Participating in a renovation project can bring about many emotions; two of which are fear and jubilation. The project I’ve called Operation Renovation is one I initiated back in April, 2020. I started on this path for several reasons. The first is a desire to fuel my obsession with fabric. The second is my need for change. As my family will attest, I have a reputation for routinely rearranging furniture. I just love the brand new feel it brings without even spending a penny.
The Initial Goal
At the outset, the goal for my project was to spend as little money as possible. This meant only using fabric from my present inventory. The only expenditure needed was for a supply of stretched canvas frames.
The process of making these changes has brought nothing but pure joy! I love scrounging through my fabric stash to find suitable options. It thrills me that I can find a way to use the fabrics purchased so long ago with no particular project in mind. Surprisingly though, its as if they were predestined for just this purpose. Well, enough with the praises…let’s move on and discover the next amazing success story.
On deck for today’s revelation is Lighthouse, Art Piece 43. This item was originally completed back in February, 2018. The dimensions of the piece 16 3/8” x 19 1/2” made it a perfect candidate for a 16” x 20” frame. I removed the facings, hanging sleeve and label then trimmed up the scraggly edges. Next I shopped my fabric inventory for the perfect specimen to compliment my project.
Dots, Dots and More Dots
I am a sucker for polka dots; big ones, small ones, fuzzy ones and soft…they all make me giggle with delight. When I discovered a piece of Grunge purple dot in my stash I was tickled pink. Not only was it the perfect companion for the current border but it also had polka dots. How could I go wrong!
The measurements of my art quilt, before adding the polka dots, was darn near identical to the frame. In fact the side to side dimensions meant the dots would not be seen from the front. However, when viewed from the side, they would easily be seen. The top to bottom distance, on the other hand, allowed just the right amount of polka dots to show. Their presence adds the perfect amount of sparkle.
After adding the new fabric, some straight-line stitching and attaching the refurbished piece to a frame this beauty was finished.
And Your Thoughts Are?
Ta da! There she is! All neatly pressed and outfitted with a brand new border, albeit tiny, and a fancy new frame! So what do you think?
I am so glad we had this opportunity to visit and discover how a little tweaking can bring new life to a project. Are you ready for your own Operation Renovation?
The world of art has always brought me joy. From my childhood explorations with chalk and paint to my creations using fabric and thread, I have utilized art as my vehicle to stretch my wings and explore the world around me.
My favorite art form has been given many names; I know it as “free-form” quilting. This direction has taken me on a journey resulting in the formation of more than 200 art pieces. Most of them center strictly around the manipulation of fabric. Some of the later pieces have added elements of hand stitchery. All of them have brought me an immense sense of joy.
After finishing my piece I had some of the challenge fabric left over. I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to use up as much of the material as possible. From the leftovers I was able to create five small art pieces. Combined together they form my first ever series or grouping.
The First of Five Art Pieces
The first and tiniest art piece in the series is titled Alleyway, AP # 40.
Alleyway, AP # 40
Alleyway, AP # 40 Back
Who’s curious about the name? Let me see a show of hands. Roseanne, I see you have both hands raised. 🙂 I just knew you would be interested. Ha Ha!
Every art piece deserves to have its own unique name. There are times when my mind draws a complete blank. For whatever reason I simply cannot find the inspiration. On those occasions I will often look to my husband for his suggestions. In this instance he deserves all of the credit.
The blue and white strip of fabric extending from the bottom left corner upwards toward the top edge reminded him of an alley. Once he identified the landmark I could see what he was talking about. I saw no reason why I shouldn’t use his suggestion. Thus is how AP # 40 received its name.
Alleyway is 7 1/2” long and 7” wide. Those measurements take into account the attached white borders. If I had not added them just imagine how small it would have been.
From the above photos you can see that I quilted it with a very simple straight-line pattern. In between the quilt sandwich is a fused piece of white batting. Facings of white fabric were added on all four sides. Even though this art piece is so tiny I decided it deserved to have its own hanging sleeve and label. Notice how very little space is not covered by the facings, hanging sleeve and label! So tiny!
Item # 2 of 5
Now let’s move on to the second art piece in the series. My second entry has been named Freeway, AP # 41. Here again my husband provided the inspiration for the little guy’s name. As soon as I showed it to him he was reminded of the multi-level bridges we see during our travels to our lcitw (little cabin in the woods). I have to admit that I didn’t quite grasp his reference until he pointed out the areas that drew his attention.
Freeway, AP # 41
Freeway, AP # 41 Back
The horizontal, fabric pieced strips reminded him of the bridges that crisscross over each other. Once he pointed them out I had to agree with his assessment.
Freeway is slightly larger than Alleyway. This one measures 9 1/2” long and 7 1/2” wide. It too was sandwiched with a fusible white batting, surrounded on all four sides with white facings, a hanging sleeve and a label. Using white thread I quilted the art piece with straight lines.
Art Piece # 3 of 5
Next up is AP # 42 called “Where’s the Seeds?”
Where’s the Seeds?, AP # 42
Where’s the Seeds?, AP # 42 Back
I know the name is a bit strange but I didn’t choose this one either. How’s that for passing the buck! LOL! Once again I enlisted the help of my husband
As you can see from the left photo this specimen has a fairly large piece of a watermelon colored fabric. This material reminded my husband of watermelon. Watermelon typically has black seeds and the watermelon colored fabric did not. The lack of black seeds is the reason for the name. While the name is unusual I can totally relate to his reasoning. In fact, I think it’s pretty creative. I always ask him to share his first thought and that’s what he did.
“Where’s the Seeds?” measures 19 1/2” long and 15 3/4” wide. The quilt top is sandwiched with a layer of Warm & Natural batting and is backed by a white cotton fabric. The raw outer edges are protected by a white binding. On the back is a hanging sleeve made from the same white cotton as well as a white label.
Art Piece # 4 of 5
Moving on we will now focus our attention on Light House, AP # 43.
Light House, AP # 43
Light House, AP # 43 Back
At first glance you will notice that I treated this art piece a little differently. Rather than using only white fabric to surround the central portion of my piece I decided to use three different borders. The first is the same watermelon colored fabric that took center stage in the previous art piece. The second border is white cotton and the outer-most border is a flavor of lilac. There really isn’t any special reason for the multiple borders other than I thought they really added pizzaz.
Light House, AP # 43 measures 19” long and 15 7/8” wide. The quilt sandwich consists of the quilt top, a layer of fusible white batting and a very snazzy, multi-colored batik. I used the backing fabric to protect the quilt’s raw edges with a facing. Also made from the same material is the hanging sleeve and the binding around my label.
Everything except the outer most border was quilted with white thread. I used a variegated thread for the purple. The center section and the first border were treated as one piece. They were quilted with a vertical back and forth straight line stitch.
In the white border I did almost the same thing. I started the stitch path in the bottom left corner and worked my way all around, never stopping to cut my thread. The last border received yet another version of lines. As you can see, in the photo, I stitched parallel lines in both the top and bottom edges. The two remaining sides were treated slightly different. For those the stitching originated from the outside edge, moved in toward the center, swung down to the bottom and then back out to the outer edge.
By now you are probably wondering if I plan on sharing the reason for the art piece’s name. Do you actually think I would leave those details out! Of course not! 🙂 I bet you are assuming that I asked my husband to name this one too. Well, you are wrong. For this piece I posted a photo on our family iMessage feed asking for suggestions. My middle daughter, Ms. J shared her two cents. She thought the two strips made from multiple small scraps reminded her of a light house. I thought her suggestion was a great idea so that’s what I went with.
# 5 of 5
The last and final member of my series is known as City Condos, AP # 44. Now this one I can take full credit for the name. The segments that make up the center, or main section of my piece remind me of the shipping containers people have been converting into housing. Stacked on top of one-another they made me think of condos in the city.
City Condos measures 21 3/8” long and 13 7/8” wide. This is the largest of the five pieces. It’s also made from the leftover remnants of the other four.
City Condos, AP # 44
City Condos, AP # 44 Back
City Condos has a fusible white batting in the center. On the back is a layer of white cotton. From the right photo you can tell that I used a white facing to finish off the edges, create a hanging sleeve and a label.
I treated this art piece with a very simple straight line quilting pattern using a plain white thread. I believe the parallel quilting lines help to reinforce my corrugated shipping container vision.
My series reveal simply wouldn’t be complete without a family photo. Here’s a group shot of all five pieces in my first original art piece series.
I had a great time creating these five pieces. My goal was to attempt to consume the remaining challenge fabric. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that. I still have some of the material left. Who knows when and where it will show up next. It will be a surprise for both of us.
Thank You for sharing this time with me. I’m glad we had the opportunity.