Mint Shake, Art Piece # 97 is the second of fourteen items I produced while attending the May, 2019 Susan Lenz class at Woodland Ridge Retreat. All of the items were small in nature and thus the reason for my productivity.
Art Piece # 97, just as with my first Susan Lenz product, utilized polyester stretch velvet and heat. The heat helped to both fuse and melt prescribed areas.
To embellish my art piece I added free-motion quilting along with numerous hand-applied stitches; their addition helped to add interest and pizazz. Using Susan’s methods to create art was very different from any other I had ever attempted, let alone imagined. While I am happy to add this masterpiece to my portfolio, the process of heating polyester stretch velvet to alter the appearance of the fibers will not be added to my regular repertoire.
The four outer edges of Mint Shake have been surrounded with a black border. Artistically applied rows of stitching were used to give the solid black fabric flair. The raw edges of the black border have been secured with facings. Art Piece # 97: Mint Shake measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. This item is for sale.art,
Interested in the origin of Mint Shake’s name? Elements within my art pieces often provide the inspiration. In this case the mint green velvet was the catalyst.
I have truly been blessed to attend numerous classes at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. If it were not for the continued employment of my husband the opportunities would never have occurred. Today’s story is about another one of my excursions.
Last summer I participated in the Judy Coates Perez, Paint and Print Palooza. I had a wonderful time learning how to dye, print and silk screen fabric.
Watching the applications go from start to finish was entertaining.
I even designed and cut out my own foam stamp.
I created a minimum of 12 new blocks of fabric. These are two of my favorites.
Rather than point out all of the quilt’s wonderful features I’m going to share them with you through photos. Enjoy!
Eight of my favorite blocks. Click on any photo to watch a slide show of the gallery.
Last but not least, here is the finished art quilt.
I am so pleased with the final version of my art piece. My finished art quilt measures 64 x 47”. Hidden inside this family of blocks are oodles of special features. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the many details.
The photo shown above includes all six blocks. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out; especially since it was my first attempt at this technique. Through the experience I learned so much about curved circles as well as color distribution.
When I selected the colors for these blocks I tried to anticipate how well they would work together. Sadly, I wasn’t particularly alert to their color values. After stitching the blocks together I noticed that many of my 1/4 circle blocks had values in the same range. This similarity created muddy or dark areas.
Obviously, if I had it to do over again, I would hope to avoid this situation. Creating art that has a well-rounded distribution of color values seems to be a lesson that I need to work on over and over again. I look at it as a bonus! This means I can make more blocks; which means more sewing; which means more fabric. Yippie!
Does It Have To Be A Circle?
I also discovered, after-the-fact, that I didn’t necessarily have to form circles with the four components. I guess I focused too much on the title of the chapter, Improv Circles, and not the many possibilities for stitching them together. Instead I could have turned them in different directions, creating flowing waves.
If I had paid more attention to the photos in Cindy’s book Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free-Motion Quilting, especially the one on the first page of the chapter, duh, I would have observed another variation. Just like with the issues I have with color values, making new blocks with flowing waves rather than just circles will give me the chance to create more art! Woohoo!!
Originally the blocks were meant to be included in my Mystery QAL art piece. They hung out with my other building blocks for quite a while. Eventually I thought they were way too special to be hidden amongst all of the linear pieces so I decided to give them their own stage. Thus, another original art piece was born!
Which Way Looks Best?
I had fun arranging and rearranging the blocks to achieve different designs. I used my iPad to take photos of the various options to keep track of my progress. Those photos are what helped me to settle on a placement. The photo below shows my final product.
Did You Notice Anything?
After seeing the photo you probably noticed that each of the blocks were surrounded by a border. I think those borders help to give each block the individual attention it deserves. I’m so glad I decided to add them.
Did you also notice that they are not all the same size? The first grouping of blocks that I made originated from smaller squares of fabric. When I decided to make three more I also made the choice to use larger blocks. I’m so glad I was able to add variety to my piece through the different sizes.
Even though my blocks didn’t turn out as spectacular as I had hoped I am very proud of my first attempt at improv circles. This original art piece will always remind me of my maiden voyage.
So, would you like to see how the back turned out; here’s a photo.
The above photo shows a very jazzy backing. This batik is one of the favorite fabrics I have in my inventory. When I saw it in the store I just had to purchase a piece. Thankfully I didn’t just get a fat quarter. Nope, I purchased yardage! I chose this fabric to be the backing for my Disjointed original art piece because I thought it replicated the lively color choices included on the front.
From the above photo you will also observe that I chose to use a facing for my piece rather that the typical binding used on quilts. A binding would have been very visible and I didn’t want that to draw my attention away from the blocks. Also added was a hanging sleeve and a label.
Shall we talk about quilting? Yes! Let’s!
When deciding how to quilt my piece I took a step back to take in the over-all appearance. The wiggling lines created by the improv circles gave me the idea to repeat that motion through my quilting. To do so I chose to stitch wavy lines with a coordinating, variegated thread. The quilting, as seen on the front, nicely compliments my design. From the back the quilting is even more striking. The curving lines make me feel like swaying to the beat of music.
Disjointed, with all it’s awesome traits, measures 26” x 17”. All of the fabrics used were cotton solids taken from my stash. The thread I used was from the King Tut family by Superior Threads.
I will proudly display my new art piece in my home. The lively colors as well as the curvy lines will add a spark of enthusiasm unlike any other.
One More Thing
Before I let you go there is one more thing we need to discuss and that is the naming of my original art piece. I’d like to be able to say that I arrived at it through some magical process or journey but that would be very far from the truth. The process was actually very simple. The improv circles have a disjointed appearance. The disjointed or irregularly shaped lines inspired me to call my piece Disjointed. See, nothing magical. 🙂
Signing off before expressing my gratitude for your attention would be criminal. Thank YOU so much for your continued support as well as your many comments. I look forward to the opportunities we have to interact.