Relaxed Fit, Art Piece 112

What do you think of when you hear the words relaxed fit? For me it conjures up a comfy pair of denim blue jeans. Now what do those two words have to do with the art piece I am about to reveal? Read on and you will see.

June, 2019 I had the opportunity to attend QSDS (Quilt, Surface and Design Symposium) at the college of arts in Columbus, Ohio. It was the second time I attended their summer program. One of the instructors I chose to study under was Lisa Binkley. Lisa is a fiber artist from Wisconsin. She is well known for her eco-dyed fabrics, elaborate beading and hand stitching. Even though I know Lisa personally and can visit her locally I decided to attend her two-day class.

The name of her class was In the Boro Sprit. If you have read my last two posts about additions to my portfolio then you are aware of my recent exposure to the technique known as Boro stitching. The posts A Boro Collage, Art Piece # 110 and Black, White and Gray, Art Piece # 111 both discuss items I have made following that practice.

During Lisa’s class she discussed the characteristics of a Boro item, shared examples of its application and gave demonstrations of the stitching. During the remainder of the class we applied our knowledge by creating our own brand new art piece.

Along with items from our own inventory we were encouraged to include specimens from Lisa’s array of fabrics. One of the items I decided to include was from a pair of my old blue jeans. The jeans, well-worn and tattered from hours of use, had the label containing the trade brand of Relaxed Fit. Lisa often uses labels from discarded clothing to embellish her projects. Following in my teacher’s footsteps, I too decided to do the same. The label caught my eye because it reminded me of the relaxed nature (raw-edged appearance) of the scraps that would potentially be added to my piece. From that moment on I just knew it would receive a predominant place on my art quilt.

Relaxed Fit was assembled using pieces of denim from my old blue jeans (you can still see the stains from hours of gardening on my knees), sections of eco-dyed fabrics I made while attending one of Lisa’s other classes, scraps of silk organza leftover from previous projects, segments of lace harvested from larger items, fragments of old neck ties, hints of the old quilt secured on the back, and kantha cloth I purchased from the internet (kantha cloth is fragments of old saris layered on top of one another then hand-stitched together). Sandwiched beneath my fabric design is a section of an old quilt I rescued from oblivion years ago.

The many layers that comprise my fiber art piece were hand-stitched together using complimentary colors of Perle cotton thread. No attempt was made to hide knots either on top, inside or on the bottom of my art quilt. In some places threads were deliberately unraveled and left to dangle freely. As you peruse the surface of the quilt you will also discover lengths of Perle cotton that extend beyond anchoring knots. They too add elements of design not seen in a typical quilt. Surrounding all four sides is a binding of black cotton fabric.

A glance at the back of this amazingly unique art piece reveals the erratic twists and turns taken by my stitching. Without the distraction of multi-colored fabrics, the individual stitches are allowed to exude their own art element. Also included on the back is a fabric sleeve for hanging as well as a label with identifying features. This unique one-of-a-kind fiber art piece is incredibly soft. The nature of the used fabrics combined with the backing of the old quilt meld together to create the pleasing softness.

All of the distinguishing features of Relaxed Fit, Art Piece # 112 have made this an art piece that outshines any other.

This fiber art piece has made a wonderful addition to my portfolio. I am so grateful that you were here to join in my reveal.

With warm wishes for a wonderful 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.

The Blue Door, AP # 66

Being Stretched

Since May 2016 I have had the amazing opportunity to attend classes at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. While there I have studied under Rayna Gillman, Lisa Binkley, and Pam Beal. Pam taught the class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact.

Opening oneself up to new ideas can be scary and exciting at the same time.

Pam’s class stretched me in ways that made me feel uncomfortable. She nudged me to think outside the box, use unconventional materials and incorporate blank or negative space.

The small expressions of art that developed from those trying moments will be the focus of my attention over the next several postings.

First Up

The first to take shape was Blue Door.

Blue Door, AP # 66
Blue Door, AP # 66

Near the center is a stitched together grouping of blue and teal strips. The denim colored pieces were the inspiration for my small quilt’s name. They are the doorway to my new adventure.

By attending this class I was in essence opening a new door.

A door that led me into a hallway filled with apprehension, inspiration and intrigue.

How fitting to name the first minimalist art quilt to evolve from Pam’s class

Blue Door.

A Closer Look

Let’s take an even closer look.

Immediately surrounding the door are two thin strips of a soft gray fabric. Those slivers of light surrounding the door represent the opportunities just waiting to burst through and enlighten my exploration.

Apprehension

Next to the rays of light are black fabric. The black symbolizes the apprehension I often feel before I open new doors. As my heart beats faster and my muscles begin to tighten I feel as if I’m surrounded by darkness…unable to focus.

The Handle

In the lower right corner is a small green rectangle. This added pop of color is the handle to my door.

Stitched on top of the green fabric is an iridescent bead. The bead, with its shiny facade, beckons me to open the door.

Aha Moments

I reach for the door and turn the knob. As the door creaks open the fog or darkness begins to fade and is replaced by an even brighter light. The bright light that expands my way of thinking is represented by the two larger strips of the same soft gray fabric.

Filtering through the bright light are the “aha” moments when the uncertainty begins to unravel. Understanding new concepts is not something that happens all at once. The learning comes slowly. Those glimmers or breakthroughs are identified by the blue and teal print fabrics.

Hand Quilting

Throughout the entire miniature art quilt you will see rows of carefully placed hand stitching. The thread colors selected were meant to quietly compliment the fabrics without drawing unnecessary attention.

Finishing Touches

Blue Door, AP # 66 measures 12” long and 8 3/4” wide. A single layer of cotton batting secretly rests between the quilt top and the black cotton backing. A sleeve for hanging and a label were added to the back.

New Opportunities

The process of creating my small art quilt took me on a journey that opened opportunities for greater growth in my exploration of the arts. I’m very pleased with its outcome.

Your Reaction Please!

Now that you have met Blue Door what are your thoughts?

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