Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Improv composition in red, (yellow and blue) in progress ...?!

Kaya and Ann are giving hints on improv patchwork on their sites as they host the Ad Hoc Improv Quilter's link up.

In January's linky party Monica enthused about the book "Cultural Fusion Quilts" by Sujata Shah which had been the inspiration for much of her own work. I agree, it's great to see haw Sujata has taken the patterns presented by everyday images and turned them into quilts.

Sujata Shah's work as well as that of Kaya and Ann is very inspiring and has given me lots of ideas, but last week I was quite suddenly hit by the work of Piet Mondriaan. Not really HIT you will understand, although I live within ten miles of the largest single collection of his work in the world, but such close proximity to a masterpiece would have got me arrested. Inspired by his famous Composition in Red Yellow and Blue (there are several of the same name) I added red, yellow and blue solids to my FQ collection (white I already had, but I forgot the black!) and got cutting. Hmm!

Using Sujata's method of stack and slash, but going for straight cuts, I cut white and red 8 x 4" rectangles diagonally. The result was disappointing really as I was going for arrows, so I cut the next two pairs of rectangle in half vertically to 8 x 2"

The narrow points won't do! (on the left) They curl outwards and when they are joined it's even worse (on the right): all that fabric coming together at the point, just wouldn't come together. Nor would it lie flat.

I haven't tried joining the wider ones, but expect that those bulky seam ends will be just the same.

Rather than go on with yellow and blue I tried some other arrangements:

I quite like this one; this afternoon, at least

and ended up with this:

which looks highly conventional!
Feeling somewhat disheartened I made some highly conventional HSTs (as opposed to HRTs) to get myself back in balance.

I haven't given up on this project, but don't want elongated pinwheels. So it's back to the drawing board for me and into a little zip-lock bag for  the fabric! It's still on the cutting table so not shelved yet, but I need to decide on what sort of triangles, and how to construct them. As this is my first improv attempt I'd welcome any ideas on how to go next. Perhaps I should have tried a wonky log cabin first!... to be continued ....

I wrote this post a month ago, but missed the link up by a week! (Wrong Tuesday - silly girl!) In the meantime I've done nothing with this project except think about it now and again.

The Quilty 365 project is proving an easy project for improvised piecing as the scraps in my scrap bucket are getting smaller and in March I pieced more circles (although one is not improv!)

And pieced more circles in April, although not so many:

Not to happy with the fabric repetition there, but they won't be together in the final layout.

I'm linking to:

Click on the button for the link to more amazing improvised patchwork.

Happy sewing



Christine Barnsley said...

Some interesting ideas there Marly! Love your new circle blocks! Have a good week! Christine x

Sue Kelly said...

Great first attempt at improv. It is all about experimentation. I like your narrow triangles...you must try ironing them into submission. Remember you don't have to follow all the "quilting rules" when you are improvising. Whatever works works! Keep going!

Stephie said...

Well I think you've done a grand job Marly! I love the flying geese type blocks you made :) Your quilty365 circles are really coming on - I've got so far behind after yet another bout of flu I don't know where to start again!

Anonymous said...

We learn by doing. I make my experiments in usable size quilts. A design that doesn't please me will still keep someone warm.

Claire said...
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Claire said...
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Kaja said...

Thanks for sharing the beginning of your journey on AHIQ. I think this is a great first go at improv and love the idea of using Mondrian for inspiration. I would try ironing the triangles vigorously to see if you can beat them into submission that way, though I wouldn't personally be disheartened by what you have. I often make things a bit bigger than I think I want them and then trim down - that might help. Also Stephie has some tips on her AHIQ post for sewing triangles wwww.dawnchorusstudio.com.

patty a. said...

Marly, I have been improv piecing for quite a while and have come up with a way to make improv triangles or arrow shaped heads that may work for you. Many people told me I should write a book. I will try and attached the information to the comment you made on my AC/DC t-shirt quilt along with an answer to the question about dealing with t-shirt fabric. I think we have a lot to talk about!

Ann said...

Great job with improvising, especially trying different layouts. Part of what I discovered is that each step determines the next. A predetermined end just leads to frustration. In addition to varying the layout, i like that you have stopped to think about what to try next time to get the result you want. I've used strips and cut them like sawteeth; i.e., cut each side on a diagonal. You can still stack them or you can alternate RT, Saw, opposite RT. Another trick is to make the RTs longer and offset that diagonal. Then when you sew them together, do NOT match the narrow point. Make sense?
And I love that you and Patty are sharing techniques. For me, this is the best thing about this linkup - so much information and support shared.
Your circles look good. I'm not making a charm quilt from these either. Some repeats make it easier to select fabric and sew them. As you say, they will never be together in the end.
Thanks for linking with AHIQ!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

I can't give you any advice on improve because I'm so rubbish, all I will say is go with the flow and above else have fun. Cut it up, join it together and tell everyone it's an art quilt, who's to know otherwise? I'm loving the circles, great use of colour.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Improv is all about just what you're doing, Marly. Experimenting, trying new ideas, pondering and figuring it out as you go. You have a great start and will figure out how to get what you want, there's no doubt. I love your circles, too. How interesting!

Shasta Matova said...

Ooh I love all these pieced circles! You've given me more ideas.

lindaroo said...

I'm loving your 365 project, especially as your circles get more and more inventive.