges. I wanted to prevent some of them from unraveling so I added a row of stitching. In the outside black border I did straight line quilting with my Pfaff sewing machine. This is how Backwards looked when it was finished.

AQ # 21_ Backwards.jpg
AQ # 21: Backwards

The End Result

AQ # 21: Backwards measures 19 1/4″ long and is 11 1/2″ wide. While it is a bit unconventional I think this art project turned our rather nicely. Naming this piece was super easy. I think it’s pretty obvious why I chose to call it Backwards. No further explanation need there.

Just Getting Started

While the journey of AQ # 21: Backwards has come to an end my series has not. I only have eleven more to go. Yippie! I hope you will return for all eleven. For those that missed the first four installments I have included links to them below.

Thank You!

I apologize for my lengthy rendition. You’ve been so patient and I appreciate that. Thank you so much for sticking with me to the very end!


20 thoughts on “AQ # 21: Backwards Update

  1. Cindy,
    No way! I never would have guessed that was the back of the block. What strikes me the most when I look at it – and I didn’t even notice the lime green at all! – is the third segment. It looks like a sinking battle ship to me, and the surrounding turquoise could easily be water. The fourth piece is the ship as it is falling to the bottom of the sea. Well, modern art is all about interpretation, right?! We might not see things the same way, but I do love it. ~smile~ Roseanne

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