I’ve been meandering through my inventory of finished, original art pieces choosing and revealing them in random order. I’m normally a very organized, methodical person so this flies against my normal behavior. Perhaps it’s my way of stretching my boundaries.
Let’s get started with today’s reveal.
Another One Is Finished!
Throughout the adventure of creating blocks for my Mystery QAL art piece I created 40 different units.
Thirty-two of them found a home in my largest original art piece Neighbors, AP # 37,
Six of them make up Disjointed, AP # 36
One was used in At An Angle, AP # 34 and the remaining block has been called
Bubbles, AP # 38
Let’s Take A Look
Measuring 13 1/4” x 13 3/4” this piece is fairly small in size. I chose to single it out to be used as an individual art piece because I thought it had enough character to stand on its own. The angular lines of the center section contrast nicely with the circular movement in many of the other fabrics.
The center of the wonky log cabin block was a leftover scrap from one of my earlier art pieces. I’m glad that I saved the remnant because it makes a great addition to this one. While you wouldn’t be as familiar with the other fabrics as I am, I can identify many other connections. In a way this tiny original art piece takes me on a trip down memory lane.
Making the original art piece much larger are the surrounding two borders. The first is a shade of magenta and the second is one of the Grunge Basics fabrics named Faded Denim. I’m a big fan of the Grunge fabric line. Their mottled appearance adds so much texture to everything its added to.
I bet you can figure out why I named this piece Bubbles. That’s right; you guessed it! The circles repeated throughout many of the fabrics were the inspiration for the name. They were the first identifying trait that drew my attention.
The little bubbles brought back memories of the summers I spent with my children. I could visualize them actively blowing soap bubbles through those little plastic wands so many of us are familiar with. I know it’s probably a cheesy name but it’s the first thing that popped into my head and typically that’s usually the name I go with. There is no sense in spending too much time over-thinking it.
The Back Side
To wrap this tour up let me share a few final details. This original art piece was quilted with a straight-line motif using a variegated King Tut thread. The edges of my art piece are protected by facings fashioned from the same fabric as the backing. Also attached is a hanging sleeve and a label.
We made it through another successful original art piece reveal. I hope that you enjoyed reading the history behind Bubbles! I certainly appreciated your attention and your willingness to stick with me until the end. Thank YOU for sharing in this experience. I look forward to our next visit. 🙂
Do you ever come across fabric combinations, while searching for a specific project, that just seem to be meant for one-another? So often I get sidetracked during those expeditions by accidental piles that grab my attention. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you!
Crossroads, AP # 22, The Beginning
Crossroads, AP # 22
I’ve had this happy accident occur on more that one occasion. Shown above, on the left, is a grouping of fabrics I stumbled upon a while ago. Those fabrics eventually became Crossroads, Art Piece # 22 (pictured on the right).
Candidates # 1 and # 2
While scrounging through my fabric scraps recently, these two piles of fabric caught my eye.
A Dark, A Medium and A Light
Blues and Greens
The grouping on the left I’ve named A Dark, A Medium and A Light. At the bottom of the pile is a grouping of blocks I had previously stitched together. They were part of an assignment I had during my Rayna Gillman class in May of 2016.
To teach us how to analyze our art pieces for their light, medium and dark tones Rayna gave us an assignment. The assignment was limited to no more than four colors. Each color had to be analyzed for its color value. Within those four colors we needed a light, a medium and a dark. I chose yellow, white, red and green for mine.
Ever since that class my piece has been sitting in my unfinished pile. When I came across the above fabrics I just knew I had to find that neglected art piece and add it to the family. I can’t wait to see what I can create with this grouping.
Blue, Green and Yellow
The small grouping of blues, greens and yellows are the other candidates I’ve singled out. One can only imagine what this pairing will look like when it is finished.
What If Moments
Well, there’s my peak at the possibilities for two more art pieces. These what if moments are the sparks that keep my journey exciting! I can’t wait to see where my imagination will lead me.
Thank YOU so much for allowing me to share my daydreams! Your participation makes these adventure even more interesting.
I’m in my studio, no music on, sitting in my comfy rolling chair thinking about my Bits and Pieces. I’ve been working on this thing for days now and yet there is something about it that doesn’t sit right. Just when I think things are going great and I see the finish line ahead, the train goes off the track. This train hasn’t just gone off the track, no this train has returned to the station. sigh Yup, that’s right! I’m back at the drawing board. This is how my quilt looked the last time we were together.
I really thought I had something going here. I had already sewn many of the blocks together into sections but there was something about it that didn’t feel right. Most of the fabrics I used came from the same company, Handloom Batiks, while the others were retrieved from my fabric stash. The solids were obviously from my stash as well as the red fabric in the bottom right corner, the orange woven fabric with the red floral pattern and the golden fabric with the red scribbles. I was pretty much resigned to leave the solid colors in place. Removing them from the mix would be a huge undertaking and I definitely was not up to that challenge. The print fabrics, though, were definitely doable. So, believe it or not my mission today was to eradicate those from my quilt.
Time to Take it Apart
One by one I took the sections down from my design wall and began disassembling it. I removed all of the stitching that held the various blocks together. Now that doesn’t mean I took absolutely everything apart. Heavens, I think I would have to have my head examined if I did that. 🙂 Just the stitching between the blocks was removed. Not all of the seams were carefully taken apart with a seam ripper either. I did take a shortcut or two with my rotary cutter. snicker The amount of fabric I lost by using the rotary method was so minimal but way faster. The less time I could spend on destruction the better. My gears were itching to turn the corner and get back to positive progress.
Once all the blocks were separated and stacked into a pile it was time to rethink my direction. Now that I had eliminated the use of outside fabrics, other than solids, I needed to find a way to be resourceful. The amount of fabrics included in the scrap bag was, for obvious reasons, limited so there was no room for wastefulness. I have been reading Sherri Lynn Wood’s book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. On page 67 she talks about “Making Do.” Let me quote her words:
More often that not, contemporary quilt makers collect a lot of fabric. On the surface, this may seem like a design advantage, but in actuality, this abundance of choice can become overwhelming. On the flip side, when you are forced to innovate with what you have and you do not have a lot, your improvisational skills are honed. One way to create the aesthetic opportunity to make do, even if your fabric stash is hefty, is to purposely limit your fabric amounts on the tight side at the outset of a project.
Note: the emphasis added to selected words in the quote is of my doing.
What’s the Big Deal?
I am so totally guilty of “collecting a lot of fabric.” I always thought the quilter that died with the largest fabric stash won! Just kidding! 🙂 My huge inventory can be overwhelming. With so many choices it’s often hard to eliminate options. It’s like trying to eliminate someone from a team or a group. Even though the dirty deed needs to be done it is hard because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I can just see you rolling your 👀. You are thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Fabric is an inanimate object. It is incapable of emotion. I know, I know. sigh! But in my little head it does. 🙂
Anyway, getting back to the quote, not only had I made the decision, at the onset, to try and use all of the fabrics in the scrap bag, but I had also now added the challenge to make do or limit my fabric options. This meant I had to get creative. There were obvious holes that needed plugging in my design and my scrap inventory was drastically low. So, get creative I did. Here’s a photo of my quilt in its current state.
You may notice quite a few differences. This is what changed:
The print fabrics that were not included in the scrap bag have, for the most part, been eliminated.
Some of the blocks have been redesigned. Especially the one in the top left corner.
Twelve blocks are brand new.
99.9% of the new blocks were created with fabric from the scrap bag and added solids.
The block arrangement is different.
I must admit I had fun creating the additional segments. I was bound and determined to use as many of the tiny scraps as possible so I drew upon my knowledge of quilting to even make a paper pieced block.
There were times when I got really nervous about not having enough fabric. This happened at the very end. My inventory was so low. All I really had left were itty-bitty scraps and of course my solids. Just when I thought I was going to have to resort to the solids I happened to pull out my rolling cart. There in the top bin was a fairly good sized piece of useable fabric. Oh how I breathed a sigh of relief! My discovery meant I would be able to fill in all the gaps and finally call my piece finished.
To coin an American phrase, “The Goose is Cooked.” If you are not familiar with this idiom let me put it another way, “It is FINISHED.” Hip Hip Hooray! Yippie! 🙂 Does that help?
Throughout all of these six posts I have yet to explain the origin of the name. Though, you haven’t asked either!!! What gives with that? Aren’t you curious? 🙂 Don’t think I haven’t been dieing to tell you. I have but I thought I would wait until the end. So, this is where it came from.
When I purchased my small bag of fabric scraps there was a ribbon tied around the top of the bag cinching it tightly closed. Attached to that ribbon was this tiny piece of paper. As you can tell from the photo the words “Bits and Pieces” were written in ink. This little tag gave me the inspiration to call my newest art piece Bits and Pieces. Kind of corny I know. But hey, nobody ever said names had to come from a magical place.
Gotta Do It!
I’ve had a great time sharing the creative journey I took to birth Bits and Piece, AQ # 33. Along the way there were some highs and some lows but in the end I was triumphant. I managed to almost accomplish my goal of limiting my fabrics. I’m pretty proud of my “gotta do it” determination. My improvisational brain is going to take a bit of a breather for a while. I think I’ve worn myself out. 🙂
Let me pose the often heard phrase, “So what do you think?” Is it a keeper or not?
Thank you for sharing this time with me! I look forward to our frequent visits. Who knows where my art-filled adventure will take us next?
Oh, I almost forgot! You are probably wanting to read the first five posts in this journey. Let me share them with you.