Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

Quilt Expo

I attended the Quilt Expo in Madison in September. Walking into the Expo Hall is an overwhelming experience. The room is filled with rows of vendors selling and demonstrating their wares.

Handloom Batiks

One of the booths I visited was Handloom Batiks. I learned of the owner, Usha, through Rayna Gillman. Usha’s fabrics came highly recommended. Her booth was filled with colorful hand died fabrics. After admiring the many options I decided to purchase a fat quarter bundle and, of all things, a bag of scraps. Who purchases other peoples scraps? Well, me of course! 🙂 When I placed the bag of discards near Usha’s calculator she reminded me that the bag was filled with scraps. I let her know that I was well aware and very excited to own it. Being an improv quilter, I enjoy turning scraps into works of art. This bag of scraps was like candy to a child. I couldn’t wait to turn it into something spectacular!

Another Improv Quilt

One of the books I recently purchased was The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn WoodHer Facebook page, by the same name, is filled with wonderful examples of art pieces created by her followers. While scrolling through the postings I was reminded of my bag of scraps.  The Facebook tour inspired me to start another improv art quilt using my bag of scraps.

Search and Rescue

With my new book in hand I carried the fat quarter bundle and the scraps to my sewing table. Before beginning my project I paused long enough to take a few photos, then dumped out the scraps and began unfurling their edges. It was so exciting to see what was inside. 99% of the specimens were declared useable. By useable I mean they were large enough to actually stitch together. The scraps came in a variety of sizes and shapes. All of them needed pressing so that’s what I did next.

Handbloom Batik Scraps.jpg
Handloom Batik Scraps
Handbloom Fat Quarters.jpg
Handloom Fat Quarters
Handbloom Batik Strips.jpg
Handloom Batik Strips

My Imagination

While pressing the fabric scraps I imagined I was in Usha’s sewing room viewing the trimmings left over from one or more of her projects. How awesome it would have been to see what she had created.

Time Flys

As I continued to iron out the wrinkles I happened to glance at my studio clock. I was watching the time because I still needed to make preparations for the Tea & Art event at my house. I participate in an event with my home-schooled grandchildren and my oldest daughter. Once a week they gather either at my house or their own to read poetry, sip tea, enjoy a snack and then work on an art project. Generally the art projects are focused on curriculum. Other times sewing projects are thrown in for fun. My daughter chooses the activity for the gathering. I’m there to enjoy and assist as needed. Here’s some photos from previous Tea & Art adventures.

Thank goodness I verified the time with my watch because the clock was not only behind, but it had completely stopped. Apparently the batteries had expired. Who knew!

Hurriedly I finished the pressing, shut everything off and quickly closed my studio. I had just enough time to tidy up my kitchen and dining room and prepare for our activities. My improv project was just going to have to wait. Time to make tea!

Thank You!

This brings to a close the beginnings of AQ # 33. There is much work yet to be accomplished. Be watching for further updates. Thank you for sharing your time.


Please Note: If you would like to read about my Tea & Art adventures click on the category Tea and Art, An Activity. There you will find a list of the postings I have shared.

Tea and Art: Project Complete

Saw Tooth Star –

I love spending time with my grandchildren. Way back on September 21, 2015 I posted a story about a project we participated in. During our special day the children finished making three saw tooth star blocks.

Left unfinished were the bindings. Binding is one of my daughter’s least favorite things to do so I volunteered to add them.

Procrastination? –

Obviously quite a bit of time has passed since my original post. If I had simply set this project aside because of a bad case of procrastination I would be embarassed to even bring you up-to-date. But an endless stream of life experiences, both good and bad, left this tiny project languishing on my shelf. I’m so glad to be able to get back to finishing them up.

Binding –

To make binding these squares a little easier my daughter had cut, stitched, pressed and rolled together a large roll of binding. Using that neatly prepared resource it was easy to machine stitch the binding to the front side of each block. I then flipped the blocks over to reveal the back side, folded the binding to the back, pressed them in place and secured it with my clips.  With needle and thread I hand stitched the edge of the binding down.

Drum roll please…….

I’m happy to say they are finally finished. Here they are!

Cindy Anderson at In A Stitch Quilting


Tea and Art: Saw Tooth Star

Fun With My Grandchildren

Tea & Art is an activity I participate in with my oldest daughter and her three children. During the school year we make an attempt to get together on as many Tuesdays as possible. Sometimes the event is carried through into the summer.

Let’s Do It At My House!

I volunteered to host this session of Tea & Fart at my home. On the menu was of course a variety of teas, one to suit everyone’s taste buds, plus a yummy dessert prepared by my daughter.

IMG_9036_newOn the activity agenda was the reading of poetry and a previously chosen project. The item we would be making was a a quilt square. The theme for the quilt square was the Civil War. My daughter home schools her kiddos. Part of the curriculum this year is the study of the Civil War. Used as the resource material is the book The Civil War for Kids.

IMG_9040_newWhich Pattern?

To commemorate their studies my daughter picked the Sawtooth Star, also known as North Star block. The pattern and instructions were found at I donated the fabric from my stash. My daughter prepared, cut and marked the fabric pieces beforehand. The Sawtooth Star is a fairly simple block to make, especially with adult supervision.

Help From the Kids

Mr. J, my oldest grandchild, did most of his own machine stitching. This wasn’t his first exposure to operating a sewing machine so he did quite well.

IMG_9051Miss L, my second grandchild had never operated a sewing machine before. Since it was her first time it was very slow going. As you can see from the photo she concentrated very hard on stitching a straight line. With my assistance and a bit of tearing out of stitches the two of us managed to complete her block.

My third grandchild, Miss M, is two years younger than her sister. Her age and her size make it somewhat difficult for her to run the machine by herself. However, she worked diligently at learning the art of guiding fabric, operating the foot pedal and keeping her fingers and hands out of the needles path. In spite of her age and lack of experience she still managed to sew at least one row of stitches.


Time to Press

You can’t learn how to sew without learning how to press seams. All three of my grandkids took their turn at that as well. Only one of them had first-hand experience with the heat of an iron on skin.

Two Hours Later

After about two hours we were successful at assembling all three quilt blocks. All we have left to do now is the quilting and binding. Those activities were postponed until a later date. Below are photos of all three blocks.


As further progress occurs I will share an update.

Cindy Anderson