Life Changing Event

I had a different blog post scheduled for today but we experienced a life-changing event recently that has knocked the wind out of our sails. Recovering from this event will take a bit of time so I am going to pause my blog for a while.

Take Care!

Cindy Anderson

Up The Ladder, Art Piece # 52’s Renovation

Court House Friends 7 of 16, AP 52

Renovation:

In April I began retrofitting many of my smaller art pieces to make them suitable for attaching to a stretched canvas frames. I call this adventure Operation Renovation. The topic of today’s journal entry is an item that I first revealed in July, 2018. This specimen was called Court House Friends 7 of 14. Court house friends is a reference to a grouping of court house blocks I received in a block swap. The blocks had colors that I was not particularly fond of. Rather than leaving them as is I opted to turn them into improv art pieces; sixteen different art projects resulted from that experiment. The pieced center, with its surrounding white border, looked like this in July, 2018.

Court House Friends 7 of 16, AP 52 Court House Friends 7 of 14, AP # 52

In The Beginning:

To modify Court House Friends 7 of 14 I began by removing the facings and other components that had been attached to the back. After carefully trimming and pressing my small art piece I went in search of a fabric that would compliment the colors already present in the small quilt. I found a lovely purple and teal batik with accents of rust and burgundy. I chose this one because not only did it match with the colors in the existing art piece but it also added an interesting element that didn’t provide a distraction.

Wrapping It Up:

Court House Friends 7 of 14 originally measured 5 7/8” x 10 7/8”. The target frame size was 11” x 14”. After making a few calculations I cut properly sized strips of fabric to add as borders. With the borders attached I created a quilt sandwich by stacking the renovated art quilt with a layer of batting and backing. The last step, in this renovation process, was quilting. The new borders were the only items that needed quilting; to those I added a zig zag pattern with a multi-colored variegated thread.

New Identity:

Since the visual identity of my fiber art piece had been changed I decided its name should be as well. While viewing the composition I studied the arrangement of the fabrics in the pieced center. The single vertical line with the horizontal protrusions reminded me of the rungs on a ladder. Identifying that image gave me the inspiration to name my art quilt Up The Ladder, Art Piece # 52.

When my new and improved project was finished, this is how it appeared.

Up The Ladder, AP 52 Up The Ladder, Art Piece # 52

Even though the changes were relatively minor I think she looks much prettier now. How about you?

Thank You:

Thank you for being here and for reading until the very end!

Warm Wishes,

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

Abstract Log Cabin, Art Piece # 38

Bubbles, AP 38

Operation Renovation:

On my agenda today is the continuation of Operation renovation. I began a series earlier this year to adapt several of my fiber art pieces for mounting on stretched canvas frames. The candidates chosen were items that had been completed months or even years ago. In my opinion, all of them had a mediocre existence.

To prepare my subjects for a make-over I first stripped away their bindings and other finishing touches. Once that was complete the renovation process could begin. Some of the changes were subtle while others were quite dramatic; watching each one morph from its original status to a freshly refurbished fiber art piece was amazing.

In The Beginning:

This specimen was originally created as a building block for Neighbors, Art Piece # 37.

Neighbors, AP 37 Neighbors, Art Piece # 37

 

After struggling to fit it into the design I made the decision to keep it as a solo specimen.

Bubbles, AP 38 Bubbles, Art Piece # 38

 

 

 

The center of the block was a leftover scrap from one of my earlier art pieces. Thankfully I saved the remnant because it made a great building block for this one. The pieced center is surrounded by two borders; the first is a shade of magenta and the second a faded denim. In it’s original version, the fiber art piece was quilted with a straight-line motif using a variegated thread.

The Renovation:

During my quest to repurpose/reinvent a number of my specimens I chose this one as a candidate. Not too much had to be done to adapt it for mounting on a stretched canvas frame. The original facings were stripped away. The resulting raw edges were then trimmed to freshen them up. A new border was added to adapt it for mounting on canvas. To blend the original faded denim border with the new addition I chose to use the same color fabric. Once the size was adequate for mounting I added a layer of batting and backing, then attached the sandwich to the frame.

Hand-Stitching:

Typically once the fiber art quilt is attached no further stitching is required; however, lately I have been adding a variety of hand stitches to some of my smaller pieces. The hand stitches add an element of design that would not be possible with a sewing machine. When the items are small they are easy to work with because the wooden frame acts as an embroidery hoop, giving the fabric stability.

Essential Element:

For this item hand stitching was essential. While the colors of the specimen were interesting they lacked the luster I desired. To initiate my embellishment process I selected an overly large button with numerous holes. Rather than stitching it to the frame with the button perpendicular to its edges  I chose to place it on the diagonal. Next I secured the button in place by running a few simple stitches through the holes; which by the way are difficult to see now.

Drizzle Stitch:

Sue Spargo has a book called Creative Stitching, Second Edition. I enjoy reading through and experimenting with some of the stitches in her book. One of my favorites is the drizzle stitch. The three dimensional stitch creates twisted protrusions that extend above the fabric surface. The holes of my added button seemed like the perfect place to insert them.

Look closely and you will see that I used a variety of thread colors and lengths of drizzle stitch to fill in the holes of the button. The combination of the on-point button and the drizzle stitches reminded me of a flower’s center. To capitalize on that idea I added four groupings of hand-applied stitching along the sides of the button. Each of the lines is capped-off with a matching colored French knot. The added lines represent the petals of a flower.

Wow:

With the addition of the button, and hand stitching this composition went from ho hum to WOW; which makes this operation renovation project an obvious success. I’m so glad I decided to give this small fiber art piece a second chance.

New Identity:

Originally titled Bubbles because of the circles seen throughout many of the fabrics, I decided the title no longer applied. While pondering the many available options,  I very easily could have selected something with a floral theme; instead I chose to identify the structure of the original block as the basis for the new name. This block has the essence of a log cabin design. Going with that as my significant feature I have named this item Abstract Log Cabin, Art Piece # 38.

This is how my newly renovated project looked when she left the studio.

Abstract Log Cabin, AP 38 Abstract Log Cabin, Art Piece # 38

 

Final Details:

In it final form Abstract Log Cabin measures 12” x 12” x 1 1/2”. Added to the back of the frame is a paper barrier to protect the art piece from dust and bugs. Two d-rings and wire were attached to make it easy to be hung on a wall. Also added are silicone bumpers to help with stability and encourage ventilation.

Opinions Wanted:

So, what do you think? Was this a worthwhile project? Does the composition look better now than she did before?

Thank You:

Thank you for reading to the very end!

Have a grand day!

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

Watch Out For The One Eyed Monster! Art Pieces 192-199

One Eyed Monster, AP 192

One Eyed Monster?:

Halloween is only days away. All around me I see the holiday decorations of my neighbors. The most prominent of which are the inflated images of pumpkins, monsters and ghosts. Typically we join up with our children and grandchildren to share a meal and walk about a neighborhood trick-or-treating. Given the ever-present pandemic the visit to neighboring homes will be eliminated. In place of those festivities we have plans for games and other activities. Our group is small and the home at which we will gather is large enough for social distancing. I’ve even surveyed my grandchildren to learn about their favorite candies. Even though they won’t fill their bags with candy from the neighbors I will make certain I do my part.

The closeness of Halloween makes this the perfect time to reveal my art piece called One Eyed Monster. I have been spending the last several postings talking about my 8”x10” finished projects; today’s entry continues on that same track.

Fabric Background:

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have made a shift in how I start my 8”x10” projects. Originally my small stitching  pieces were attached to a naked stretched canvas frame. By naked I mean that the white canvas was left as is. This method had been my preferred style; I thought the starkness of the white canvas and the rough texture added their own type of element. I even liked how rustic my name looked when it was written on the  canvas.

As time went by I wanted to add even more interest to my compositions. Incorporating fabric as a base for my projects gave me another opportunity to expand my art even further. All of the fiber art pieces that I am sharing today and in the future will begin with a fabric background.

The Layers:

As you could tell by the title of this journal entry, I will be revealing fiber art pieces 192-199. They continue with the shift I made from using plain white backgrounds to fabric. Each project begins first with the stretched canvas frame. If I were creating a typical quilt the first layer of the sandwich would be a fabric backing; in this instance it is the canvas frame. Next to follow is a layer of batting, white or black depending upon the color intensity of the next fabric; the batting helps to give the frames edges a more rounded appearance. The third element is the fabric that will serve as the composition’s background. This addition holds a very important function as it sets the theme for everything else that will follow.

Once the three layers of the sandwich have been established it is time to start assembling the decorative features. The parameters for those items is wide open; the only limitation here is your imagination. I’ve been known to use as many as four layers of fabric and or embellishments. I also like to include a variety of doodads such as lace, buttons, beads and snaps, to name a few.

Finishing Touches:

The finishing touch is the hand or machine stitching. This process can make or break your final outcome. It also can be the most enjoyable step. Here is where you can either stay low-key or go hog wild. I let the initial image of the fiber art piece sink in for a while. This gives me a chance to get a feel for the possible avenues I might follow. Once my thought process is complete I gather up the thread colors I will use, thread my needle and get to work. Even though I map out a plan of attack for my stitching that doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind along the way. There have been many times when I have decided to go in an entirely different direction. All that matters is that the final outcome looks wonderful.

Without Further Ado:

Let me introduce you to items 192-199!

Art Pieces 192-195
Art Pieces 192-195

One Eyed Monster, Art Piece # 192

EcoPrint, Art Piece # 193

Shiny Blue Moon, Art Piece # 194

Navel Orange, Art Piece # 195

Art Pieces 196-199
Art Pieces 196-199

Raspberry Orange Slush, Art Piece # 196

Hashtag, Art Piece # 197

Bruised, Art Piece # 198

Floating Stars, Art Piece # 199

Your Thoughts:

Did the One Eyed Monster scare you?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing and reading about each of the eight projects; especially the One Eyed Monster!  If time allows, please share your thoughts in a comment.

Thank You!

Happy Halloween!

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

Up, Art Piece # 19

Up, AP # 19
The Odd One, AP 17
The Odd One, Art Piece # 17
Ahoy, AP # 18
Ahoy, Art Piece # 18

Do you remember The Odd One, Art Piece # 17 and Ahoy, Art Piece # 18? I wrote about their adventures recently. Both were part of a reassignment project that focused on turning boring art pieces into something much more attractive. The composition I am showing today was part of that process. Let’s take a look.

The Beginning:

Three different fiber art pieces were dismantled for this renovation project. They were: The Chosen Nine, Four Friends I and Four Friends II. The reassignment process netted 17 different blocks and of those two were singled out for this specimen. Both were chosen because of their similarities. A close look at the two blocks will show that they appear to be arrows. Also of interest is the fabrics found on the right side of each arrow; look closely and you will see that they are identical. These similarities made putting them together a natural choice.

Simplicity:

Aside from trimming each block down to 4 1/2” x 4 1/2”, not much else needed to be done. I selected a gorgeous blue fabric to act as a spacer between the two blocks as well as borders for the outside edges. Before attaching it to a 11” x 14” stretched canvas frame I layered the new quilt top with batting and a backing. The quilting in the arrow blocks was already present. To the surrounding blue fabric I added lines of straight-line quilting with a variegated thread. Notice how they add an interesting design element of their own.

The Finish:

Long before I added the last quilting stitch I decided what name I would give to this item. Given that the two blocks looked like arrows, I purposely arranged them to point in an upward direction. The upward movement inspired me to name this fiber art piece Up, Art Piece # 19.

As with all my other frame mounted art projects, this one was given a protective paper backing. The backing serves as a barrier from dust and bugs. A hanging system of two d-rings and wire was attached to aid in display. To provide for ventilation and stability silicone bumpers were added.

I think the appearance of this fiber art piece is far more appealing now that it was before. See for yourself.

Up, AP # 19
Up, Art Piece # 19

Thank You:

I appreciate your interest in my activities and your willingness to read this journal to the very end! Your participation has made my day!

 

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

Polka Dots Dance? Art Pieces 184-191

Dressed to Party, AP 189

Let’s Review:

Over the past six Thursdays I have been sharing photos and stories of my recently finished art pieces. Included below are photos of each of the items along with a link to the post. A lot of time and effort went into these projects. Seeing all of them in one post makes me very happy; without this visual reminder it would be so easy to forget just how many I have made.

 

Art Pieces 127-130
Art Pieces 127-130

 

Art Pieces 131-134
Art Pieces 131-134

 

Art Pieces 135-138
Art Pieces 135-138

 

Art Pieces 139-141
Art Pieces 139-141

 

Art Pieces 142-145
Art Pieces 142-145

 

Art Pieces 146-148
Art Pieces 146-148

 

Art Pieces 150 151 153 & 154
Art Pieces 150 151 153 & 154

 

Art Pieces 156-158
Art Pieces 156-158

 

Art Pieces 168-171
Art Pieces 168-171

 

Art Pieces 172-175
Art Pieces 172-175

 

Art Pieces 176-179
Art Pieces 176-179

 

Art Pieces 180-183
Art Pieces 180-183

 

Art Pieces 184-191:

Included in this next grouping is eight new items. One of them holds the answer to the question mentioned in the title of this entry; Do Polka Dots Dance?

Art Pieces 184-187
Art Pieces 184-187

New Life For A Discard, Art Piece # 184 has been SOLD

Reclaimed Fabric Scrap, Art Piece # 185

Polka Dot Dance, Art Piece # 186

Quotations, Art Piece # 187

Art Pieces 188-191
Art Pieces 188-191

Reach For The Stars, Art Piece # 188

Dressed To Party, Art Piece # 189

Mirror Image, Art Piece # 190

Christmas Memories, Art Piece # 191

It’s Not Over Yet!:

My adventures in creating 8”x10” fiber art pieces is far from over; I have many more virgin canvases just waiting for my attention. The process of designing and executing each of the compositions has been such an enjoyable experience. I love how portable they are and how relaxing it is to quietly sit and stitch on each canvas.

Just because I have a large number of canvases all ready for exploration doesn’t mean my journey will end there. Who knows what direction I will take after the last one is finished!

Thank You!:

I hope you will have the opportunity the browse through the photos to learn about each of the items. No matter how many you are able to explore I hope that you will save time to share your thoughts. Your insights and comments are important to me! Oh and one more thing___Do Polka Dots Dance?

With warm regards,

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

 

Ahoy, Art Piece # 18

Four Friends, AP 18

Operation Renovation:

My ongoing renovation project continues with today’s journal entry. Last week I shared the reincarnation of The Odd One, Art Piece # 17.

The Odd One, AP 17
The Odd One, Art Piece # 17

 

Up for discussion today is an item I finished back in July, 2017, known as Four Friends, Art Piece # 18.

Before:

Part of the fun of a renovation project is seeing the before and after photos. Let’s see what Four Friends looked like before I tackled her reinvention.

Four Friends, AP 18
Four Friends, Art Piece # 18

Downsizing:

Portions of this sweet little project were once part of a much larger one. When I decided to modify a number of my art pieces, this was one of the products to evolve. A total of 17 building blocks were harvested from three existing fiber art quilts. After shuffling them around to create new and improved specimens four blocks were chosen for this composition.

Redecorating:

Once the selection process was over I trimmed each of  the four blocks down to 4 1/2”x4 1/2”.  In their previous state, the stark white borders were just too boring for me; this time around I wanted to add more color.

To distract the attention from the dramatic white borders I added strips cut from a royal blue fabric printed with floating fish. The floating fish worked perfectly with the theme I was developing. Next I added a layer of batting and a backing. The entire sandwich was then quilted with straight-line quilting using a color coordinated variegated thread.

Choosing A Name:

My art pieces always have an assigned name; sometimes it’s chosen even before the fabrics are stitched together. For this item I new exactly what I would call it the minute I selected the blocks. All four were chosen to be together because they reminded me of a boat.  Since they were created using improvisational techniques I think it is amazing that this even occurred. A grouping of ugly quilt blocks were repeatedly cut apart and stitched back together with no intention of ending up with a boat image. How crazy is that!

The four little boats with their floating fish borders now had a nautical theme. To set them on a path for smooth sailing I chose to call them  Ahoy. Here is how they looked just before their maiden voyage.

Ahoy, AP # 18
Ahoy, Art Piece # 18

Do you see what I am talking about?

Final Touches:

Once Ahoy was attached to the stretched canvas frame I added a layer of protection from dust and bugs with a paper backing. To make it easy to display the fiber art piece on a wall two d-rings and wire were added. I also attached silicone bumpers for ventilation and to help with stability. Ahoy, in its final form, measures 12”x12”x7/8”.

Thank You:

As always I am thrilled that you were able to spend time with me today! I hope that you enjoyed reading about my adventure as much as I did in sharing it. Let’s make a plan to do this again!

Best Wishes!

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson

 

 

Are You a Fan Of Mulled Cider? Art Pieces 176-183

Mulled Cider AP 178

Many, Many Projects:

I have really enjoyed the process of sharing my completed 8×10 fiber art pieces. Over the last several weeks I have revealed thirty-eight uniquely designed specimens. Thirty-eight sounds like a lot but I have more than that yet to go and in fact, as I am writing this journal entry, I have made plans for another twenty.

Lots of Fun:

Designing and implementing these small art projects is a very contagious practice. The manageable size and portability make them easy to work with no matter where I am. Typically I spend several days pulling together various combinations of fabric. After setting aside a number of groupings I draw on my supplies of beads, buttons, lace, recycled sari and kantha cloth, as well as many, many other options, to add as embellishments.

A Change In Technique:

Up until now I have used white stretched canvas as the background for 99% of my 8×10’s. Lately I have decided to cover the canvas with fabric. This new technique adds a more striking element. Even though I am very fond of the white canvas background it’s always nice to change things up. The last photo shared in this post includes a fabric covered frame.

What’s In The Future:

For now I believe I will most likely continue to wrap my canvases with fabric; however, I have also considered making my own wood frames and stretching my own, unpainted canvas over the edges. Who knows what the future brings!

Let’s Wrap This Up:

I could go on talking about this art form but, with so many more items yet to be shared, it is time to wrap this entry up. Below you will find two collages. Both contain photos of four original art pieces.

Before signing off I must express my gratitude for your continued support. Without your participation this blog would not survive.

Cindy Anderson

Ap 176-179 collage AP 176-179 collage

Jimenas Treasures, Art Piece # 176

Snap Decision, Art Piece # 177

Mulled Cider, Art Piece # 178

Blueberry Skull, Art Piece # 179

AP 180-183 collage Art Pieces 180-183 collage

Scalloped Edge, Art Piece # 180

Olive Drab Elevated, Art Piece # 181

Elaborate Flower, Art Piece # 182

Seeing Dots, Art Piece # 183

The Odd One, Art Piece 17 (AKA The Chosen Nine)

The Odd One, AP 17
A Handfull
A Handfull

Busy, Busy, Busy:

This year has been very busy with  my renovation project, my solo art exhibit, finishing oodles of 8”x10” small art pieces and starting my own online store. Sandwiched in-between were numerous trips to my little cabin in the woods as well as fun activities with my peeps; all while practicing social distancing. The online store has taken up most of the time I would normally have spent on my blog. With the majority of those tasks accomplished, I can once again share my triumphs with Operation Renovation.

A Return To Operation Renovation:

Operation Renovation is a project I started back in January. During the early days of this pandemic I searched for something to focus my attention on. At the time, I had a number of art pieces that were finished but not quite to my liking. With my pandemic anxiety level reaching an all-time high I decided to redirect my attention to those less-than-appealing projects. A number of successful outcomes have already been shared but I still have quite a few to go; time to get back to sharing my progress.

Today’s journal entry will focus on the art piece I once called The Chosen Nine, Art Piece # 17. So, sit back and enjoy my next reveal.

The Chose O, AP 17 The Chosen 9, Art Piece # 17

 

In The Beginning:

This art quilt began during  the summer of 2017 (see photo above). In its original form it was a grouping of nine improvisational building blocks. Each of the blocks was surrounded by four white borders. The nine, with their stark white edges, were stitched together and surrounded by a white binding. They were quilted with a simple, but attractive straight-line quilting motif. The finished quilt remained in that state until recently; that’s when I decided the composition was just too blah. To remedy my dilemma I grabbed a seam ripper and removed the binding, then gave it a good pressing

Simultaneous Renovation:

At the same time I decided to tackle the renovation of Art Piece # 17 I had also decided to work on two other items. Those compositions contained four blocks each. They are Four Friends # 1 and  Four Friends # 2. All three quilts could very easily have been left intact and mounted on a stretched canvas frame. Since I was making changes I decided to go wild and cut them all apart; I ended up with seventeen 5 1/2”x5 1/2″ units. To change things even further I reallocated them into eight separate art compositions: a six piece, a four piece, a two piece and five individual specimens.

Six Piece:

The six piece composition was the first one to be finished. To give this item a punch of color I chose to add a two-tone blue border around each block. All six blocks were then stitched together to form a new quilt top. The newly created fiber art piece was sandwiched together with a layer of batting and a new fabric backing. To secure the layers together I traveled around each block stitching straight-lines with a variegated blue thread.

A New Name:

Once the quilting was finished I decided to give this renovated item a new name. As I allowed my eyes to travel over its surface I made a discovery; one of the units incorporated into the project was quilted differently than the others. This revelation gave me the inspiration to title this fiber art piece The Odd One. See if you can locate it!

The Odd One, AP 17
The Odd One, Art Piece # 17

The Finish:

In its finished form The Odd One measures 16″x20″. Protecting the back from dust and bugs is a paper backing. For ease of display two d-rings and wire were added to facilitate hanging on a wall. Silicone bumpers were also added to help minimize sideways movement stability and to promote air circulation.

Thank You:

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the once blah specimen turn into something much more spectacular. Sharing these stories with you is one of the best parts of the entire process. Thank you for being here!

Cindy Anderson

Fiber Art By Cindy Anderson