Sunday, August 26, 2012

Improv Development

Don't think for a minute that I'm not knee-deep in Polaroid blocks! They are neatly filed, just waiting for the last few packages to come in so the swapping can begin in earnest!

While I wait, I thought I'd try and squeeze in some improv, with the goal being a small quilt using the blocks from the improv class I took with Katie Petersen last month.

With my Quilting Modern book open to the "mod TV quilt" for inspiration, I began by taping a grid on the wall in my sewing room. One by one, I hung up the improvisational log cabin blocks I'd made (the smaller three since class), standing back after each to gauge how I liked it. Finally deciding on a basic arrangement I liked, I started piecing them together with Essex linen in Putty.
 It was kind of like doing a puzzle - measure, cut, sew, trim, repeat.
 As I finished each quadrant, I pinned it back up on the wall.
Until I finally had a finished top, measuring about 34"x30". Though not coordinating as well as the front blocks, I repeated the process with the remaining class blocks to make up the backing. I was out of Essex by this time, so I looked in my bin of solids (now neatly sorted and labeled), and chose a new Kona solid, "mushroom". I chose it for three reasons - one, it almost perfectly matched the linen on the front; two, I wanted to see how it played with the Coal in my blocks; and three, because it was a color I hadn't used before. Seriously, this will be a new staple for me. I really like it.
The only real change to the back blocks that I brought home from class was that where I had just a small sample of the "stitch and flip" technique, I added to it to make a wonky star.

So, this quilt is a tad unusual, but serves as a souvenir scrapbook of sorts of improv techniques I've tried and want to keep playing with. (Thanks for the idea, daughter dear!)

12 comments:

Heather D. said...

Looks great Debbie! And can I say, I think I like the back just as much as the front. :)

capitolaquilter said...

Mushroom is a great match and goes well with gray. The two have the makings of a guy quilt.

Patchwork and Play said...

Kona mushroom sounds like an interesting colour! I wonder whether it might 'change' slightly, if it is against brown or grey? Great piecing!

Simone de Klerk said...

Interesting experimenting! Do like the results a lot.

Amys Crafty Shenanigans said...

Oooo squealing with delight here looking at those polaroid packages!!! So much hard work all wrapped into dozens and dozens of envelopes!!! And I love your improv quilt - I am HUGE improv fan :)

Toni said...

Great quilt, Deb! I love the colors in the front blocks and I'm intrigued by the mushroom. Definitely need to look into that one...

Andrea said...

Wow, so much work for you with these polaroid-blocks :( hope you have a helping hand?!
"Mushroom" looks so perfekt with your blocks, like them a lot!

Svetlana said...

oh, I love this little improv quilt, it looks wonderful!

Cherie said...

Wow that's a lot of envelopes!
So great to improv once it a while =D

Katy Cameron said...

Ooh, that looks fab :o)

Leanne said...

What a fun quilt, I love both sides!

sewkatiedid said...

glad you are having so much fun. it's nice to see practice samples go into something.