The other day my 4-year-old grandson was looking at one of my art quilts. Then he asked, “Did you build that?” I love this wording!  “Yes, I did build that!” And what a joy it is to be a person who does construction.

He is a builder himself. He combines anything at hand: random-toys-tools-shiny objects-rope-paper-cardboard-sticks. In the summer months, there may also be mud-gravel-flowers. He is a multimedia artist! 

Above is one of my newest constructions. It is called Big Table and is 30 X 30 inches. I created this for a group challenge with the theme Celebration of Color. I liked the word celebration. In addition to color, I also wanted to celebrate shapes, a range of values, and people together.

Below are detail images showing applique and also people made with markers and pastels. Applique means applying one fabric on top of another. I used fusible web to iron fabrics to a muslin cloth. I wanted to create the impression of grout lines, so I put down bright turquoise fabric first and added darker fabrics on top. When I build a piece, I am always deciding the order of the fabrics. I could have put the dark fabrics first and then added thin strips of the bright turquoise second, but I think the other order made a cleaner look. In another area I added pink fabric on top of a large area of light turquoise. The look is similar, but the construction method is slightly different. Outlines of cartoon people were stitched before I colored them in using markers and oil pastels. (Both the stitching and coloring were done after the quilt was assembled. See explanation below.)








Usually I stitch (applique) all the fabric pieces to a muslin cloth before I assemble the quilt. I make a sandwich of completed top/batting/back that makes a quilt, and then do quilt stitching as a separate step. The quilt stitching is independent of the shapes of the design and can provide a nice contrast. That is one method of construction.

For this art quilt, I did all the applique and quilt stitching as one step. The applique and quilting are accomplished with a single set of stitching. This alternate construction method gave me the desired effect. 

 How to finish the edge of the quilt? Another construction decision! For Big Table I used a pillow case method. The majority of my pieces have this type of edge. It is done before the quilt stitching. But I sometimes use a binding or a zig-zag edge. These two methods are done after the quilting is completed.

This month’s recipe is green honey pancakes:  Using a blender liquify together one small zucchini (about 2 c. chopped medium chunks), one egg, 2 t. vanilla, 3 t. honey, 1/2 c. Almond milk. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1/2 c. almond flour, 1/2 c. millet flour 1/4 c. Tapioca flour, 1/4 c. toasted shredded coconut, 1/4 t.  each salt and baking powder, 1 T. sugar, and stir. Cook on a griddle and cool. These pancakes are sweet, so even naked they make an excellent snack.


2 Responses to Construction

Patty Hawkins

Great article, as always you are wonderful to share your art, inspiration and construction!
Loved your grandson’s asking of your
“Building” the quilt!

Robynn Rothleutner

Very cool! I love the people around the table! Looks like my place when all the family is together!(my favorite) I will be testing your recipe in my kitchen as I’m experiencing a bumper crop of zucchini!


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