Monday, 1 August 2016

An improv WIP and something new


I was working on an improv quilt inspired by Piet Mondriaan's "Composition in Red Yellow and Blue" (of which he painted several). I posted about it here. However, eight weeks ago two grandchildren came to stay over the weekend and, as I sew in the guest bedroom, I had to pack everything away. I wasn't able to sew for a few weeks and only unpacked my sewing gear a couple of weeks ago. The RSC 16 blocks emerged, the Quilty 365 circles came into view, enough other WIPs/ UFOs appeared to make me feel guilty, but where was Mondriaan? Finally I stopped searching because it couldn't have gone far and was bound to turn up sometime, but not until I'd looked absolutely everywhere (I thought!). Then yesterday morning, lo and behold: Mondriaan!

I worked like crazy all morning and got to this:

Mondriaan, waarheen? / Where to Mondriaan?
Family comments went to the tune of: scrap the arrows; make the Mondriaan bit bigger! Groan, groan (from me). I am definitely not going to add more red, yellow and blue blocks to that centre panel, just an off-white frame. I don't want to add any more arrows and I think I'll just add white panels to fill the corners and the rest will be the quilting. (but that could change!) I don't know if the master would have approved of my "Composition in Red, Yellow and Blue".

Trying to recreate the master's painting from memory was so difficult. I absolutely did not want to look at his work again; this should be "inspired by", and not "copied from". Some of you will see how I went wrong, how I missed his point. Working from this inspiration has given me more insight, I think. I have always just seen the colours but now I think it's about balance; the balance between the colours themselves and their balance with all colour (white) and no colour (black). I made it improv, but the more I worked on it the more I came to the conclusion that Piet Mondriaan could well have been inspired by traditional quilts! It would have been much easier to have drawn it all out on graph paper first, and then cut to scale! But that's me: Why do it the easy way if you can do it the hard way?!

Anyway, during a pause from looking for Mr M., I was surfing the internet, and came across a few crosscut quilts in various stages of completion. It turned out that Debbie at A Quilter's Table held an improv QAL last week on Instagram. It looked easy enough, so I'm in! My start, nearly a week late, was delayed further, however, by the reappearance of Mr M.! (as described above)

Up at the crack of dawn this morning I started cutting

9 roughly 9.5" squares and a lot of contrasting 1" strips (day 1, aka this morning, stage 1)
 and stitching,

chain piecing the strips into the blocks (day 1, aka this morning, stage 2)
and trimming

Crosscut blocks trimmed and ready to sew together (day 2, aka this afternoon, stage 1)
and there I stopped, ready to sew the blocks together (day 2, stage 2).

In case you are wondering where the improv is in this, it's the next part! The fun will start tomorrow, or the headaches will! If you can't wait until I finish this tale in a few weeks' time, check out #crosscutquiltalong on Instagram. A lot of participants have already finished, including the binding! But for now I have blocks to sew together.

I'm linking to Kaya for
so nip over there to see more splendid improv quilts.

Happy sewing



Lisa J. said...

I smiled when I saw this Marly because I'm working on this too! The second one.

Mystic Quilter said...

I should Mr M would be very pleased to see your thoughts on his world in fabric. A lovely piece. I have seen the cross cut from Debbie before and added to my list but just too much going on at the moment to commit to this. Perhaps in a few weeks.

Debbie said...

Your Red Yellow & Blue is really striking - look forward to see where you take this, comments from the family aside. (sometimes they help, sometimes they don't, right?)
Anyway, glad you are joining in the Crosscut QA!!

Kaja said...

A belated thank you for linking up with AHIQ this month. I think your Mondrian piece is lovely - but isn't it funny that you have ended up thinking it would be easy to plan in advance!