Black White and Gray, Art Piece 111


Many times, after learning a new skill, I find myself making multiple fiber art pieces using the same techniques. Today’s reveal is an example of that tendency. Black, White, and Gray, Art Piece # 111 was assembled using the Boro stitching lessons I learned through Maday Delgado. I had the wonderful privilege of taking one of her classes in March, 2019 at Blue Bar Quilts. The First item to result from her teachings was A Boro Collage, Art Piece # 110.

This second specimen focused on the color pallet of white, black and gray. Having never made a fiber piece with just those three colors, I decided to use the concept on this item. Black, White and Gray, just as with A Boro Collage, was created from raw edged fabric scraps. Except for a few synthetic fiber fabrics most of the scraps contained within this art quilt are 100% cotton. The scraps vary in size and pattern. The Boro stitching was applied with similarly colored Perle cotton thread using somewhat parallel lines. Almost all of the knots used to secure beginning and ending points in the stitching are displayed on the front of the piece. Occasionally a tale of extra thread was left to dangle freely; adding an unexpected element of interest. The outer edges of my art piece were surrounded by a white on black cotton binding. On the back is a fabric sleeve for hanging as well as a label with identifying features. The varied colors, stitching and fabric designs give this fiber art piece a one-of-a-kind appearance.

Black White and, Gray, Art Piece # 111

I hope that you enjoyed reading about and seeing this lovely addition to my portfolio. Inspired to share your thoughts? You can express your feelings by adding a comment.

With warm wishes for a wonderful day!

A Boro Collage Art Piece 110


I have had so many wonderful opportunities to learn from the experts in the world of fiber arts. Just over one year ago I attended a Boro stitching class taught by Maday Delgado. Boro, according to Wikipedia is:

Boro is a class of Japanese textiles that have been mended or patched together. The term is derived from Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired. As hemp was more widely available in Japan than cotton, they were often woven together for warmth. Hemp usage was necessitated by the fact that cotton, a tropical plant, could not be cultivated in cold areas such as the Tohoku region, especially the northernmost region of Aomori Prefecture. Furthermore, during the Edo period, fabrics made from silk and cotton were reserved for only a select portion of the upper class. Boro thus came to predominately signify clothing worn by the peasant farming classes, who mended their garments with spare fabric scraps out of economic necessity. In many cases, the usage of such a boro garment would be handed down over generations, eventually resembling a patchwork after decades of mending.

The class was held at Blue Bar Quilts (one of my favorite fiber art vendors). Maday’s warm and approachable personality make her an inviting person to learn from. Our class was filled with individuals, of all skill levels, eager to learn her approach. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in Maday’s class. The techniques I learned were combined with my previous knowledge to create the art piece I am sharing with you today.

Known as A Boro Collage, Art Piece # 110, this item incorporates scraps of fabric collected from the class as well as my own inventory. The scraps, radiating from warm colors on the left to cool on the right, were layered over a white cotton batting. All of the stitching was done on just those two layers. Maday believes that the back of a hand stitched art collage is just as beautiful as the front and as a result should not be hidden behind opaque fabric. Therefore my silk organza backing was not added until my piece was complete.

For most of the stitching I used a Sashiko thread. This thread is made from a multi-strand, tightly twisted, very soft, heavy-weight cotton. The strands cannot be separated as with regular embroidery floss. The thread, when subjected to moisture will expand slightly making it less likely to pull out. You can purchase Sashiko thread in a variety of colors.

As you examine my art piece, notice that the rows of stitching do not all extend from one edge to the other. Some of them form angular shapes while others create a curved motion. Also of interest is the exposed knots, the dangling lengths of thread and a most unusual stitch design known as Fish Tale. The dangling stray threads and exposed knots are design elements that Maday believes can add interest to your art piece. A Fish Tale is created using individual lengths of thread applied in rows of stitching that arch up to form a curve and then return back down. Extra thread is left dangling at both the beginning and ending points of the pattern. I’ve included a photo of one of the added Fish Tales below.

To give my art piece a more rustic appearance I used an unusual binding. Once my stitching was complete raw-edged scraps of fabric were placed right side down on top of my art piece. A row of machine stitching was used to secured them. The scraps were then folded to the back and stitched in place with Sashiko thread.

I’m so happy you were able to share in this reveal. I hope that you enjoyed reading about and discovering the uniqueness of my fiber art piece and that you will feel inspired to leave a comment.

With warm wishes for a wonderful day!

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!

Solo Art Exhibit September, 2019


Is there anything more amazing than participating in a solo art show!

I had the opportunity to exhibit art pieces at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, WI. The memorable event was held during September, 2019.

Choosing, hanging and observing my works of art was an experience I will never forget. Plans for the show were nine months in the making. Everything right down to the smallest detail was analyzed over and over again. An artist reception was held on September 14, 2019. Meeting and conversing with my fellow enthusiasts filled my heart with joy.

Five months have passed since the finale of my memorable event yet the images and conversations remain vivid in my mind. Since many of you would not have been able to attend I have assembled a grouping of photos for you to experience. To see them as a slide show click on one of them and the show will begin.

Thank you for sharing in my joy!

Solo Art Exhibit


Late in 2018 I received an invitation from Gael, the owner of Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin, to display my art quilts in a solo exhibit. My response, after overcoming the shock, was absolutely! September of this year was set aside for my event. Yesterday the two of us sorted through, organized and put on display 64 of my art pieces. The experience was exhilarating!

I am overjoyed to proudly announce the official opening of my solo art exhibit titled Transformation. The event will run from September 1, 2019, until September 30, 2019. A reception with refreshments will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Please stop by on the 14th to say hello and share in my excitement. I would love to see you. If you are able to stop by during the exhibit, please don’t forget to sign my guest book and leave a few comments.

Before departing I must say thank you to the individuals that have had an impact on my art. First on my list is Gael from Blue Bar Quilts. Thank you Gael for giving me this awesome opportunity! Your interest in my art has brought me so much joy! Next I would like to extend appreciation to the individuals that have had a profound impact on my journey. They are Rayna Gillman, Lisa Binkley, Judy Coates Perez, Pam Beal, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Susan Carlson, Cindy Grisdela, Heidi Parkes, and Maday Delgado. Your amazing talent has helped me to expand my horizons and become the artist I am today. The last and most important person is my husband Gary. Without his unconditional encouragement and financial backing I never would have had this opportunity.

Now, make plans to visit Blue Bar Quilts some time between September 1 – September 30, 2019, to observe my solo art show and of course do a little shopping.

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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Exploring Minimalist Quilting


I’m at Woodland Ridge in northern Wisconsin. The reason for my visit is a four day study, taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design Maximum Impact. I signed up for the class nearly a year ago and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Our trip north would not be complete without an ever-so-slight detour to a fabric store located in Menomonie. The darling little shop is called Thread Lab. While there I just happened to stumble upon these wonderful, absolutely unavoidable fabrics. Who knows how I will use them this week. No matter what they are added to I’m certain the outcome will be wonderful!

Thread Lab Fabric & Other Goodies

I arrived late this afternoon with my traveling companion Barb. After exchanging hugs with familiar faces we unpacked our many belongings and quilting paraphernalia. After settling-in we enjoyed a carry out meal from the local coffee shop and filled the rest of our time relaxing and catching up on our reading.

Our class tomorrow begins at 9:00 a.m. and I can’t wait! If time permits I hope to share photos and updates along the way.

Talk with you soon!

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Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 4


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story, of our adventures, several weeks ago.  So far in the rendition there has been part onepart twopart three and now the final installment, part four. Without any further introduction let’s get this final chapter rolling.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Going On Vacation Is HARD Work!

You know it’s hard when you make plans to go on a vacation to anticipate just how successful it will be. So much time is invested in making the preparations to leave that it’s not unusual to be exhausted even before you lock the door behind you. Then there is the travel from your home to the destination; whether it be by car, train or plane, that adds even more stress. Let me tell you, this was a stressful 8+ hours of travel.

Lets Head Out

At the front of our caravan was a Suburban and trailer. That vehicle was loaded down with 3 adults, 2 children and a dog. Bringing up the rear was our truck carrying 2 adults and 2 dogs. Of course there was all the luggage, toys, food and beverages that also had to be loaded onboard.

Before leaving we had been keeping a close eye on the approaching weather. Not knowing exactly when we would make our acquaintance, with the looming winter storm, made us a bit uneasy. We were on the road and headed west pretty much within our projected time-frame. Our hope was that we might be able to skirt the storm and avoid potential delays.

The Winds Were A Blowin

Hopes and reality are two different things. We did not miss the storm. Nope! Instead we ended up adding an additional 2 hours to our travel time. While passing through the wintery mess we encountered almost everything you could imagine. There were strong, blowing winds, rain, sleet, snow, and ice to contend with. All of those conditions made for dicey driving conditions.

Along our route we passed by many, many vehicles stranded off the road and in the ditch. Some of them must have happened not long before we passed because we could see people inside with bewildered expressions on their faces. Thankfully we kept our vehicles on the road and safe. We were so thankful when we reached our destination and the long ordeal of travel was finally behind us.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Over the course of the next six days we managed to sandwich in as much activity as possible; saving only enough free time to sleep. During our vacation we experienced the building of a swing set for our grandchildren, numerous celebratory meals, hikes, rides on four wheelers, a trip to Liberty and Hamilton, Missouri along with the wonderful companionship of our family and friends.

When I look back at the oodles of photos and videos and contemplate the many memories that surely will be with me for years to come, I simply must declare this vacation a complete success.

Before signing off I thought it would be fun to assemble a montage of the photos I have shared. Please enjoy!

A Wrap-Up

All-in-all we have very fond memories of our trip to the restored log cabin. The lack of pleasant weather didn’t keep us from having a wonderful time. By the time the last day arrived we were all exhausted and ready to head home. Who knows whether the opportunity to travel to MO will arise again? If it does, awesome! If not, we had a grand time!

Thank You!

Thank You so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by. Before I sign off I have one more thing to include. I just have to share this funny excerpt from the conversation between my husband and myself in Hamilton, MO:

and then there were these chairs…!

Talk with you soon!

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Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 3


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story of our adventures in two earlier posts part one and part two. With so much to share I decided to divide up the recount into multiple sections. As the title above states, this is part three.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Next Stop…Hamilton, MO

After leaving Liberty, the home of Angela Walter’s Quilting Is My Therapy Fabric Store, our next stop was Hamilton. Hamilton is the home of Missouri Star Quilt Company. I’ve mentioned them often in my blog posts as one of the vendors I purchase fabric from. MSQC has a major presence in Hamilton. Their complex includes numerous buildings; each containing a different grouping of fabrics. On the exterior of some of their buildings are gigantic murals depicting various quilting themes as well as the life in small towns. Here is a photo of two of them.

The first shop we visited was their main store.

MSQC Storefront
Missouri Star Quilt Company Main Building

Inside were samplings of the inventory stocked at each of their locations. Also available was a map identifying where each of the buildings were located.

MSQC Brochure
Missouri Star Quilt Company Brochure

After choosing which shops I would visit we decided to pause for a quick lunch. The restaurant we ate at was right outside MSQC’s main building. While there we enjoyed a delicious deli sandwich along with a scrumptious chocolate muffin brownie. As you can see by the bite taken from the brownie we couldn’t wait for our sandwiches to arrive. We just had to get a sample. Funny thing about the brownie was that the outer surface was so crunchy I couldn’t bite through it. Believe it or not I had to ask my husband to take the first bite. 😋

As you can see from the above photo of MSQC’s brochure, on my list of shops to visit were the:

  • Batik Boutique
  • Backing & Trims
  • Machine Shed
  • Modern and
  • Penny’s Quilt Shop

Of course leaving without a stop at Man’s Land (the shop specifically set aside for comfort) would be inexcusable. Somewhere along the way I got separated from my husband. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew we would eventually meet up in one of the shops. We were also in contact via text message so it wasn’t too hard to keep track of one another.  We also both use the Find Friends app on our phones so that made it even easier.

At one point I texted him to find out where he was at. This is his reply:

Man’s shop…thought you’d like pictures

I replied:

I’ll come when I’m done

meaning I would meet him there.

He replied:

and then there were these chairs…!

He was really thrilled to find the comfy chairs. LOL! These are the photos he sent me.

5 Shops

I had a great time browsing through my five designated shops. Of course I would have to also admit that I didn’t exactly stick to the plan. I strayed from the path ever so slightly. How could I pass up on peeking inside the adjoining buildings?

Did I Buy Fabric?

Now you are probably wondering if I left without purchasing fabric? I’d be lying if I said I did. I’m registered to take several classes during the summer and late fall of 2018. The first is taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. Before leaving for our vacation I received the class supply list in the mail. Pam works only with solid colored fabrics. My inventory of solids is pretty dismal because I lean toward bright, bold prints. Penny’s Quilt Shop was filled with solids from several different manufacturers. I grabbed several solids to use in the class.

Solids from Penny's Quilt Shop at MSQC
Solids from Penny’s Quilt Shop at MSQC

The other two classes that I shopped for are the Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Double Wedding Ring Improv and Susan Carlson’s class Fabric Images. I’ve been trying to settle on a color theme for Victoria’s class. I figured MSQC would be an awesome place to start. Susan’s class supply list called for lots of BIG, bold prints. The prints that I currently have aren’t necessarily large. Once again why not look for candidates while in Hamilton. I came home with all sorts of new fabrics all ready for my classes.

Bold Prints from MSQC
Bold Prints from MSQC

 

A Little Tula Fun from MSQC
A Little Tula Fun from MSQC

For some reason I qualified for two free charms for purchasing fabric. Don’t know why, but I’ll take them. I think they are kinda cute.

MSQC Charms
MSQC Charms

Our time in Liberty and Hamilton, MO went so incredibly fast. I’m sure if we could have set aside more time we would have. As it was we left at 6:30 in the morning and didn’t return until almost 7:00 p.m. Not wanting to miss out on too many of the adventures at the cabin we chose to do it all in one day and not extend it by staying overnight in a hotel. If I had it to do all over again I would do it exactly the same.

Thank You!

I think it is time to call it quits for today. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by.

Talk with you soon!

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