Tag Archives: improvisational piecing

Abstract, Improvisation, Intent

Our Guild has decided to participate in the QuiltCon Charity Challenge 2016. The theme is Improv with intent and it uses a limited color palette. I have been so inspired by #beesewcial (check out the hashtag on IG) that I was so excited about this challenge, even though the color palette is a little scary (1/2 the colors very bold, the other 1/2 very neutral).

Our guild did things a little different but playing in the rules:

  • Each person was allowed to pick fat eighths of any or all the colors that the MQG had selected.
  • We chose to stick with solids only.
  • Also, we added that the block must have a triangle in the design.
  • One block required by each person who collected F8’s.

I am so inspired right now with the abstract movement, I think that you will definitely see that in both my designs. My first design, I wanted to use the white, black and grey in stripes and just have pops of color. ImprovIntent_Design1

That turned into this…
ImprovIntent_Block1
I loved the whole process of using no rulers and just using my rotary cutter, ignoring 1/4 seam allowance as I pieced pieces together.  It made it seem so much quicker (maybe 30 minutes).  I had plenty of fabric left over.

That night, I was thinking about how the past week at work, deadlines and having family visiting had made me feel a little more stressed/pressured lately. I was trying to relax and the idea of a second block popped into my head, opposing triangles pushing down (or up) on a line. I literally jumped off the sofa and put the idea into this next improv block.
ImprovIntent_Block2

I have to say this is one of my favorite blocks ever. I really wish I was making the whole quilt :-)…maybe over Christmas break I can come back to playing/experimenting.

It is so fun seeing my guild’s and other guild’s blocks coming alive….check out #quiltconcharityquilt.

 

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Mothers Day Sewing

I hope you all had a great Mothers Day. My day started of wonderfully at a local french patisserie.
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I indulged in coffee and sugar!!IMG_4168

The rest of the day, I decided that I would play with an idea that has been in my head for a while. I put away my projects that have deadlines etc….just a day of play. It was fantastic!!

I recently bought the book “Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts below the Radar”. I have bookmarked several pages.
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One of my favorites is this Cross quilt (pg. 179 c. 1940-1970), which is behind inspiring my play today.
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I wanted to make my blocks in black and white print fabrics, with a splash of color striped fabric.  I am using strips of black and white cut at 1.5″, 2″ and 2.5″. I then put them in a bag and pull them out randomly (brown bag method), and sew them together, trim them down to 12.5″ squares.

At first, I thought I could use these squares and cut the block across the diagonals. That actually gave me the cross blocks, but also gave me these square blocks as well. I am not sure about the combination yet (??)

cross+square_blocks

For now to save on fabric, I am sewing strips vertically together, using the improv. brown bag method, until it was 6.5″ x 31.5″. I then cut the triangles along the 45 degree angle.
Triangletemplate

This is how my cross blocks look so far. I really like where they are going. I plan to build them out a bit more and see how they go.

Cross_Blocks

Oh! Apparently, I have a lot of black and white fabrics which means no need to buy fabrics….I can sew from my stash. I am hoping to give an update on these again soon (once I get my projects deadlines complete).

Sew Down Nashville: FMQ and improvisational piecing + Winner

Sew Down Nashville was fantastic. Heather, Elizabeth and Jen, from The Modern Quilt Guild, organized the best weekend activity/conference, I have ever attended.

Friday evening, kicked off our sewing with open sew, where you could sew any project with others, in a social environment….like a giant bee. I worked on my hexagon (EPP) lap quilt which is slowly progressing; perfect when traveling. Can you believe it, I finished around midnight.
Hexagon_OpenSew The weekend did not slow down a second from then on. Each class exceeded my expectations. First up, was Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting class. If you ever get a chance to take her class – do….she has such a great flow and structure in her teaching…..she is funny and down to earth which made it a lot of fun. I know!! FMQ fun!!Angela_Me

This was one of her quilts she had on display….one of the quilts, you say, “When I grow up I want to be able to do this”:Angelas_FMQ

I struggled with the more curvy designs. Pebbling, which was our first lesson and my first time I have attempted it, was hard more due to the fact I got lost and didn’t know where to go next. Pebble_FMQ

My favorite designs for Angela’s class was the more geometric shapes. To get the points to be more prominent instead of rounded corners, she passed on the knowledge to pause and then move on so that the needle/stitch catches well. Great tip!!, now I just need to not keep my foot on the pedal and sew 2-3 stitches in the same place 🙂Geometric_FMQ

Practice, practice, practice. Angela talked about how she would for 15 minutes a day just sit at her sewing machine and practice…I think it will be my next months challenge (Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs….sounds like a 3030SC right??).

Victoria Findlay Wolfe, was up next for improvisational piecing. A fantastic class to take those out of their comfort zone, especially if you are a pattern follower. Of course, this one was right up my alley and loved it!

Victoria_Findlay_Wolfe

These were some of my favorite mini quilts that she had bought with her. I love that she has all these vibrant colors in her quilts. All those small pieces did not start out small, it’s all about how you piece the together…and then trim.Victorias_Quilts

In her class I learned how to do a Y seam…folks nice and easy – why was I freaked out about these before 🙂 Also, I managed to improv two blocks…I now have a new project in my head on how I would use these.Improv_YSeam_VictoriasClass

 

Saturday finished up with another open sew and can you believe it I was almost first one to breakfast each morning (7:30 am – yes hubby, I can be an early rising) and one of the last to leave each open sew.  I finished this open sew with a completed block!!
HST_OpenSewBlock

Final part of business today….the winner of Quilt Essentials (btw, I met the author at sew down!!)…is
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Who is Sarah @ For Russia. Congratulations, I will send C&T Publishing/Stash books your details.

I am linking up with Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social (see button on right).

Finish line in sight

I made great progress yesterday, during the snow day on my Riley Blake Challenge quilt. We were one of the lucky ones, not to lose power during the snow/ice storm we had in North Carolina.

“A fine day” quilt top is done!!! Cheers and celebrations, as I did not enjoy having a deadline that is for sure.

I changed my original design, as I loved the rectangular improvisational blocks and did not want to take away from them. I have just started using Instagram (ml_wilkie), and loved it as a process/feedback tool during making this quilt. Thank you to all those who offered advice for block color choices and the sashing aspects (or no sashing as it turns out).

AFineDay_QuiltTopFinish_hanging
Bottom left: Sunrise, Top Left: Midday, Top Right: Sunset, Bottom Right: Dusk

I was so excited to get snow photos too, however we get so much sun in our yard, so it was hard to avoid shadows. In the end, I hope this one in the shadows (indirect light) works.

AFineDay_QuiltTopFinish_Ground

Here are the links, to my other posts, if you are interested in the progress of this quilt:
Design idea
Fabric Selection
Sunrise Block
Sunrise + Midday Blocks
Sunrise + Midday+ Sunset Blocks

I am trying out spray basting, so this is already basted. Now, onto the quilting and binding!! Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom quilts for Finish it Friday + TGIFF which is being hosted by MR @ Quilt Matters, this week.

Wintery WiP Wednesday

I am hoping this is my last work in progress post on my Riley Blake Challenge quilt. I am still on target to get this done by Monday. I have one more block for the front to do – dusk, and one block for the back.

These are my blocks so far….remember this is my quilt that represents the various colors of the sun during a day. This is therefore called “A Fine Day“.
RileyBlake_SunriseMiddaySunset
Bottom-left: Sunrise; Top-left: Midday; Top-right: Sunset.

The only thing that will stop me from finishing…..is the weather (picture is the first 20 mins of weather that just came in). North Carolina has issued a state of emergency due to snow and ice. We are expecting power outages, so no power = no sewing, no blogging. I could be hand quilting to get it done by Monday.
Snow_Backyard

Linking up with  Lee over @ Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.

January, the month ahead

Based on my 2014 plan, my goal for January is to complete my Riley Blake challenge quilt design. Good news, I have made a start on my first improvisational piecing block – “Sunrise”. RileyBlakeChallenge_SunriseBlock_InProgress

This particular block colors were inspired by the Hipster Pop Orange which was provided as one of the MQG challenge fabrics.

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Linking up for my January goals to “A Lovely year of finishes 2014” (See link-up on the side menu).

One more thing…so I have also started cutting for my February goal the X & + Quilt. See these 90 blocks, I cut these in a matter of 15-20 mins. Want to know how?Accuquilt_Blocks

If you read my blog recently, you would know,  cutting is my least favorite thing….well no longer….this was my Christmas present, MY NEW ACCUQUILT!!!
accuquilt

I have already used it to make my HST for the Christmas tree block. I love it!