This Way I and This Way II, A Renovation


why

As I begin to record another journal entry, I can’t help but feel so blessed and energized by the opportunity to share with you my love of art. This blog was started in 2012. Since its inception I’ve added over 900 posts. The entry I am recording today is the fourteenth in a series I call Operation Renovation. I initiated the discussion to distract my attention from the ongoing Covid 19 “stay at home order” and to retrofit a number of my art pieces for mounting on canvas. With thirteen projects already tackled let’s move on to # 14 and 15.

A little history

Back in May, 2016, I attended a multi-day class taught by Rayna Gilman, an improv fiber artist, at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. Using the knowledge I gained I created a number of fabric building blocks; many of them were combined to form Crossroads, Art Piece # 10.

Crossroads, Art Piece # 10
Crossroads, Art Piece # 10

One of the remaining blocks became the inspiration for This Way I, Art Piece # 7, and This Way II, Art Piece # 8. Let’s take a look at both projects.

If we lay them side by side you will notice that they have obvious similarities. While they are not mirror images, you can see where the original block was sliced vertically. The left section became This Way I while the other This Way II. Both were surrounded by a soft blue border, finished with facings, hanging sleeve and label. They remained in that condition until now.

retrofitting

This Way I and This Way II were similar in size. This Way I measured 10 3/4” x 14 1/4” while This Way II was 9 1/2” x 15 1/2”. The process of retrofitting both involved stripping away their facings, hanging sleeve, etc. Next I whacked away at their blue borders until they were nearly identical in size. To spruce up their appearance I chose three different colored fabrics. First to be added was a burnt orange. Giving the smoky orange competition is a jazzy gold. Last to be added was a fruity purple with printed flowers. Each color was chosen to bring attention to those already incorporated in the pieced center. The purple, although primarily visible on the perpendicular edges gives each fiber art quilt a joyful pop of color.

The final measurements for the two partners is 16” x 20”. Both were embellished with straight line quilting in the burnt orange border and a grouping of wavy lines in the jazzy gold.

assigning an identity

The names given to identify the fiber art quilts resulted because of the colorful angled strips used in the assembling of their centers. Those strips reminded me of the directional arrows one might observe on a road sign. The sign provides guidance on how to proceed just as I felt the angled strips were advising me. Since there are two siblings I decided to make their names unique by adding a I and a II at the end.

thank you!

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.

About Cindy

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 use this blog to share glimpses of my art and the environment in which it is created. Most of my art pieces are available for purchase. You may see a sampling of them at Raven’s Wish Gallery in Janesville, Wisconsin.

My art is periodically on display in a variety of venues. To learn about my current exhibits you may send an email to cindy [at] inastitchquilting [dot] com

Now go and create your own masterpiece. With warm hugs…

Cindy Anderson

Canvas Mounted Fabric Art Part Two


Most fabric art pieces have raw edges that require finishing. I’ve used a variety of techniques to accomplish this task. My newest and most interesting method is to mount the project onto pre-stretched canvas.

I recently shared two posts titled Should I and I Think It Was Successful. Contained within those narratives were details about my thought process as well as photos. As curious as I was about the technique I thought it possible that you might be as well and as a result I am embarking on a short series explaining the steps I followed. Here’s a link to the first. Below is the second.

This tutorial assumes that your fiber art piece has been squared up and has four outer edges not protected by a binding, facing or envelope type finish. Rather than using one of those methods we will be mounting the project on pre-stretched canvas.

In an ideal situation your item would fit perfectly on a canvas, with no adjustments. Of course that would mean that you pre-planned the size to accommodate the desired canvas. If your item does not fit that scenario then these instructions will help you to adapt your art piece to make it suitable for mounting. Let’s get started.

Adjusting Your Art Piece to Size

  1. Lay your art piece on a clean dry surface.
  2. Using a rigid ruler determine the length and width of your item.
  3. Next, determine the canvas size you will use to mount your project. You can find pre-stretched canvases to fit just about any budget. I purchase mine from Blick. I’ve tried canvases from the big box stores and even a USA made canvas but the brand I’ve found to be the most accurate in size and quality, for my taste, is the Blick Premier Cotton Canvas.
  4. Once you have chosen your canvas size, compare that with the measurements you made in step three above.
  5. If your project is smaller than the targeted canvas, you will need to add additional fabric. When deciding how much, make sure you take into account the fabric you will need for wrapping around the sides and back edge of the canvas frame. Usually I add eight inches to the length and width. For example: If my fiber art piece measures 20” x 20” and my stretched canvas frame measures 20” x 20” I will need to cut strips that will increase my fiber art piece to 28” x 28.” The wood used to make the frames that I typically purchase have a 1 1/2” depth and 1 1/2” width. Obviously if the depth and width of the wood strips used to make your canvas frame is smaller you could reduce that amount. Once you have had experience with this technique you will know how much wrap around fabric you need for your comfort level. Remember the famous saying: “measure twice, cut once.”
  6. If you do not need to add additional fabric, skip to step 20.
  7. After adding the necessary fabric decide whether you will add batting behind it. If not, skip to step 20.
  8. If you are adding batting you have five options to hold it in place.
  9. a. Do nothing and take your chance. (Drawback: the batting could shift)
  10. b. Use a spray on adhesive. (Drawback: it’s messy)
  11. c. Cut batting to fit and secure it in place with pins. (Drawback: pins can be annoying)
  12. d. Use fusible fleece to adhere your batting to the fabric. (Drawback: adhesive can gum up your sewing machine needle)
  13. e. Rather than fusible fleece you could secure common batting to the back of your added fabric using a fusible web such as Pellon 805. (Drawback: The process takes longer)
  14. I have tried all of the above at one time or another. The thing to remember is that chances are the project you are working with is small in size and therefore not going to take a lot of manipulation to get it ready for mounting. In that case you could gamble and simply lay the batting in place and proceed from there. If, on the other hand, you are a perfectionist like me then I would choose one of the fusibles.
  15. Now that your batting is in place decide whether you will quilt the fabric and batting sandwich. If you are quilting it then now is the time to do that. So far my choice has been to quilt the sandwich.
  16. This next step is optional. After finishing the quilting you have another decision to make. How will you treat the raw edges that extend beyond the batting: Here are three suggestions:
  17. a. Do nothing at all. This option is totally fine if you are going to add a dust cover to the back because nobody will ever see the edge anyway.
  18. b. Run a zig zag stitch around the outer edges.
  19. c. Turn under and machine stitch the outer edges.
  20. Options 18b and 19c prevent the raw edges from unraveling. However, just as with 17a, if you are adding a dust cover neither one is necessary. So far my choice has been to turn under and machine stitch the outer edges. I like the professional appearance of the finished edge.
  21. Your item is now ready to be mounted on a canvas. The instructions for this procedure will be included in a future installment. Included below are a few photos taken while prepping one of my fiber art pieces for mounting. The very last one is of my art quilt all ready to go.

I hope that this set of instructions has helped to simplify the process. Once you have tackled it for the first time your confidence will sore and your interest in using this method will be an easy one. If you have questions about my instructions or would like to see additions or corrections made, feel free to include them in a comment.

The third chapter in this series will be published soon. Don’t forget that you can receive updates automatically if you become a follower of my journal.

Until next time, warm wishes for a wonderful day!

© 2012-2020 Cindy (Olp) Anderson and In A Stitch Quilting

Art Piece 98: Retro Vibes


Continuing in my series of polyester stretch velvet art is the addition of this little gem. Named Retro Vibes because of its jazzy appearance this 7 3/4” x 9 3/4” art piece is the third item in line.

Art Piece # 98: Retro Vibes

Compared to Around and Around and Mint Shake this project involved very little melting. I primarily used an iron and a fusible product to meld the velvet sections together. To mimic the silver sequins, seen on the soft blue fabric, I added circular white buttons as well as silver beads. Three purple beads and a matching colored Perle Cotton thread were incorporated to echo the purple polyester stretch velvet. Also integrated was mint green Perle Cotton thread to bring more focus to the like colored stretch velvet. Rounding out the doodads is a very fine layering of fused sparkly threads. The last stage of this project was to add borders, quilting, etc.

Retro Vibes is a wonderful addition to my polyester stretch velvet experiment. Keep watching for the fourth member in this series.

Warm regards,