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!

Cobblestones, AP # 80

Today I am sharing another finished art piece. This one is called Cobblestones, AP # 80.

While in Ohio at the 2017 Quilt Surface and Design Symposium (QSDS) I used my spare time to document my visit through photographs. One of the photos I took was of an exposed section of cobblestones peaking through a layer of bricks and asphalt. The photo provided inspiration for my Cobblestones quilt.

A Cobblestone Street

Cobblestone features an off-centered grouping of tiny colorful squares enveloped by strips of a soft mint colored fabric. The tiny squares, or artistically replicated cobblestones, were quilted with minimally spaced, hand-applied stitches. The soft mint fabric sections were quilted with matching thread using both machine and hand stitching. Cobblestone measures 10 x 4 1/2”.

This very simple masterpiece initially took shape during Pam Beal’s class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. The finishing touches were applied in my studio at home. If Pam were to see it today I believe she would say that it definitely fits into the minimalist category. Here’s my finished piece.

Cobblestones, AP # 80

Thank You for sharing your time!

Time to Confess

I’m always looking for unique items to add to my arsenal of art supplies. I say “art” because I consider quilting, no matter what method you use, to be an art. On several recent occasions I had the opportunity to add an item or two. I know I’ve made a commitment to down-size through consumption but sometimes I just can’t help myself!

In June, while attending a class at the QSDS (Quilt Surface Design Symposium), I fell head-over-heels into the snare of a pop-up vendor called Fiber on a Whim. This vendor knew exactly what she was doing when she stocked her tiny space. Being in the creative mindset, brought on by the school’s atmosphere, probably didn’t help my cause. In spite of the mantra, “I will not buy supplies,” circulating through my head, I fell victim.

Purchased from this vendor were many of these items.

QSDS Purchases.jpg

I say many because some of them I won while participating, on the last night of the school, in the door prize event. I don’t have a specific plan mapped out for each item. Some may simply remain untouched, acting as decorations for my studio. Who knows!

Lets unpack the basket. Inside are the following:

Threads to be used in my art quilt beading purchased from Fiber on a Whim

Hand-Dyed Sari Silk, Ric Rac, and Lace purchased from Fiber on a Whim

Fiber on a Whim Fabrics
Hand-Dyed Cheesecloth, Hand-Dyed Linen, Hand-Dyed Crinkle Silk, Hand-Dyed Silk, and Hand-Dyed Cotton purchased from Fiber on a Whim

Silk Carrier Rods
Hand-Dyed Carrier Rods purchased from Fiber on a Whim

Silk Play Pack
Silk Play Pack: Silk Hankie, Silk Cocoons, Silk Carrier Rods, Ribbon, Throwsters Waste purchased from Fiber on a Whim

A Roll of Wire and Flowers
Small Flowers for Embellishment purchased from Fiber on a Whim and a Roll of Wire purchased from Vintage Bliss

Also purchased from Fiber on a Whim, but not included in the basket, was these two stacks of Hand-dyed burlap and the small roll of wool. The gingham burlap, sitting behind the wool, was purchased from Vintage Bliss.

Burlap and Wool
Hand-Dyed Burlap and Wool from QSDS/Fiber on a Whim and Gingham Burlap from Vintage Bliss

One of my favorite places to snatch-up vintage items, among other goodies, is Vintage Bliss. Purchased from their store were these two items

Burlap and Crochet
Crocheted Table Runner and a Roll of Burlap Purchased from Vintage Bliss

The crocheted table runner and the burlap will be cut into sections and incorporated into my art pieces.

I made a trip to a local fabric store looking for solids and came home with these two packages of charm squares.

Charm Packs
Charm Squares Purchased from Loose Threads for my Art Quilts

Last but not least was this stack of Kona solids, four fat-quarters a cheery button and a small pile of colorful zipper pulls acquired from the Electric Needle.

Solids, Fat Quarters & Zipper Pulls
Kona Solids, Four Fat-Quarters, A Sunny Button and a small pile of Zipper Pulls all purchased from the Electric Needle

You can obviously figure out how I might use the solids as well as the fat-quarters. The button was just for fun. I will add it to my fabric name tag.

Name Tag
Quilt Guild Name Tag

As I browsed the Electric Needle I spied a small container holding a stash of pastel colored zipper pulls. I couldn’t help smiling when I saw them. Who but me would have a light-bulb moment. I’m always on a quest to find unusual items suitable for attaching to art quilts. Once I saw these zipper pulls I just knew I had to add them to my bead and button box.

Bead Box
Beads galore from various vendors

They will someday make a wonderful addition to an art quilt.

Well that’s the end of my confession. I bet you thought it was never going to end. Me either! That’s what I get for waiting so long. At least I have a clear conscience now. 🙂 LOL!

Time to make something with all these goodies!

Cindy Anderson