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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

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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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