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.
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.
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.
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.
I appreciate your interest in my activities and your willingness to read this journal to the very end! Your participation has made my day!
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.
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.
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.
Do you see what I am talking about?
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”. You will find it available for purchase in my online store.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
I’ve been known to assign some very odd names to my art pieces; case in point this one. Who calls an art quilt MOO? Obviously me! A gal has to have a little fun doesn’t she!
Want to know what inspired me to use this name? If you look really closely at the right side of the pieced center you will notice a strip of dark blue fabric. Repeatedly printed on the material is the word moo. The presence of that simple three letter word gave me the idea for my art quilt’s name.
the project continues
Out of a desire to overcome my frustrations with the “stay at home covid 19” directive I decided to occupy my time with Operation Renovation. So what is Operation Renovation? I love making changes; whether it be to my home decor, my hair or my wardrobe it all helps to keep things fresh and exciting. The same concept can be applied to my art. Even though I have an inventory of fiber art quilts that are already finished that doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Almost anything can be changed. With that mindset I decided to select a grouping of small finished fabric art pieces to retrofit for mounting on a stretched canvas. The journey to accomplish that task is called Operation Renovation.
the next subject
One would think that after successfully renovating eleven of my art quilts that I would have exhausted the possible candidates. Oh but quite the contrary! Including today’s subject I have at least eight more.
The item I’m sharing in this journal entry is a fraternal twin to my last project On The Diagonal I. So far we know the reason why Moo, Art Piece # 9 was given its name and that it has a partner but what else can we learn; let’s figure that out.
the nitty gritty
Moo was one of nine projects created way back in 2016. The base, or pieced center, was harvested from a much larger building block. The first section of that block was used to create On The Diagonal I and the remaining portion was utilized for Moo.
To adapt Moo for mounting on a stretched canvas frame I first had to strip away the facings, hanging sleeve and label. After exposing the four raw edges I began making plans for the next steps.
In its original form, Moo measured 10 1/4” x 14 1/2”. The targeted size I wanted to achieve was 16” x 20”. To accomplish those dimensions additional fabric had to be added to both the top/bottom edges as well as both sides. I was able to succeed with that mission by incorporating two new borders.
The First border
The first border was created from a lime green fabric with aqua polka dots. Regular readers of my journal have become very familiar with my craving for dotted fabrics. Finding the aqua polka dotted material was a win, win situation. Not only did it add one of my favorite elements but it also incorporated two of my favorite colors.
the second border
The second border was fashioned from a multi-toned, delightfully ripe, purple batik. The colors in both this fabric as well as that of the first border are replicated in numerous areas of the pieced center. This techniques is important because it provides a path for the eye to travel around the art piece rather than remaining stagnate in one area. The replication also brings unity to the design and overall visual impact.
Before stapling the newly outfitted quilt to the stretched canvas frame I stitched rows of quilting on the two new borders. On the polka dotted border I stitched a simple straight line motif and on the outer border I added flowing lines of quilting. All of the stitching was done using color coordinated threads.
the final piece
After completing the renovation process I decided to give Moo a new identity. Since it originated from the same building block as On The Diagonal I I wanted to acknowledge that by giving Moo a similar name. From here on out Moo will be known as On The Diagonal II, Art Piece # 9. The phrase “On The Diagonal” is a reference to the numerous diagonally placed strips of fabric found in the body of the art quilt.
After revealing most of the newly added design features I think it is time to share a before and after photo. Take a look!
I can’t sign off without expressing my sincere appreciation for your interest in my journal and the many projects I share. Your participation is absolutely necessary to the continued success of this platform. With much certainty, I am confident that you have questions or comments you would like to contribute. Thank you in advance for sharing them.
The world of art has always brought me joy. From my childhood explorations with chalk and paint to my creations using fabric and thread, I have utilized art as my vehicle to stretch my wings and explore the world around me.
My favorite art form has been given many names; I know it as “free-form” quilting. This direction has taken me on a journey resulting in the formation of more than 200 art pieces. Most of them center strictly around the manipulation of fabric. Some of the later pieces have added elements of hand stitchery. All of them have brought me an immense sense of joy.
I’m working on a renovation project. My goal is to breathe new life into a long list of fiber art quilts. All of the chosen items will receive not only a facelift but also be adapted to mount on a pre-stretched canvas.
The first item to receive my attention is an art quilt previously known as Paws For A Moment. I chose that name because sections of it were harvested from an unfinished Bear Paw quilt top. Those sections were then combined with an array of boldly colored fabrics.
After stripping away the binding, hanging sleeve and label I began shopping my inventory for fabrics to compliment this piece. I chose three: a raspberry floral batik, a teal Grunge and a sour apple green. All of them were selected because they were colors already present in the original design. The new borders were accented with straight-line stitching using color-coordinated threads. The refashioned fiber art quilt was then attached to a pre-stretched canvas frame.
As I stood back and admired my newly renovated project I couldn’t help but smile at its explosion of color. The vibrant pallet brought back memories of the rainbow sherbet I used to eat as a child. This childhood memory inspired me to give Paws For A Moment a new name. Here after it shall be known as Rainbow Sherbet, Art Piece # 2.
How’s that for a radical transformation! Any thoughts?