Art for Children

Slice Quilt by Cut-Loose Quilters for new Orange Children’s Library, Orange, CA.

Years ago I belonged to a small private quilt group in Orange, CA – Cut-Loose Quilters, begun by Jamie Fingal, a renowned art quilter for many years. We made a lot of exciting projects and did a lot of really fun and unique things, but this was one of my all-time favorites. This is called a slice quilt which means that each of us participated in making one of the vertical panels, and on the side panels, we each made a horizontal panel.

The quilt was designed on paper by our fearless leader with the help of one of our other gals, and then the panels were cut and each of us got one. Mine was the yellow one, and we each got to choose our colors for our panels and any lettering on our panels. The quilt was made as a donation for the new Children’s Library and the City of Orange gave us a very nice thank you talk and a plaque to remember our gift. Parts of the quilt were “sold” to raise money to buy more books, though the quilt still hangs in the library to this day. In 2018, we had a 10-year reunion at the site, and it was wonderful to remember just how much fun we had and how good we all felt about creating something that would be enjoyed by children for many years.

I have since made other cloth projects for my classrooms too, but never any as much fun as this. Here is a photo of all of us ladies who made the quilt.

Cut-loose Quilters from left: Terry, Joanell, Yours Truly, Tracy, Jamie Fingal (fearless leader), Cindy, Vicky, and Peggy

I will always remember so many of the wonderful adventures we had in this group. There are some wonderfully talented ladies among us, and I feel very honored that they included me. Thank you forever, Jamie and ladies.

28 thoughts on “Art for Children

  1. Oh Anne,
    What beautiful art giving a lovely sense of togetherness in it’s production.
    Lovely to have left this visible legacy in your library and to have helped so many children in the process.
    Reading this has made a lovely start to my day 🙂

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  2. Thank you most kindly, Margaret. It was one of the true highlights in my quiltmaking in my life, though I have to say that making the little wallhanging with the world and the hands on it (it is back a bit in the stories) for my special needs children was also one of the joys of my life. Thank you kindly again. I hope you have a good week. We are working on that too!

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    1. Yes, it sure is. Thank you. The best part of all was making it together with all the others. None of us knew what colors etc. the others were using, and yet it was perfect when we got through. I love it. I want to do more especially for the theme related to anti-bullying since we are having children committing suicide because of bullying in my area. thank you kindly

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  3. What a great project. It is beautiful and so colorful–just what children love. I have tried a little quilting quite a few years ago, but I never really got into it. I did design an appliqued quilt that I wanted to make for myself, but I could never decide on the color and then it just got stored away in the very back of my mind, much like a dream.

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  4. It’s funny how that happens to a lot of us along the way in whatever form of quilting we might select. It has been very difficult for me to sit down to quilt by either hand or machine of late because of the PTSD I suffered since approx. 2014, when I was assaulted and severely bullied. But it IS a very good outlet for calming all of us, and find a new way to connect with our world. I’ve worked with a lot of physically challenged fiber artists over the years, and found it very healing and a way for them to experience success and respect within their areas.

    As for deciding on a color, I would go into a fabric store without thinking about making the quilt, walk through all the fabrics, and see what I tended to be drawn to. That would let me know the best color for me to use. Color has a lot to do with our personalities. I always tell people that in a box of crayons, I am the orange. Thank you kindly.

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    1. I do crochet baby sets and a couple of years ago I knitted 3 lacy baby shawls for 3 sisters who all had their babies within a 6-week period. That was quite the marathon. I used to make all my own clothes and I have an expensive sewing machine and serger that I never use any more. I have no motivation to sew. But when I think about selling them, I think, what if the mood hits me again and I want to sew. I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy new machines, so I just keep these sitting here. I had a craft business for a number of years and got a lot of use out of them then, so they haven’t been wasted. I have all this fabric that I could make some really nice clothes for myself, and I’ll keep that too. The quilt I designed was with fantail doves and dogwood flowers, so I was limited somewhat in color choices. I tend to like pastels more than bright colors for myself though I like the bright colors in what other people make.

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    2. I think that would make a great interview question.

      Mayhap I’ve seen that somewhere, but I can see myself asking someone, “In a box of crayons, what color are you?”

      So, why do you feel you are orange?

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      1. Thanks, Patty. Orange is not a color that people usually choose as a favorite. Generally they choose Red, Blue, Green, and others, but yellow and orange are two that people don’t select as favorites. I guess I feel like I am sort of “outside the box” in a lot of respects related to how I live my life and make choices. I don’t typically choose the things other people choose. I don’t like malls or new clothes (except for skivies and sometimes socks too) and I don’t read the popular books, but what I like to read. And when I do my art, I just do what appeals to me, and I cannot follow teachers of art in doing what they are trying to teach. I may be able to use the tools and materials, but I always have to do it my way.

        I once wrote a true little account somewhere on my blog of being a little girl in summer Bible school, and how the teacher was giving us each the same pictures and the children were all coloring theirs pretty much alike, which the teacher seemed to really like. But when I got mine, I looked at how boring it was (at least to me) and thought that I did not want to color it, or if I had to, it wasn’t going to be like everyone else’s. So I grabbed the orange color, which I liked very much, and started to color Joseph’s hair orange. Seemed to add some life to the picture to me. But just as quickly as I picked up the color, I felt it slapped right out of my hand, and the teacher said sharply, “Joseph’s hair is brown, not orange.” So I picked up the brown color, and started peeling the paper as if it needed to be sharpened or have more color exposed so I could color with it, continuing to take my good time until the teacher was distracted by the telephone. Then she walked out of our classroom and down the hall toward the office.

        I dropped my color and began to take my scissors and trim my eyebrows, or pretend to. The other children must have been equally bored because they too got their tiny scissors and pretended to start trimming their eyebrows, all of us giggling. It got louder and funnier, and then a little girl got out her scissors and pretended to cut her braid, just as the teacher decided to come back into the class again. Well, the teacher was furious and yelled in her big ugly voice, “Who showed you to do these things?” Suddenly all those tiny fingers were pointing at me.

        The teacher grabbed me by the hair and dragged me down the hall to the office, where she pushed me onto a chair (they could do those things in those days) and she called my mother. I could hear her telling my mother what an evil child I was and unmanageable, and how my mother had to come and get me and that I could not come back to school. So at last I got to go home, stay in my room, and color all the people in my coloring book to have orange or green or purple or whatever colors I wanted. I guess God really does answer our prayers.

        So that is how I have come to associate with orange as my color. I am not one to follow what everyone else is doing, or what they like or wear or how they think. I do what feels right to me, and that is just the way it is. Thank you kindly.

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      2. Hi Anne, I do remember that story, and I believe I may have shared it. I’m fascinated by how you come to the color orange, and have decided to look up its significant meanings. I’ll let you know what I find out. I’m willing to bet it’ll be something along the lines of being different, daring to be yourself, etc.

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  5. It’s funny how we all find our way to different forms of fiber art that fit our particular interest at any given time. I can so relate to what you are writing because I have done many forms of fiber arts through the years (not crochet though, even though my grandma did). I did knitting and made clothes for me and my children too, and I sewed household embroidery projects. It wasn’t until much later when I began to do art quilts, and have found that satisfying too. In the meantime, on the side I have been a certified appraiser for 22 years and just retired a couple of years ago. And I became a quilt historian in some areas of quilting, and also did quilt restoration and repair. So I think we do evolve as it were. I have done a lot of other art forms too, and those are still a little easier to get into. I have the same old machine I have used since probably around 2007 or perhaps 2008. It is a Bernina, and it was given to me by one of the physically challenged fiber artists I assisted when I had mentioned to the folks in a discussion about sewing machines that I was looking to replace an old White that I think I might have had or some other old, old one I must have gotten somewhere very cheaply. I had a nonprofit (very small and without any funding) that I ran with two other people, all of us volunteers, and we did the work with the artists for years, as well as doing things to help other women who wanted to sew but could not afford a sewing machine, sending materials and quilting supplies to the American Indians on Pine Ridge, assisting after school projects for the children of migrant workers, etc. There are always people who need and will make good use of our machines and our cloth, and that we will feel good about helping. I guess if I get to where I can no longer do any fiber art or perhaps when I am gone from this earth, I will have my significant other, Richard, make certain that my cloth and sewing machine and equipment get to a good cause. My relatives don’t appreciate quilting the way I do. Thank you so kindly. Anne

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    1. Unfortunately I have no family to distribute my things and I have no idea what to do with some things. I bought my sewing machine at least 15 years ago–probably more. It’s a Pfaff as is my serger. When I was a child I learned to embroider and learned to do a very neat job at it. I still have one kitchen sampler I did all those years ago. I barely remember how to do the stitches now. I sometimes wish that I could get motivated to go back to painting as well, but there are only so many hours in a day and so much energy to spread out throughout the day, so it’s first things first with nothing left over for the other things. I do have a couple of adult coloring books that I work on once in a while and I enjoy that for a short time.There is no end of the things I could get interested in if I wasn’t working on writing and publishing my books and spending time on the computer. A lot of my time is also taken up in prayer which is the most important part of my day.

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      1. I think you are doing a wonderful job of doing the things that have become most important to you now. We do evolve, and perhaps I am too as I do like to spend time in quiet contemplation and prayers too. So good for you for doing what is important to you now. One way to eventually handle your sewing machine and materials, etc. is to leave it in your will to donate them to perhaps a church or spiritual group of your choice. I am likely going to do that as I don’t think most of my relatives want any of my things, and think them just a bother. Thank you kindly.

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      2. What do you make? Perhaps there’s somewhere you could donate your work?

        Or, maybe put it on consignment in a shop?

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  6. Hi Patty, I do charity donations of work at times, but not so often anymore. I am drafting up a design for a quilt on anti-bullying for my local library. But primarily I am not much interested in selling my work anymore. I just make it to be doing what I love, or to make for a charity and I have done my share of those over the years. My little wallhanging called “My Garden of Earthly Delights” is a quilt whose story was in my blog much earlier, and two of the flowers on it were my experimental boob prints I made when I was 65. They don’t look anything like boobs, and when I turned it into a delightful little colorful quilt, I donated it one year to the Autism organization for their auction. And as I said, I have done quite a few donation quilts in the past. I think now if I make more quilts, they will be all for donations to either a charity or to a worthwhile cause like the anti-bullying. We have had some teenagers in this area (just 13 years old) commit suicide because of bullying, so I have a short book on anti-bullying going and almost done and also I want to do the anti-bullying quilt to hang in the library. I thought of giving some classes/workshops on bullying and how to deal with it, but it might be too much for me since I have PTSD really bad from the last assault and bullying I went through. I do enjoy my quilts and I like to create anything that is meaningful to me. I am not a competitive person at all and so will not enter any competitions, though challenges I have done in the past. Most challenges are not competitive at all, but just challenge you to use certain fabrics, or to create something on a certain subject, but there is no competition involved at all. Thank you most kindly. Anne

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    1. Hi Anne, the comment was for the person who saiid she didn’t know quite what to do with her creations.

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      1. I understand now, Patty. In a further correspondence, she let me know she mostly wants to just keep working on her books now. Sure is neat all the people we meet in our blogs! Thank you so much.

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  7. What a tapestry of artistic and enterprising souls collected there … beautiful to see and know . Sometimes our passion becomes a purpose for living and sometimes it becomes an inspiration for others to follow in admiration and inspiration. You are a beautiful soul Anne . My heartfelt goodwill to you now and forever. ❤

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