Courthouse Friends 11 of 14, Art Piece 56

The Goal

In April of this year I made the decision to reinvent a number of my existing works of art (see Operation Renovation). We were in the midst of our “safer at home” quarantine for the Covid 19 virus and I was itching to create something new. The items chosen were small in size and easily adaptable for attaching to a stretched canvas frame. Mounting fabric art pieces to a frame is my favorite finishing technique.

A Little History

Courthouse steps is the name of a quilt block pattern. The pattern, a variation of a log cabin, is easy to make. In 2018 I participated in a block swap with a group of online quilters. The pattern chosen for the swap was the courthouse steps. I received twelve finished blocks from the swap. Most of the blocks were made from color combinations that I didn’t like. The unusual groupings gave me the opportunity to use my abstract piecing skills.

As the name of this item suggests there were fourteen new art projects that resulted from my experiment. The first post written about Courthouse Friends 11 of 14 was shared back in August, 2018. In that journal entry I shared the details of this small fiber art piece.

Step One

Since Courthouse Friends 11 of 14 was currently in a completed state I had to first strip it back to raw edges. Once that was completed I could begin making plans for the new design. The body of the art work remained unchanged. To adapt it for framing new borders were added. One of the fabrics used in the original design was still in my inventory. The specimen, a purple fabric with multi-colored orbs, was selected for the first border. The variety of included colors helped to bring more focus to the pieced center.

For the final border I chose a royal blue material printed with varying shades of blue spheres. This blue along with the circular printed design added complimentary elements that helped to unify my project. As an added benefit the circles in both the first and second borders reminded me of polka dots and polka dots are among my favorite embellishments.

final touches

To polish off my newly remodeled fiber art quilt I used coordinating threads to stitch designs similar to the original version, then stapled it to a 16” x 20” frame. After sealing the back with a barrier, affixing hanging hooks and wire, soft bumpers for ventilation and a label, the jazzy art quilt was ready for display.

a new name

Before declaring my refashioned fiber art quilt complete I had one last detail to attend to and that was a new name. Going through all the steps to redecorate this lovely project without assigning a new identity seemed unheard of. Courthouse Friends 11 of 14 was christened Visions of the Past.

the reveal

Let’s see how Visions of the Past looked in the before and after photos.

Courthouse Friends 11 of 14, Art Piece # 56
Courthouse Friends 11 of 14, Art Piece # 56
Visions of the Past, Art Piece # 56
Visions of the Past, Art Piece # 56

I think the redecorated fiber art quilt turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself! Then again I am probably a bit biased.

share Your thoughts

I enjoy reading the reactions and opinions of my readers. Please feel free to include yours by adding a comment.

thank you for visiting!

About Cindy

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.

I use this blog to share glimpses of my art and the environment in which it is created. Most of my art pieces are available for purchase. You may see a sampling of them at Raven’s Wish Gallery in Janesville, Wisconsin.

My art is periodically on display in a variety of venues. To learn about my current exhibits you may send an email to cindy [at] inastitchquilting [dot] com

Now go and create your own masterpiece. With warm hugs…

Cindy Anderson

Eleven of Sixteen: Court House Friends 11, AP # 56

Eleven of Sixteen

I’ve been sharing photos of my recently completed art pieces. Last Thursday we took a look at number ten Today’s post features the eleventh of sixteen.

So Different

Each of the mini art quilts, in this series, are unique. This one, in particular, is quite different from the rest. Unlike the others this one has a vibrant display of color. Notice the varied shades of purple and the added pops of blue.

Not Just A Border

Surrounding the center panel is a border that serves three purposes:

    added color,
    interest through piecing and

The center panel is wrapped with a perky shade of teal. I chose this color to echo the tiny sections in the center of the quilt. The energy radiating from the border adds a wallop that not only unifies but also engages you.

The Border Construction

Moving on from the border’s color, let’s take a look at the piecing. When adding borders typically the strips of cloth are made from one section of fabric; unless of course the quilt is large enough to require additional piecing.

Given this art quilts small size there would be no need for borders created from multiple sections.

Ignoring standard practices I decided to piece mine. Each is created using random lengths of cloth. The intersections between adjoining fabrics add resting places for your eyes and the opportunity to pause and notice features in greater detail.

Interest Through Quilting

All quilt sandwiches (quilt top, batting and backing) are secured either through a technique known as tying or stitching. I have never been a fan of tying. The simplistic appearance of a tied quilt doesn’t fill my personal desire for texture and interest.

Typically my minimalist art pieces are quilted with simple straight lines. The straight lines provide the required function yet do so in a manner that doesn’t deter from the quilt’s over-all appearance.

For this specimen, rather than stitching numerous parallel lines, I decided to add some angles. The angular lines accentuate the unusually pieced borders. Take a close look.

Did you notice that the stitching extends inward toward the intersection of the border segments and then makes a right angle. Doesn’t that 90 degree angle add even more panache. I think this added touch of class helps to make this mini quilt spectacular. What’s your opinion?

The Evaluation

My goal, at the beginning of each art piece, is to create a work of art that will harmoniously, engage and intrigue its audience. Each of the design elements are carefully chosen. The selection process takes into account the individual design steps as well as the intended conclusion.

In making my final evaluation of this original art piece I would have to say that this project has met and exceeded my expectations. I hope the same is true for you as well.

Court-House-Friends 11 of 14, AP # 56
Court House Friends 11 of 14, AP # 56

Quilt Characteristics

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Dimensions: 9 1/2” L x 5 6/8” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Angular lines using variegated threads
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

Want to Meet the Rest of the Family?

Now that you have seen this art piece are you curious about the other quilts in the series? Links to the other pieces are filed under the category Courthouse Steps, Block of the Month. Go ahead and check them out! You won’t be disappointed. While you are at it share with me your thoughts about this art piece as well as the other members of the family.

Thank you for visiting!


16 Quilts, Are You Crazy!

100 Block Challenge

Are You Crazy!

No! Well, at least I don’t think so. 🤣

I’ve been working diligently at creating each of the blocks in the book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink. I am happy to report that I’ve completed the first 75. I think the last time I talked about them I had just completed block number seven so a lot has happened since.

Time For A Break

After completing block 74 I made the decision to stray, for a while, from my mission to make all 100. The last grouping of blocks I had just completed was slightly more complicated than all the rest. After accomplishing those my brain needed a rest. I was exhausted and needed something else to throw my quilting enthusiasm into.


I maintain a box of orphaned quilt blocks and misfit pieces. Every now and then I pull it out and peer inside to see if anything is calling my name. My recent scrounging reminded me that I still had remnants left from the Courthouse Steps debacle waiting for my attention. I’ve shared stories about these blocks in the past. You will find them listed under the category Courthouse Steps, Block of the Month. Feeling the strong desire to wrap up a few loose ends I chose the remaining remnants for my next project.

Ugly Ducklings

The blocks had been labeled by me as too ugly to be included in AP # 17: The Chosen Nine, AP # 18: Four Friends # 1andAP # 19: Four Friends # 2.

Ugly because I didn’t like them.  They were just too boring for my taste. To make them appealing I had to camouflage their existence. The best way to do that was with a rotary cutter.

Time to Start

One by one I attacked all 6 ugly ducklings with a determination to turn each one into a beautiful swan. The end result created 16 brand new art pieces. All 16 have been quilted and are ready for finishing touches (binding, hanging sleeve and label). I’ll share photos when they are all finished. Until then I will leave you with a a photo of one of my experiments.


Thank You for sharing in my celebration of my newest art pieces! I hope that you will return to watch all 16 unfold.

Talk with you soon!