Today’s small art piece was also started in that class. Titled WhoHoo Knows?, AP # 77, the quilt measures 15×10”.
Keeping with the theme of minimalism, this petite specimen has a limited color pallet. The soft minty teal (how’s that for a technical description) adds a pop of color that grabs your eye and draws it toward the center.
Of note are several special embellishments. Except for the zig-zagged raw edges of the sparkly grey fabric the rest of the quilting was hand stitched. Added for surprise elements were three teal and black beads along with a sassy, teal owl. The colors of the items were chosen to mirror the minty fabric frame.
Naming this mini quilt proved to be a challenge. Often times a name will come to mind while I am creating my art. In this case I wasn’t inspired until I added the owl. Given the difficulty I had in choosing the name I decided to select Hoo Knows?. Hoo, because of the sound associated with owls and the added owl bead. Knows, because of the phrase, “Who Knows?” I know it seems kind of corny but that’s ok! Who cares!
Hoo Knows was added to a background of black fabric. A layer of Warm & Natural batting is sandwiched in-between. To the quilt’s raw edges a binding of matching black fabric was added.
Sewing brings me joy and keeps my creative mind engaged and happy.
Being a multitasker, I often have more than one project going. My design wall is currently home to my unfinished VFW Double Wedding Ring
a Storm Star Quilt.
Both are awaiting quilting.
My smaller design board displays the building blocks for one my latest improv quilts.
This is another in-progress art piece. This one was started during a Heidi Parkes class I took at Blue Bar Quilts. Here’s a sneak peek.
In multiple plastic storage tubs are other items waiting for my attention. Some have been started while others look the same way they did when I brought them home.
During 2019 I’ve made a personal goal to work-on and finish as many projects as possible. Many of my unfinished items have been gathered into tubs. Those tubs will be taken to a February quilting retreat. I know that I have packed way more projects than I could ever dream of completing but that doesn’t upset me. Having more than necessary gives me the opportunity to adjust my focus if I get bored.
Even though I have a very long list of items to complete it didn’t stop me from adding several more. So far this year I have added:
The older I get the stronger my desire to explore and experience the many forms of art. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend numerous classes—each one exposing me to techniques or philosophies I have not tried.
One of the classes I attended was Pam Beal’s Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. If you click on the link attached to the class name you will be taken to the blog post she shared once our class was complete. Within that post is numerous photos of her own work as well as the work of her students. Photos # 7, 8 and 10 show a few of my projects. Photo # 8 is the subject of today’s story.
1973 was the year I graduated from high school. My graduating class contained 400+ students—way too many to remember them all by name.
Our official school colors were cardinal and grey. Often times they were referred to as red and grey by our cheerleaders. I can still recall one of the chants—
Red and grey,
red and grey,
The Name Is…
Recently I put finishing touches on a small art quilt started while attending Pam Beal’s class.
After adding the last detail I always give my art quilts a name. Sometimes the process turns very slowly—in this instance it was quick and painless.
My husband is very familiar with my class colors and the year of my graduation. When I proudly shared my finished piece he instantly named the quilt
in honor of my high school graduation and my class colors.
Pam Beal’s quilts primarily contain straight line piecing. On occasion she adds an element of surprise through circles or curved pieces.
Following in Pam’s footsteps, 1973 was assembled with geometric, straight-line shapes. Added for pizazz were two gently curved strips—one each in the upper and lower quadrants.
These wavy lines add interest and movement by drawing your eye from one side to the other. Pam emphasized that a well-balanced piece will
keep your eye moving.
One way of providing movement is to
bring your elements (i.e. colors, piecing, quilting) off the page,
or in this case, off the mini quilt.
I think 1973 has achieved that feature through the addition of those strips.
Since the theme of the class was minimalism I kept my color pallet simple. Chosen were grey, both light and dark; fuchsia; white and black. The grey tones are not part of my normal color family. In fact, grey is one of my least favorite colors. Given that this class was supposed to help me reach outside my comfort zone I made the decision to challenge my norms by adding colors unusual to me.
Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact taught me the qualities of a well-balanced art piece. Learning these traits opened my eyes to new opportunities to analyze my own work. These revelations, in essence, swung open another door.
Just as with Blue Doorthis mini art piece also reflects the imagery of a doorway.
The doorway was assembled using strategically placed rectangles of color.
Standing outside looking in you will notice a window made from fuchsia cotton fabric.
Radiating from the window is additional rectangular shapes fashioned from a soft grey, more fuchsia and white. These added fuchsia and white fabrics give the door interest.
Emphasizing the image of a door knob is the oversized silver snap.
Strips of fuchsia colored cotton lead your eye to the outer right edge of my piece. By leading your eye in that direction I am enticing you to reach for and turn the door knob.
To add even more interest and encouragement of motion I added hand quilting. The stitched lines in and around the door bring your focus to the opportunity for discovery. An open door can lead to new and exciting experiences.
The grey stitches reaching from the left edge outward to the right give my piece even more movement. A movement that should also tease you to open wide the door.
The Final Details
Measures: 11 7/8” L x 9 3/8” W
It Contains: Cotton fabrics
Is bound and backed with: Black fabric
Is sandwiched with: Warm & Natural Batting
This was the second of many art quilts to develop during the Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact class. I will continue to reveal the other ones in future posts.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about and seeing my latest art piece. Perhaps the tips shared will help you when analyzing your own works of art.
If there were aspects of my quilt or techniques that you found interesting, please share those thoughts. I learn so much from your comments.
Thank you for visiting! I look forward to our next opportunity.
Opening oneself up to new ideas can be scary and exciting at the same time.
Pam’s class stretched me in ways that made me feel uncomfortable. She nudged me to think outside the box, use unconventional materials and incorporate blank or negative space.
The small expressions of art that developed from those trying moments will be the focus of my attention over the next several postings.
The first to take shape was Blue Door.
Near the center is a stitched together grouping of blue and teal strips. The denim colored pieces were the inspiration for my small quilt’s name. They are the doorway to my new adventure.
By attending this class I was in essence opening a new door.
A door that led me into a hallway filled with apprehension, inspiration and intrigue.
How fitting to name the first minimalist art quilt to evolve from Pam’s class
A Closer Look
Let’s take an even closer look.
Immediately surrounding the door are two thin strips of a soft gray fabric. Those slivers of light surrounding the door represent the opportunities just waiting to burst through and enlighten my exploration.
Next to the rays of light are black fabric. The black symbolizes the apprehension I often feel before I open new doors. As my heart beats faster and my muscles begin to tighten I feel as if I’m surrounded by darkness…unable to focus.
In the lower right corner is a small green rectangle. This added pop of color is the handle to my door.
Stitched on top of the green fabric is an iridescent bead. The bead, with its shiny facade, beckons me to open the door.
I reach for the door and turn the knob. As the door creaks open the fog or darkness begins to fade and is replaced by an even brighter light. The bright light that expands my way of thinking is represented by the two larger strips of the same soft gray fabric.
Filtering through the bright light are the “aha” moments when the uncertainty begins to unravel. Understanding new concepts is not something that happens all at once. The learning comes slowly. Those glimmers or breakthroughs are identified by the blue and teal print fabrics.
Throughout the entire miniature art quilt you will see rows of carefully placed hand stitching. The thread colors selected were meant to quietly compliment the fabrics without drawing unnecessary attention.
Blue Door, AP # 66 measures 12” long and 8 3/4” wide. A single layer of cotton batting secretly rests between the quilt top and the black cotton backing. A sleeve for hanging and a label were added to the back.
The process of creating my small art quilt took me on a journey that opened opportunities for greater growth in my exploration of the arts. I’m very pleased with its outcome.
Your Reaction Please!
Now that you have met Blue Door what are your thoughts?