This Way I and This Way II, A Renovation


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.


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!

Before closing let me thank you for showing an interest in my activities. I am grateful for your participation and look forward to your comments.

Best wishes for a wonderful day!

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

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.


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?


A QAL Project For Me, Day 6

Day 6

Mystery QAL Day 6, Plan of Attack

With a new day comes a new strategy. Let’s compare the Day 5 and Day 6 design wall photos.

If we divide the right photo into vertical thirds it will be easier to identify the changes.

Let’s look at the left section first. In that area there are three changes to note.

  1. A yellow border was added around the bottom improv circle block.
  2. A blue border was added around the block directly to its right.
  3. The block in the bottom right corner was moved over from the center section.

In the center section the only change made was the addition of a yellow border around the bottom block.

Now, for the right section there are two changes

  1. The improv circle block in the bottom left corner now has a blue border.
  2. A green border was added to the bottom right improv block.

Are You Lost?

Could you stay with me or did I loose you? I really didn’t mean to confuse you if I did. I just thought it would be fun to dissect and compare the two photos. I know I’m a nut when it comes to details, but what can I say! I’m a detailed oriented, spreadsheet packing numbers person. I guess it comes from being a bookkeeper for darn near three decades.

All kidding aside, the process of analyzing your original art piece is a very important exercise. This activity helps to identify the areas that are working as well as the ones that need more attention. Hopefully through careful examination you are able to achieve a much more pleasing outcome.

More Applications

This technique can also be used when selecting your fabrics. Next time you are pulling fabrics for a project lay the fabrics on a surface and take two photos; one in color and one in mono tone. Then compare the two. Ask yourself this question, “Did I achieve an even distribution of light, medium and dark fabrics?” If you can’t answer yes, then rethink your color value choices.

The same principal can be applied when choosing colors for an individual block. Before cutting those fabrics do a color value test. I think you may be surprised at how strongly some of your colors fight against each other and how some of the colors simply get lost because there isn’t enough contrast.

Even if you have already made the investment in fabric, don’t be afraid to make some changes. Better to do it now than press on and be unhappy with your project in the end. If you use this technique, when creating your next block or quilt, I think you will be much happier with the overall outcome.

Let’s Take One More Look

Remember how we did the color value experiment in Day 5? The examination showed obvious issues that needed to be addressed. Well, lets compare a mono print of Days 5 and Days 6 to see how well I did or did not do at finding remedies.

Comparing Day 5, which is on the left, and Day 6, over on the right, at first glance it looks like not too much has changed. However, if I look more closely I can see that even though the blocks are pretty much in their same arrangement the appearance of some of them has changed.

All of the changes took place in the very bottom row. In the left photo pretty much everything reflects a dark value. On the right I see that the blocks have taken on an alternating dark, medium, dark, medium, etc., pattern. By adding a medium valued border to every other block I have achieved more interest. While I would like to think that this was enough of a change my hunch is that I could do even better. Let’s see what happens next time.

Thank You!

Anyway, thank you so much for sticking with me and allowing me to over analyze my design. I really appreciate the time we had to spend together and I look forward to our next visit. Talk with you soon! 🙂