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



Ann said...

Thanks for linking with AHIQ again, Marly. It has been a treat to watch you develop this quilt over the months, especially since I used that same score.Your colors flow from block to block; mine is much blockier. Like you my quilt changed over the process as I realized I needed to save some fabric for that to happen. Learning new styles is always difficult but working through someone else's process benefits our skill set at least. A two-sided quilt sounds perfect.

audrey said...

It looks like you totally nailed this score! I've tried this one twice and both times couldn't seem to find the right flow. Working in solids really seems to help! Love what you wrote about improv. fatigue. So very true for me as well.:)

Cathy said...

I like how your Floating Squares turned out. It's one of the better ones I've seen that came out of the exercise. I really really enjoyed your thoughts on the process. I don't think these kinds of exercises are for me but you never know!

Sandy said...

I can see how thinking about it too much could totally ruin the whole improv thing. It ended up super cool.

Kaja said...

Your thoughts on the process of making this quilt are very interesting. I get that your decision to have the colours flow might lead you to over-think for a bit but actually I still think it was a good call, as it has worked beautifully in the end. I agree there's no point forcing it when it's not working - I use those times to make boring stuff like HST units - but I've definitely found that the longer I work like this, the less time I spend being stuck.