Friday, 31 March 2017

Improv Chinese Coins

Ann and Kaya who host the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters (AHIQ) suggested making improvised Chinese Coins this quarter. My Chinese Coins have looked like this for about two weeks now: the coins (that I showed last month) and a tree,

inserted tree: bias cut fabric would have been better; fitting the branches in distorted the background.
and some double-sided leaves to attach once I've quilted it.

Double-sided leaves: some finished, others simply fused and waiting to be zig-zagged together. More needed.
"Once I've quilted it" being an important phrase here - for me, deciding on a quilting motif is always a challenge and inevitably leads to procrastination.
It's completely put together from scraps. Not only the top, but also the wadding:
 and the backing are pieced:

The leaves are strengthened with double-sided fusible interfacing, so I'll be able to attach them along the central nerve or at one end allowing the underside to be partly visible. I'm hoping they will appear to "float" but it's important I think to get the rest quilted first.

The strata in the background, the "coins", are from a 2.5 inch fabric roll. Having joined them together I cut them in half intending to turn one half upside down and go from there. However that didn't work because with an uneven number of strata the middle one stayed in the middle, and didn't look good. Here followed some pondering and turning pieces round, trying more fabrics before I decided to leave the orientaion af the strata as it was and insert a strip. This became the trunk of the tree, but only after I had inserted branches into the two panels. The trunk and branches are made from a 2.5 inch strip cut longways freehand. Using a "jelly roll" meant I couldn't cut the strip on the bias which would have been easier to insert; it was quite a struggle forcing the straight fabric into the cuts I had made.

While thinking about quilting this mini I also made a few more coin blocks on a different scale. (I needed a rest from all that thinking!)

These strings are six inches long, and of varying width. I've decided to make a rainbow collection of them, following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour each month; although this month's colour has been red and not yellow/orange! Even choosing the colour was ad hoc! The number I make each month will depend on how many scraps I have in the colour of the month that are at least six inches long. In my view a piece of fabric is only a scrap if it is really really small. I've no idea how they will all come together over the year.

There isn't really much to show here for two whole months' work, is there? Still, I'm working on it and have learnt plenty. I'm looking forward to next quarter's invitation, and hoping I can push my limits even fuurther.

I'm linking up to
Click on the button to see some improv masterpieces.

Happy sewing



JanineMarie said...

I love what you've done with these strips since your last Ad Hoc post! They are perfect for the tree. I'm looking forward to seeing the top with the leaves added.

Mystic Quilter said...

I like your take on Chinese Coins, show us more when you have the applique on there.

Ann said...

You certainly worked hard to get the tree in your quilt without bias. Lovely be the leaf plan. Chinese Coins make a good backgrounds undo and I like your simple offset. Also like the idea of small sets of Coins from the scraps of each month. It will be interesting to see how it works out. Thanks for joining with #AHIQChineseCoins.

PaulaB quilts said...

Sorry I overlooked this post. Love all the batiks and how they have a grassy feel for the background. At first,glance I thought your red pins were berries and it was a winter tree. Duh! The moveable leaves will be lovely. A lot of thought and work going into this piece. Take your time and it will be even better. Rsc multicolored will just add to the fun this month. Happy April!

Christine B. said...

Love this project Marly. I have been looking at improv patchwork and quilting recently.... I am very tempted to give it a try! I think a nice swirly quilting design would look good against the geometric chinese coins and would go well with the leaves.... but that is just me! Hope you are having a nice weekend! Christine x

Kaja said...

I like what you've done here a lot - and look forward to seeing your tree with all those pretty leaves on. It's interesting to see the Chinese Coins used as a background and with applique - really original. I like those little sets of yellow-y/coral shades too.