Art Piece 95: Exploring Shapes

A friend of mine asked me to choose a project for both of us to work on simultaneously. She lives about two and one half hours away; the traveling distance meant we would work on our projects independently. The deadline for the completion of the item was February, 2019. I was assigned the task of choosing the general guidelines. I selected red, teal and black for the must use colors. I also encouraged my partner to utilize the techniques outlined in Cindy Grisdela’s book Artful Improv.

Before the month was over I had this lovely specimen completed. Measuring 24” x 22” Exploring Shapes, Art Piece 95 easily met all of the requirements.

Exploring Shapes, Art Piece 95

If you have really great eye sight you might be able to read the placard displayed above my art quilt. On the card is the details of my project. This art piece was part of my September, 2019 solo exhibit at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin. Exploring Shapes is currently on display in my home.

Best wishes for a pleasant and productive day!

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.

Disjointed, AP # 36

The Harvest

The process of designing and creating my Mystery QAL piece took many, many days and harvested not one, not two but four new art pieces. They are:

  • At An Angle, AP (Art Piece) # 34
  • Disjointed, AP # 36
  • Neighbors, AP # 37
  • Bubbles, AP # 38

Each one of these original art pieces will receive their own introduction. Being revealed today is Disjointed.

Todays Specimen

This piece resulted from the experiments I did while exploring Cindy Grisdela’s book Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free-Motion Quilting. On page 47 she introduces her reader to Improv Circles. With her book open on my cutting table I used her easy-to-read directions to create six blocks.

Mystery-QAL-Day-Three-Design-Wall
Day 3 of my Mystery QAL Project

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.

Color Combos

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!!

Too Special!

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.

Disjointed, AP # 36
Disjointed, AP # 36

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.

Looking Behind

So, would you like to see how the back turned out; here’s a photo.

Disjointed, AP # 36 Back
Disjointed, AP # 36 Backing

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.

Finishing Touches

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.

The Details

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. 🙂

Thank YOU!

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.

Talk with you soon!

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