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Purple Piece

The inspiration/motivation for this piece was a bag of quilt fabric pieces a friend gave me. Not sure if it’s vintage, it was faded, but I felt compelled to use what I was given. Not sure why I chose this fabric, there were probably 10 different prints, some I liked. I rarely use color and certainly not crazy prints! So, I guess I was challenging myself, stepping out of my box.

When I was looking for a background I looked at the colors in the print. I kept putting them next to each other to see what would work. None of those worked so I went further afield and to my surprise, I loved the way the purple worked. I like to play with the fabrics and trims and see what happens.


These are close-ups of the decorated squares. On the top, I rolled the fabric and tied it with a red & yellow thread. At the bottom, I covered a washer with yellow embroidery thread and then crossed it with red. You can also see from the close-ups I was playing with my sewing machine and was using different stitches to sew the squares to the background. I don’t really like most of the stitches on my machine.


So I had fun embellishing the squares. I like the auditioning process, try this, try that, until, YES! That works. I also like the bottom of the piece, I love danglies.

The red buttons at the top are bakelite (I think). I saw it on a project on Pinterest, they used bakelite belt buckles and I thought that was clever. I didn’t like anything else about the project but I took away this 1 idea.


Then I felt like it needed something else. In a class with Seth Apter (great artist/teacher, look him up) one of the last things he does to complete a piece is to make marks. So that’s what I did with the sharpie. It didn’t work as well as I wanted. Sometimes things go wrong at the end and a project gets scrapped, or at least not sold as art.

I thought about embroidering the marks or using black fabric. Below is the piece embroidered, it definitely looks better but I still did not create art.

Sometimes I’m just compelled to make something and so I do.

It was fun to come up with ideas and play with the fabrics and try new embellishments. Ultimately I took it apart, kept the good pieces, and threw out the rest. I also threw out most of the faded quilt pieces. I’m learning I don’t have to keep and use everything people give me.

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