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Time to Celebrate

Let’s celebrate! Well, not quite yet. Before we pop the cork on the champagne let’s turn the calendar pages back a bit.

Not too long ago I made the choice to turn the wheels of my art cart in a different direction. The course change meant giving up my customer-based longarm quilting business for total focus on my own endeavors. The decision, although very hard, was a longtime in the making.

As was shared in a previous visit, selling my art to fellow enthusiasts meant finding an outlet for the transactions to take place. The location I selected was Raven’s Wish. Just because I chose them didn’t mean they would mutually agree. On a very exciting day in January, my husband and I packed items from my portfolio into the truck of our car and headed to the gallery. Upon arrival I popped in to see if the owner, Alicia Reid, had time to visit. Alicia was currently visiting with an individual but was willing to divert her attention to my direction. After returning to my car, where my husband was patiently waiting, we retrieved my belongings and proceeded inside.

Shared with Alicia were samples of my small fabric art pieces, my meditative hand stitching items and my newly created greeting cards. Alicia carefully examined the items before her. As she pondered I presented my application and inquired about the jury process. With a smile on her face she announced that the jury process was complete. She was more than happy to display selected pieces of my art in her gallery and offer them up for sale. I’m sure you can imagine the elation I felt. How wonderful it was to have someone give value to my art. After mutually agreeing on pricing we entered into a contract.

Alicia now has nine of my polyester stretch velvet projects, four of my meditative hand stitchery pieces and three of my improv fabric art creations. All of the above are available for purchase on a commission basis. Purchased outright were twelve of my greeting cards.

During our discussion I mentioned the solo art exhibit I was privileged to experience at Blue Bar Quilts last fall. If Alicia was aware of the event I thought it would give her the opportunity to visit my blog and peruse the other items in my portfolio. At the mention of my previous event Alicia then offered me the opportunity to do the same at her gallery. After discussing several options we decided to schedule a show for the month of August. I think my heart skipped several beats when Alicia made the suggestion. Internally I was flabbergasted! I’ve been happily working with fiber arts for decades always wondering if it was worthy of appreciation. Having another well-known establishment acknowledge my endeavors was something I had never thought possible.

When I left Raven’s Wish, on that very memorable day in January, I believe I floated out the door. My decision to change course had been validated. Along with it came an even stronger desire to expand my portfolio. Alicia’s nod lifted my spirits and gave my ego the boost it desired. I know that life is not always filled with champagne bubbles and roses but for now I’m going to bask in the glow of this sweet, sweet experience.

I think it is time to pop that cork!

Best Wishes!

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X’s and O’s, AP # 75

Sidetracked

Before heading to Woodland Ridge for Pam Beal’s class, I stopped in Menomonie at the cutest little fabric shop called Thread Lab. The art piece I will share today incorporates three of the fabrics purchased during my shopping spree.

Undivided Attention

This is the third post featuring art quilts resulting from my attendance at Pam Beal’s class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact.

One of the concepts I learned there was

“L” Shape Balance.

What??

Those that read and write the English language are familiar with the letter “L”. The “L” begins with a downward swipe of the pen, then continues on toward the right. These two lines form a ninety degree angle.

The English language is read from top to bottom and left to right. This top to bottom, left to right flow is replicated in the letter “L”. When viewing art our eye travels along the same path.

Lets Review

If you recall, I mentioned earlier one of the traits Pam said was important for a successful art piece. The term I am referring to is “L” Shape Balance. If my quilt were to achieve “L” Shape Balance then my eye would begin in the top left corner and proceed across and down the surface.

I believe my mini art piece achieves that balance. The blue fabric, situated to the left of the center, echoes the downward movement of a pen creating the first part of an “L”. The grey fabric directly below can be identified with the left to right swipe.

Did I loose you?

In other words, my eye first travels from top to bottom down the surface of the blue fabric. Next it makes a right angle and follows along the grey strip to the outer right edge.

Is that better?

X’s and O’s

X’s and O’s are often used to signify a hug and a kiss when writing sentiments in, say for instance—a card. I’ve titled today’s art piece X’s and O’s not because I’m sending you a kiss or a hug. Instead I’ve chosen this reference because of the fabrics I used to create it.

X's and O's
X’s and O’s, AP # 75

If you look closely in the body of my piece you will see skinny strips of fabric accentuated by the letter “X”. You will also notice a blue fabric decorated with black dots. The “X’s” and dots, or “O’s” were the inspiration for my quilt’s name.

What’s Left?

Let’s look at the remaining features of my art piece. This small art quilt was made using three different colors—black, grey and blue. The

  • blue fabric with the black dots;
  • the grey and black fabric with the x’s; and
  • the darker grey and black near the bottom

were purchased during my fabric shopping trip. The balance of the other fabrics were harvested from my stash.

Hand Quilted

Years and years ago I tried mastering the art of hand quilting. After several attempts I threw in the towel and turned to machine quilting. Hand quilting is Pam’s preferred method. After seeing Pam’s masterpieces and how lovely they looked with her stitching I decided to give it another try.

Thread Colors

I chose three thread colors for my stitching.

  • The grey fabrics were accented with grey thread.
  • Black thread was my obvious choice for the two black border pieces.
  • In the remaining sections I used a soft blue.

After achieving a workable rhythm I actually grew to appreciate hand quilting. The somewhat uneven appearance of my stitches gives my small project a more rustic texture.

Surprise!

Strategically placed stray stitches along with random beading are Pam’s go-to-method for adding elements of surprise. Using this for my inspiration I added a few stray stitches along with four French knots in the quilt’s right, grey panel. These two elements add a little sparkle.

The Little Things

Now that we have examined the obvious details let’s take one last look at the unmentioned features.

  • X’s and O’s measures 14” L x 8 5/8“ w.
  • Surrounding my quilt is a binding made from black fabric.
  • In between the quilt sandwich is a layer of Warm & Natural batting.
  • The back is protected by a layer of black fabric.
  • A hanging sleeve and label have been attached as well.

That’s A Wrap

With so much to share, this has been a very long post. I think you would agree though that it was well worth the read.

Thank you so much for sticking with me. Let’s do this again!

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