A New Direction


Welcome 2020!

The last time I made an entry in my blog was right before my solo exhibit; I’ll share more about that in the future. 2019 was a year filled with boundless activity. I had the awesome privilege of experiencing several enriching classes. The first was in May taught by Susan Lenz. Then came Lisa Binkley and Kevin Womack at the Columbus, Ohio College of Arts. In August I attended a two day class at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton; the instructor was Sherri Lynn Wood. September gave me the opportunity to not only learn from Sue Benner but also Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Both of those adventures were at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. My year of learning then drew to a close with Susan Carlson, which was also at the Woodland Ridge Retreat.

All of the classes touched me in ways I won’t soon forget. My exposure to the world of fiber arts was expanded and as a result so too was my enthusiasm. The friendships I made through the interactions with my fellow students will be with me for the rest of my life. I was awed by their amazing talents.

With 2019 behind me it is time to look ahead to this years excursions. Once again l I will return to Woodland Ridge Retreat to learn from Kathy Doughty in April and Sherri Lynn Wood in July. Both classes will stretch me in ways I have yet to experience.

As you may have noticed the title of today’s post is A New Direction. The new direction I am referring to is the decision I made in 2019 regarding the substance of my business. In 2012 I bought a long-arm quilting machine and began using it to provide professional long-arm quilting services to my many loyal customers. Late last year I decided to terminate my long-arm quilting business and utilize my machine for my own purposes. The closing of that door did not mean In A Stitch Quilting would cease to exist, however. Rather than pack everything up and call it quits I decided to focus my attention on selling my art to the public.

My studio has been a flurry of activity preparing, creating and finalizing the items I hope to market. As of now my plans are to offer mainly small works of art (8” x 10”) along with a line of greeting cards. Potentially included will be items from my existing portfolio. I hope to begin offering them sometime in February. The location(s) will be announced when the details have been finalized.

One never knows what tomorrow or even today will bring. Let’s hope my new direction will be a smashing success.

With warm regards,

Painted Fibers, AP # 86


I have truly been blessed to attend numerous classes at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. If it were not for the continued employment of my husband the opportunities would never have occurred. Today’s story is about another one of my excursions.

Last summer I participated in the Judy Coates Perez, Paint and Print Palooza. I had a wonderful time learning how to dye, print and silk screen fabric.

I Had A Handful

Watching the applications go from start to finish was entertaining.

Folded Fabric Waiting to Dry
All Dried and Opened Up

I even designed and cut out my own foam stamp.

My Own Foam Stamp
The First Print Using My Foam Stamp

I created a minimum of 12 new blocks of fabric. These are two of my favorites.

Rather than point out all of the quilt’s wonderful features I’m going to share them with you through photos. Enjoy!

My First Block Arrangement

Eight of my favorite blocks. Click on any photo to watch a slide show of the gallery.

Last but not least, here is the finished art quilt.

Art Piece # 86: Painted Fibers

I am so pleased with the final version of my art piece. My finished art quilt measures 64 x 47”. Hidden inside this family of blocks are oodles of special features. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the many details.

Thank You for stopping by!

Time to Clean House


In A Stitch Quilting

Cleaning the house can be a lot of work but it looks and feels so good when the task is complete. Every now and then I take a look at my blog to see what needs refreshing and what should be removed. Recently I updated a number of my documents and refreshed the appearance of my blog page. As a result of my efforts I think everything looks cleaner now and more organized.

Some of the items that were changed reside in the uppermost area of my page—often called the Menu. These items provide links to very important information that may not always be noticed. Here’s a list:

Many of the tasks (i.e. the gallery) took a great deal of time. The process of updating or adding my photos to the gallery created a lot of extra posts. You may have noticed a large number of them in your mailbox. I’m sorry if their volume was overwhelming. If I stay on top of this task the frequency of gallery posts should stay minimal. On the other hand the frequent posts not only took care of a housekeeping task but it also gave you another opportunity to see items that you may have missed.

I hope that you will have the opportunity to browse through some, if not all, of the Menu items. If you do I know you won’t be disappointed.

As always, thank you so much for sharing your time!

A Customer Quilt


Ms. G., my longest running customer, was at it again! Just when I think she is finished making quilts for her family and friends she creates yet another one. Her quilts are always so imaginative, so creative.

The specimen she presented recently was made for a young man with many interests. As you will see from the photos he enjoys zombies, Minecraft, the Greenbay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, among other things. She even added a tie and a hand-made block created by the young man.

Ms. G and I put a lot of thought into the thread colors and stitch patterns. Our plan was to choose colors that would blend well with the fabrics and stitch patterns that would accentuate her artistic design. I think we met both of our goals. The quilt measures 72″x 57″. Take a look.

Grams-Brennan
Ms. G’s Quilt for Mr. B.

Grams-Brennan-Back
Ms. G’s Quilt for Mr. B. (Back)

Well, what do you think?

I’m very happy that you were able to stop by to see Ms. G’s latest masterpiece. Thank you Ms. G. for allowing me to work with another one of your projects.

Talk with you soon!

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I Present Art Quilt # 33: Bits and Pieces


Handbloom Batik Scraps

From A Bag of Scraps

From a bag of scraps to a finished item this project has had quite a ride. The top, all by itself, is gorgeous. I just love the soft feel of the fabrics as my fingers lightly stroke their surface. The visual impact of the colors is equally as pleasing. Their varied hues entertain my eyes with an explosive pallet of color.

With three of my senses already engaged, how could this quilt get any better? The answer just has to be quilting! Being the creator of the quilt means I am in-tune with every fiber and every inch of its surface. This connection gives me an advantage when it comes to finishing it. From day one my mind was day dreaming about how I would quilt it. For Bits and Pieces it seemed only natural to compliment its design with straight-lines and geometric shapes.

A Tour

Lets take a look at my Bits and Pieces to see how it turned out.

AQ # 33_ Bits and Pieces-Finished.jpg
Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

I think you will, agree after seeing the above photo, that this is a warm and earthy art piece.

AQ # 33_ Bits and Pieces-Closeup 1
Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33, Closeup # 1

There are so many of my favorite colors represented in the above photo. The bright orange and gold the calming blue and lively green. All of them work together to create a grouping that will continuously draw your eye from one area to another.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 2
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #2

This photo was taken  just slightly east of the previous one. The black and white floral fabric is another of my favorites. I like how the author used only two colors to create this striking, organically flowing design. My love for the fabric can be evidenced by its repetitious placement throughout my piece.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 3
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup # 3

Many of the blocks within Bits and Pieces morphed drastically from their original versions. The two blocks on the right are great examples. Unfortunately since I failed to document their journey I can’t prove it to you. You will just have to believe me.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 4
Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #4

The area captured in this photo can be found north of the previous snapshots. In the bottom left corner is my reformulated log cabin block. I spoke about the block in more than one of my previous posts. Finding a design that the block and I could agree with was a lengthy process. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. This final version is spectacular.

The other blocks in this photo went through their own versions of reincarnation. They too are far more interesting now than their original versions.

AQ #33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 5
Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #5

I love all of the blocks in Bits and Pieces…but if I had to choose a favorite or two, I would nominate these two for that honor. I just adore the bright orange alongside the cooling mist of the blue in the adjacent block. The blue adds pizzazz with it’s bursting white images. Strutting through it’s center is a section of my original strip-pieced fabric.

Bits and Pieces_Stitched Together
Bits and Pieces Stripped Pieced Fabric

The orange block, with it’s unevenly pieced borders, sports an interestingly pieced center section. Smack-dab in the center of the block is another section of my strip-pieced fabric.

AQ #33-Bits and Pieces-Backing
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Backing with its artful quilting

The back of a quilt is not typically something that would draw our focus. From a longarm quilters perspective it’s often the best place to observe our work. With this quilt the solid color allows the abstract stitching to take center stage; there are no patterned fabrics to distract from the design. I’m quite pleased with the reflection I see in my stitching. From this photo can you see that my quilting was just as earthy as the fabrics I aimed to accentuate.

Privilege

I had so much fun photographing this quilt. The fabrics are just so rich and inviting. I know I went way overboard with the quantity of photos that I took. Because I kept my shutter rolling it was so hard narrowing down the number of photos to share. I know that I have only scratched the surface of the possible angles I could have taken. Thankfully, I’m so very proud to have Bits and Pieces hanging in my entryway where I can see it everyday. Anytime I want to get a closeup all I have to do is pause and allow my eyes to take in the beauty of my Bits and Pieces.

A Slow Rendition

Well, there you have it; the finale of my story about Bits and Pieces. It has taken quite a while to get us to this point. Well-thought-out art develops slowly and so too should the telling of its story. There is no need to hurry along. Hasty renditions loose sight of the many important details and as a result the reader looses touch with the impact the author desires to portray.

Handloom Batik Strips
Handloom Batik Fabrics

Enriched Experience

I have been so enriched by the journey Bits and Pieces and I have taken. My exposure to the world of improv art has been enriched through this adventure. Having successfully created another art piece, the experience has fanned the flames that fuel my desire to continue on this path. I hope one day to share my enthusiasm for this piece with the owner of Handloom Batiks. She is ultimately the spark that is responsible for the birth of Bits and Pieces. Without her fabrics my piece would not be as rich in texture and interest.

Woohoo! What a Ride!:)

Your Participation Means A Lot

I hope you have enjoyed following along! I love sharing my time with you and receiving your comments. Thank You for being a faithful follower!

For those that just joined in or those that would like to relive my quilt’s journey I have provided links below to the posts that have woven this story. Please enjoy!

Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

Bits and Pieces: Part Two

Bits and Pieces Part Three

Bits and Pieces Part Four

Bits and Pieces Part Five

Bits and Pieces Part Six

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