Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Floating Squares is a top ...

or maybe a backing.

Floating Squares: score 1 in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

Don't get me wrong; I love how this has turned out, so why it's a backing will depend on how you look at it! (literally). I'd rather think that this will become a double-sided quilt. I was ready to start quilting in the middle of last week, except I couldn't find suitable backing fabric in my small selection of yardage. It is all too regular, too traditional, and didn't seem to be a worthy partner for this as a top. I hope you understand what I mean.

I could buy a solid fabric, and that's sold locally. I have decided, however, to continue with the scores in Sherri Lynn Wood's book and use the next one or maybe two combined as the other side of this quilt. Who is to decide which side is the top and which the backing?

Anyway, now something about the process and what I learned.
  • Firstly, setting the limits in each "block" was not difficult, and nor was cutting freehand or inserting filler fabric. I rather enjoyed not having to worry about matching points, and, in fact, after a few seams neatly pressed to the dark fabric I scrapped that and pressed everything open. After all there's no knowing what is going to be joined on next!
  • Secondly, instead of following the score which was simple, I decided, after making about a quarter of the quilt, that I wanted the colours to flow across the block edges, so there are no defined blocks. This was a decision made on route, as it were; not part of the original plan, but a spontaneous decision made during the process. Unfortunately, from that moment I lost the playfulness, I started thinking too much! 😔 and worrying, and that held me back. This project was spontaneity over months! and that's impossible, right?
  • Thirdly, it's never too late to change! Having been searching for the way forward on this project for months, I thought "What the heck!", cut a few squares and went on. The last quarter of this was done in two days, including joining all the separate "blocks" and getting it more or less rectangular. Those two days I really enjoyed!
  • Lastly, and this flows out of the previous observation, there seems to be a sort of improv fatigue, a variation of writer's block: a point where ideas dry up and where transferring to another creative project posing other problems, asking for other decisions can enable you to return later with rested eyes. From this experience I think it's unwise to fight improv fatigue, or writer's block for that matter; it's just "check", not "checkmate".
To conclude: I enjoyed the experience, didn't really suffer from redefining my limits partway through, and am totally satisfied with the result.
That's the end of my lecture!

Some quilt statistics:-
  • 59" x 42"
  • all Bella solids
  • all pieces cut freehand with a rotary cutter - although is it really freehand when the cutting mat has squares printed on it?! Hmm! 
  • Machine pieced. 
  • I'll be hand-quilting it with 12 wt. thread in an all-over pattern, probably Baptist fans. But I'll quite likely change my mind when I have the other side!
I'm linking up to 
Grab button for AHIQ
Click on the button to see more amazing improvisation.

Happy sewing


Monday, 27 November 2017

On Ringo Lake: Quiltville mystery part 1

I fell for it! Once again I've succumbed to the temptation to take part in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt along! Looking through my scraps over the last month made me realise there were nowhere near enough browns so I took advantage of the quit show in Nieuwegein, near Utrecht to add to my stash, and not only browns!

The first clue came Friday lunchtime so cutting time began on Friday afternoon and the first brown, teal and neutral 9-patches rolled from the machine on Friday evening.

Not many 9-patches, but I do have a few strips joined

and more strips waiting in the wings.

I should be getting all 50 finished by the end of this week, in time for clue number 2.

Click on the link to see more of Ringo's 9-patches!

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Some Improv, some foundation piecing, and some mindless sewing.

To start with the improv piece I'm making following the first score in Sherri Lynn Wood's "The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters". Although I've been working on this for what seems like ages I haven't posted a photo since July; other projects got in the way, the fabric in a particular colour ran out, or my inspiration dried up! This week I added the section on the right, most of the part with navy in it and I'll be going further when I've finished this post.

Improv lap quilt following score 1 from The Improv Quilters' Handbook
Improv should be spontaneous; it should grow as you work and just develop within the limitations the quilter has set. I don't think months of deliberation are part of the picture.

Foundation piecing, on the other hand is strictly organised. To start with there's a pattern so designed to ensure perfect points - forget that in my case. At least with this pattern from Make Modern magazine  I didn't make my usual errors of cutting the fabric back to front. That's something I always do at least once, which would be fine if I wanted to use the back of the fabric!
4" Rainbow pincushion top: pattern by Angie Wilson for Make Modern issue 18
There are some missed points, all in the final joining stage; the sections themselves are fine. Does anyone have any tips for keeping the presser foot on track when sewing through so many layers of fabric and paper?! It was like a doing a skid course! In spite of the points I'm satisfied with the result, and it was a good learning experience.

After all that concentration I was ready for some mindless catch-up sewing in aqua which was February's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each month from January to November Angela gives a colour to work with. This month's colour is brown/black, so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on my projects.

I still have to do green, yellow and orange. If I don't manage to sew them this year there's always next year!

I am linking up later today to 
grab button for SoScrappy
Click on the button to view other catch-up and finishing projects.

Happy sewing