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.

Painted Fibers, AP # 86

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!

X’s and O’s, AP # 75


Sidetracked

Before heading to Woodland Ridge for Pam Beal’s class, I stopped in Menomonie at the cutest little fabric shop called Thread Lab. The art piece I will share today incorporates three of the fabrics purchased during my shopping spree.

Undivided Attention

This is the third post featuring art quilts resulting from my attendance at Pam Beal’s class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact.

One of the concepts I learned there was

“L” Shape Balance.

What??

Those that read and write the English language are familiar with the letter “L”. The “L” begins with a downward swipe of the pen, then continues on toward the right. These two lines form a ninety degree angle.

The English language is read from top to bottom and left to right. This top to bottom, left to right flow is replicated in the letter “L”. When viewing art our eye travels along the same path.

Lets Review

If you recall, I mentioned earlier one of the traits Pam said was important for a successful art piece. The term I am referring to is “L” Shape Balance. If my quilt were to achieve “L” Shape Balance then my eye would begin in the top left corner and proceed across and down the surface.

I believe my mini art piece achieves that balance. The blue fabric, situated to the left of the center, echoes the downward movement of a pen creating the first part of an “L”. The grey fabric directly below can be identified with the left to right swipe.

Did I loose you?

In other words, my eye first travels from top to bottom down the surface of the blue fabric. Next it makes a right angle and follows along the grey strip to the outer right edge.

Is that better?

X’s and O’s

X’s and O’s are often used to signify a hug and a kiss when writing sentiments in, say for instance—a card. I’ve titled today’s art piece X’s and O’s not because I’m sending you a kiss or a hug. Instead I’ve chosen this reference because of the fabrics I used to create it.

X's and O's
X’s and O’s, AP # 75

If you look closely in the body of my piece you will see skinny strips of fabric accentuated by the letter “X”. You will also notice a blue fabric decorated with black dots. The “X’s” and dots, or “O’s” were the inspiration for my quilt’s name.

What’s Left?

Let’s look at the remaining features of my art piece. This small art quilt was made using three different colors—black, grey and blue. The

  • blue fabric with the black dots;
  • the grey and black fabric with the x’s; and
  • the darker grey and black near the bottom

were purchased during my fabric shopping trip. The balance of the other fabrics were harvested from my stash.

Hand Quilted

Years and years ago I tried mastering the art of hand quilting. After several attempts I threw in the towel and turned to machine quilting. Hand quilting is Pam’s preferred method. After seeing Pam’s masterpieces and how lovely they looked with her stitching I decided to give it another try.

Thread Colors

I chose three thread colors for my stitching.

  • The grey fabrics were accented with grey thread.
  • Black thread was my obvious choice for the two black border pieces.
  • In the remaining sections I used a soft blue.

After achieving a workable rhythm I actually grew to appreciate hand quilting. The somewhat uneven appearance of my stitches gives my small project a more rustic texture.

Surprise!

Strategically placed stray stitches along with random beading are Pam’s go-to-method for adding elements of surprise. Using this for my inspiration I added a few stray stitches along with four French knots in the quilt’s right, grey panel. These two elements add a little sparkle.

The Little Things

Now that we have examined the obvious details let’s take one last look at the unmentioned features.

  • X’s and O’s measures 14” L x 8 5/8“ w.
  • Surrounding my quilt is a binding made from black fabric.
  • In between the quilt sandwich is a layer of Warm & Natural batting.
  • The back is protected by a layer of black fabric.
  • A hanging sleeve and label have been attached as well.

That’s A Wrap

With so much to share, this has been a very long post. I think you would agree though that it was well worth the read.

Thank you so much for sticking with me. Let’s do this again!

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Minimalist Design


What is it?

Any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston

Early in June I took a class taught by Pam Beal. The class title was

Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact.

I’ve been experimenting with fabric for decades.

My path began with structured piecing using quilt patterns and rigid measurements. From there I turned to impromptu piecing.

My first introduction to minimalist design was through a book written by Rayna Gillman and reinforced by a class of hers.

Pam says she is

an improvisational quilter from the Liberated School of Design.

I enjoyed listening to and learning from Pam. Here’s one of her wonderful quilts.

Lilly Pad A LA Mode
Lily Pad A LA Mode, 24” x 38 1/2”, 2013. Designed, made and hand quilted in a floor frame by Pam J. Beal, Mass City, Michigan.

While at the class I created a number of small art pieces. Some of them used colors and combinations that were out of my comfort zone.

The mini projects, numbering at least 16, are anxious to meet you.

Be watching for their debut.

Blessings to you!

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Exploring Minimalist Quilting


I’m at Woodland Ridge in northern Wisconsin. The reason for my visit is a four day study, taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design Maximum Impact. I signed up for the class nearly a year ago and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Our trip north would not be complete without an ever-so-slight detour to a fabric store located in Menomonie. The darling little shop is called Thread Lab. While there I just happened to stumble upon these wonderful, absolutely unavoidable fabrics. Who knows how I will use them this week. No matter what they are added to I’m certain the outcome will be wonderful!

Thread Lab Fabric & Other Goodies

I arrived late this afternoon with my traveling companion Barb. After exchanging hugs with familiar faces we unpacked our many belongings and quilting paraphernalia. After settling-in we enjoyed a carry out meal from the local coffee shop and filled the rest of our time relaxing and catching up on our reading.

Our class tomorrow begins at 9:00 a.m. and I can’t wait! If time permits I hope to share photos and updates along the way.

Talk with you soon!

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Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 4


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story, of our adventures, several weeks ago.  So far in the rendition there has been part onepart twopart three and now the final installment, part four. Without any further introduction let’s get this final chapter rolling.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Going On Vacation Is HARD Work!

You know it’s hard when you make plans to go on a vacation to anticipate just how successful it will be. So much time is invested in making the preparations to leave that it’s not unusual to be exhausted even before you lock the door behind you. Then there is the travel from your home to the destination; whether it be by car, train or plane, that adds even more stress. Let me tell you, this was a stressful 8+ hours of travel.

Lets Head Out

At the front of our caravan was a Suburban and trailer. That vehicle was loaded down with 3 adults, 2 children and a dog. Bringing up the rear was our truck carrying 2 adults and 2 dogs. Of course there was all the luggage, toys, food and beverages that also had to be loaded onboard.

Before leaving we had been keeping a close eye on the approaching weather. Not knowing exactly when we would make our acquaintance, with the looming winter storm, made us a bit uneasy. We were on the road and headed west pretty much within our projected time-frame. Our hope was that we might be able to skirt the storm and avoid potential delays.

The Winds Were A Blowin

Hopes and reality are two different things. We did not miss the storm. Nope! Instead we ended up adding an additional 2 hours to our travel time. While passing through the wintery mess we encountered almost everything you could imagine. There were strong, blowing winds, rain, sleet, snow, and ice to contend with. All of those conditions made for dicey driving conditions.

Along our route we passed by many, many vehicles stranded off the road and in the ditch. Some of them must have happened not long before we passed because we could see people inside with bewildered expressions on their faces. Thankfully we kept our vehicles on the road and safe. We were so thankful when we reached our destination and the long ordeal of travel was finally behind us.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Over the course of the next six days we managed to sandwich in as much activity as possible; saving only enough free time to sleep. During our vacation we experienced the building of a swing set for our grandchildren, numerous celebratory meals, hikes, rides on four wheelers, a trip to Liberty and Hamilton, Missouri along with the wonderful companionship of our family and friends.

When I look back at the oodles of photos and videos and contemplate the many memories that surely will be with me for years to come, I simply must declare this vacation a complete success.

Before signing off I thought it would be fun to assemble a montage of the photos I have shared. Please enjoy!

A Wrap-Up

All-in-all we have very fond memories of our trip to the restored log cabin. The lack of pleasant weather didn’t keep us from having a wonderful time. By the time the last day arrived we were all exhausted and ready to head home. Who knows whether the opportunity to travel to MO will arise again? If it does, awesome! If not, we had a grand time!

Thank You!

Thank You so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by. Before I sign off I have one more thing to include. I just have to share this funny excerpt from the conversation between my husband and myself in Hamilton, MO:

and then there were these chairs…!

Talk with you soon!

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