Stairway, Art Piece 119

I, along with eleven other quilters, participated in a block swap a few years back. Given that there were twelve participants it seemed only natural that there would be twelve different interpretations of the guidelines. When I received my allocation of blocks I wasn’t surprised at their diversity. Finding a cohesive arrangement for my specimens was difficult. Rather than forcing them all to comply I decided to turn them into improvisational art quilts.

By the time I was finished I had an array of uniquely designed items to add to my portfolio. One of my specimens actually ended up in a book written by Rayna Gillman titled Create Your Own Improv Quilts. On page eleven of the publication is where you will find my In Motion fiber art piece.

In Motion, Art Piece # 67

Stairway, Art Piece 119 was also formed during the quilt block reinvention process. In the center, beneath the added angled strips, is where you will find remnants of the swap blocks. With those as my base I began the process of slicing apart and adding additional fabrics. I continued the manipulation until I was satisfied. Below is a photo of my finished art quilt.

Stairway, Art Piece # 119

Stairway, Art Piece # 119 has an unusual feature. Most quilts have uniform measurements. By uniform I mean their length both on the right and left sides as well as the width along the top and bottom edges are identical.; Stairway does not. Stairway at its widest and longest points measures 27 1/4” x 14 1/8”; at its shortest distances the measurements are 26 3/8” x 12 7/8”. This trait was not an accident. It was created on purpose to add an element of surprise.

Along with the unusual color pallet and irregular shape, the fabric used for the binding was also a bold choice. The dotted teal cotton seemed appropriate because it mimics many of the fabrics seen within the composition. An examination of the entire surface will bring to light the numerous instances where the color teal was used. As a whole, the repeated practice helps to unify the quilt. The white dots not only create a popping movement, much like that made when kernels of corn explode when heated, but they too bring attention to the other instances where white was used in the central area. All of this data sounds impressive. But, when it really comes down to my initial reason for adding the border, I would have to say it was simply because I really like it.

All of the decorative stitching, on this item, was done on my long-arm quilting machine with a variegated thread. The variegation adds yet another design feature. The little pops of color add a pizazz that encourages your eye to move about the quilt. This movement helps you to discover nuances that otherwise might have been overlooked. On the back of this lovely item is a fabric hanging sleeve and a label providing pertinent details.

As with all of my fiber art quilts I could easily talk about them in great detail. For Stairway, Art Piece # 119 I believe I have touched on enough of the highlights to bring this journal to a close. I hope that you have found this to be an enlightening and enjoyable experience. I look forward, with great anticipation, to our interaction.

With warm wishes for a wonderful day!


© 2012-2020 Cindy (Olp) Anderson and In A Stitch Quilting

The Last of the Salvage: Lilly’s Rising Star, AP # 63

Rediscovered

I’ve been sharing stories of my recent endeavors to revive and finish a large group of art pieces. This last one, the 20th piece to be revealed since mid July, was actually a finished block leftover from the 2016 class taught by Rayna Gillman. It was one of the last minute throw togethers just before the end of the session. For some unknown reason I had stuffed it into a box and lost track of it. During my frenzy to finish a bunch of projects I rediscovered the mini quilt.

Lilly's Rising Star, AP # 63
Lilly’s Rising Star, AP # 63

Its Construction

Two years have gone by since I assembled this mini quilt. With the passing of all those months, most of the details of my construction process have long-since been forgotten. All that I can share with you are the materials I used as well as the finishing touches .

The art piece measures 10 3/4” long “ x 7 1/2” wide. The main fabric in the center of the tiny art piece was harvested from an old woven curtain. The balance of the fabrics were scraps leftover from other projects.

Beneath the quilt top is a layer of Warm & Natural batting. The fabric for the backing was originally part of a kit. After deciding to not assemble the intended project I made it my mission to repurpose all of the fabrics. The backing on this mini quilt was one of them. I used my Pfaff sewing machine to quilt a simple linear pattern. The thread colors chosen coordinated nicely with my fabrics.

The raw edges of my mini quilt were wrapped with a facing made from the same fabric used for the backing. Once those were complete I finished my project by adding a hanging sleeve along with a label.

A New Home

I have an over-abundance of mini art pieces just waiting for a home. After completing this art piece I decided to offer it to my family. This one seemed like it had the most potential to be adopted. In a matter of minutes my oldest granddaughter made her claim.

My granddaughter told her mom she wanted to start an art gallery in their basement (she is 10). On display, in her art gallery, will be this quilt. Miss L asked her mom to find out the quilt’s name. The information was needed in order for her mom to help her make a label; the kind they make for art on display in exhibits. How sweet is that!

An Amazing Young Lady

Miss L is a very sweet young lady.  She is the middle child of three; very sensible; and a peace keeper between her siblings. Miss L is just beginning to take an interest in baking and has been experimenting with recipes from a book they borrowed from the library. In honor of Miss L’s rising potential I am calling this art piece Lilly’s Rising Star, AP # 63. The plus sign reminds me of Lilly spreading her wings to experience and learn new things.

A Note to Miss L

Dear Miss L,

Thank You for your interest in my art! I hope that someday you will look back on this tiny art piece with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face. You have added so much joy to my life.

Nana ♥️

Thank You!

This post wraps up a long and winding adventure. Twenty finished art pieces is quite and accomplishment to brag about. However, believe it or not, there are many, many more just like it waiting for their turn.

To you, my reader, I say Thank You for traveling along on this journey! Your presence makes sharing these stories so much more meaningful! Until next time…

Talk with you soon!

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The Orphaned Quilt Block Project Continues

Four More Finished Art Pieces

During the process of recycling the Courthouse Steps castoffs I came across 4 other gems just waiting for my attention. Three of them were started during my lengthy journey creating the Bits & Pieces, AP #33.

AQ # 32_ Bits and Pieces-Finished

Finding just the right place to incorporate the tidbits into Bits & Pieces proved to be too challenging. Rather than forcing their presence I tossed them aside.

Where Did They Come From?

None of the three leftovers were in my orphaned quilt block basket. Instead they had apparently been swept away, with other random bits of fabric, and placed in my buckets of scraps. Who knows what I was thinking when I did that? The mind is a scary thing! 🙃

My research to find fabric additions for the Court House Steps blocks unearthed their presence. Being in a very adventurous mood I decided to convert them into finished art. Once I completed the 16 Court House Steps art pieces I turned my attention to those three mini segments.

All Ready

Now let’s fast forward several months. All three of the tiny fragments have been turned into new works of art and are ready for their debut. I will share the first one in my next post.

Thank You!

Thank You for stopping by today! I’m so glad that we had the time to visit! I look forward to spending time with you again!

Talk with you soon!

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Sixteen of Sixteen: All Done, AP # 65

The Last One

Believe it or not, we have finally reached the end of this series. I’ve been sharing photos of my recently completed art pieces. Last Tuesday we took a look at number fifteen Today’s post features the sixteenth, and final art piece in the collection.

Mixed Emotions

Reaching the end of a project always brings with it a mixed bag of emotions.

  • Sense of Relief: Finishing a project means I can finally move on to other endeavors.
  • Degree of Sadness: I pour so much of myself into each of the projects that it often leaves me drained, and exhausted.
  • Elation: Lastly it’s a chance to shout for joy and acknowledge the awesome accomplishment of successfully achieving a goal.

The completion of this series is no exception. I started out with a desire to tackle my goal head-on with every ounce of energy I could muster. My enthusiasm was as boundless as the stars are in the sky.

As the days and weeks passed I experienced the slow drain accompanied by intense concentration. In spite of my fatigue I managed to press-on.

Even though it is sad to acknowledge that the sixteenth quilt is the end of an era, I am at the same time thrilled to be able to turn my focus in another direction. Before doing so let’s take a look at the sixteenth quilt.

The Inspiration

I’ve titled this last item All Done because it brings to a close my quest to repurpose my orphaned Courthouse Steps remnants.

As you can see from the photo below I approached this miniature quilt differently.

Rather than stitching together random snippets of scraps, to create a center panel, I allowed the three tiny fragments to form a cascading arrangement similar to that of a staircase.

The leftover scraps were originally part of a courthouse steps quilt block. Replicating that design with these pieces seemed only fitting.

The remaining smidgens just happen to be from the same original block and as a result their colors nicely compliment one another.

Finishing Touches

To give the itty bitty squares the focus they deserved I enveloped them in a sea of stark white cotton fabric.

The seams of the border provided natural beginning and ending points for the quilting embellishment.

It Packs A Punch

Even though this small art quilt took very little time to create it carries with it a punch that demands attention.

All Done, AP # 65
All Done, AP # 65

Quilt Details

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural White
  • Dimensions: 8 1/4” L x 4 1/2” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Angled lines using white thread
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

The Other Fifteen

If you have an interest in reading about and viewing the other fifteen pieces you can find them filed under the category Court House Steps.

Thank you so much for following along on this very long adventure! I hope that you have enjoyed watching.

Dont Go Away!

I have many more art pieces yet to share so stay connected for the next reveal.

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Fifteen of Sixteen: Court House Surprise, AP # 64

Fifteen of Sixteen

When I set out to write stories about my sixteen quilts I knew it would be a while before I finished. Now that I’ve finally made it to number fifteen I can’t believe my project is almost over.

Last Thursday we took a look at mini quilt number fourteen Today we move on to number fifteen.

Are They Different?

Creating sixteen different quilts takes a lot of imagination. How boring would it be for them all to look the same.

By the time I made it to number fifteen I was getting bored with my project and eager to get it done. Has that ever happened to you?

To keep myself focused on completing the final two art pieces I had to figure out a way to spice them up.

A Framework

Just like the other fourteen, this one has quilt block scraps laced throughout the center panel. Connecting them all together is a woven framework of teal and lavender strips. The added strips are what make this piece unique.

The squares created by their intersecting pathways form small windows. Some of them are starkly white while others are saturated with color. The tick-tack-toe-like pattern provides a pathway for the eye to travel.

On Second Thought

Directly adjacent to the center panel is a grid of borders. Inside those borders are circles of varying sizes.

I am quite fond of the two designs and the fact that they compliment one another very nicely. They do however draw your eye away from what should be the focus of the quilt.

The flaw, which stands out like a sore thumb now, clearly was overlooked during construction.

Since I can’t go back and change my approach, all I can do is move on and learn from my mistakes.

Have you ever had that happen to you? Do you think the circle borders look out of place?

To Wrap It UP

To complete this original art piece I added a simple arrangement of straight-line quilting using a variegated thread.

Variegated threads are one of my favorite items to use. They add a peppy element of surprise. The abrupt changes in color help to add a sparkle much like that of jewelry.

Court House Surprise, AP # 65
Court House Surprise, AP # 64

Quilt Details

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Dimensions: 10 1/4” L x 6 1/2” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Straight lines using a color coordinated variegated thread
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

What Next?

With number fifteen finally finished there is only one more to reveal.

Would you like to take another look at the other fourteen? Links to those can be found under the category Courthouse Steps, Block of the Month. Go ahead and check them out! You won’t be disappointed.

I’m always interested in hearing what you think of my work. Please share your thoughts.

We have only one more revelation to see! Don’t miss out!

Thank you for visiting!

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Fourteen of Sixteen: Court House Friends 14, AP # 59

Court House Friends 14 of 14, AP 59

Fourteen of Sixteen

Fourteen of sixteen what? Well let me explain.

I worked really hard to finish up a bunch of mini quilts. After adding the last stitch and tying a knot I sat down to write a story about each one. So far I’ve made it through the first thirteen Today we get to examine number fourteen.

One Strip

Who would think that a single strip of pieced-together fabrics could become the focus of a mini art quilt…why me of course!

Throughout my career, as a fabric artist, I have learned to appreciate the value of even the tiniest of fabric scraps. One never knows their potential. They could be

  • added to a grouping of other fragments to create a brand-new building block or,
  • proudly stand-alone.

When Should I Stop

The question echoed countless times by artists of all crafts is, “When is it finished?” Knowing when to declare a piece finished is tricky.

I have experienced numerous instances when I’ve made the decision to add additional enhancements only to later regret it. To help me attempt to avoid repeating that scenario I try to remember these guidelines:

    Forge ahead slowly.
    Take breaks.
    Pause to reflect. Rushing through the process opens up the door to hasty decisions.
    Photograph my work-in-progress in both color and black and white. The different perspectives help to point out the strengths, weaknesses and balance or lack there of.
    Take pictures from different directions or angles. Viewing a piece from different angles helps you to spot the areas that might need further attention.

An Easy Decision

For this piece, knowing when to stop, was a very easy decision. The instant I saw the conglomerate of tiny fabric scraps I just knew there was nothing more to do.

All it needed was a striking border and some crafty quilting.

Huge Impact

To bring attention to the slender arrangement, a vibrant border of white fabric was added. Within the boundaries of the border are strategically placed rows of stitching.

The quilting in the left and right borders guides your eye inward toward the center and back out again. This movement helps to

  • draw attention to the center panel and
  • provides a level of interest not present with simple straight-line quilting.

Finished

As a finished project this miniature art piece is a joy to both

see and

own.

The process, from start to finish, was a simple, relaxed experience. This tiny art piece will add a sparkle to my studio for years to come.

Court-House-Friends 14 of 14, AP # 59
Court House Friends 14 of 14, AP # 59

Quilt Details

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Dimensions: 7 7/8” L x 5 3/4” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Straight and angular lines using white thread
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

What Next?

Now that you have seen this art piece are you curious about the others? Links to the other quilts 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!

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Thirteen of Sixteen: Court House Friends 13, AP # 58

Court House Friends 13 of 14, AP 58

Thirteen Finished

I’ve been on a mission to reveal my recently completed art pieces. Last week we took a look at number twelve Today’s post features project number thirteen.

Ditto

The process used to reinvent this mini original art piece was virtually the same as number twelve. All of the design features,

  • the cut apart/rearranged center panel,
  • the white inner border,
  • the perky blue batik with its leopard-like print,
  • the dimensions,
  • as well as the quilting

are similar. So similar, in fact, that one could say they are fraternal twins. The only difference is the slight variation in the colors of the center panel. These two peas-in-a-pod will make great side-by-side companions in my home.

Court-House-Friends 13 of 14, AP # 58
Court House Friends 13 of 14, AP # 58

Quilt Details

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Dimensions: 8 1/8” L x 7 3/4” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Straight lines using white thread in the body of my piece and a variegated thread in the outer border
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

What Next?

After seeing this art quilt I bet you are curious about the others in the series? Links to the those can be found 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 your thoughts about this art piece as well as the other members of the family.

Thank you for visiting!

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Twelve of Sixteen: Court House Friends 12, AP # 57

Twelve of Sixteen

I’ve been sharing photos of my recently completed art pieces. On Tuesday we took a look at number eleven Today’s post features the twelfth of sixteen.

Ugly Quilt Blocks

I have a tub filled with orphaned quilt blocks. Some of them are leftover from other projects and some I thought were too ugly to use. All of the mini quilts I’ve shown so far were created from ugly quilt blocks.

Running Out of Steam

Turning ugly ducklings into something more appealing takes a lot of concentration. By the time I reached number twelve I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. Have you ever reached that point with your projects?

Finding the energy to continue left me with two options:

  • take a break or
  • simplify my process.

With a strong determination to forge ahead stopping was not an option.

Typically my first step is to slice the ugly block into strips or sections. After slicing this one I had a, “What If”, moment. What if I simply change the orientation of the strips; what impact would that have on the block?

After varying the direction and order of the strips I found an arrangement that I liked. How easy was that! Don’t you just love it when things easily fall into place.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to go through a long, and drawn-out process.

Design Elements

The original block already had white borders. The stark white fabric accentuates the center by drawing the attention of your eye.

Wrapping all four sides is a carefully chosen multi-colored batik. The batik satisfies several design elements:

  • color,
  • repetition and
  • interest.

The color was selected to compliment the already present pallet.

The leopard-like print adds an interesting flair and mimics the design of the small lilac strip in the center of the quilt.

The spots on the batik almost appear to dance around the perimeter. The dancing motion gives the border movement.

The Finishing Touch

This piece, with its already interesting features, didn’t need elaborate quilting. I simply echoed the already present lines with coordinating thread.

Court-House-Friends 12 of 14, AP # 57
Court House Friends 12 of 14, AP # 57

Quilt Details

  • Materials: Fabric top and backing are 100% cotton
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Dimensions: 8 1/8” L x 7 1/2” W
  • Quilting Stitch: Straight lines using white thread in the body of my piece and a variegated thread in the outer border
  • Quilted On: Conventional sewing machine

What Next?

Do you want to see the other quilts in this series? Links to the other ones are filed under the category Courthouse Steps, Block of the Month. Go ahead and check them out! You won’t be disappointed.

Before you go please tell me what you think of art quilt number twelve.

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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
    dimension.

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!

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