Wednesday, March 29, 2017

AHIQ March - Improv with Gwennie & a Sneak Peek

I'm a little late to the party this month, but better late than never!  I'm linking up with Kaja, and you can see all the other improv at the linky here.

I was late because I was finishing up the quilting and binding on my Liberated Medallion quilt from the Liberated Medallion QAL with Lori at Humble Quilts.  I got it done!  Yay!  For right now, here's a sneak peek.

I'm really pleased with how this little quilt came out.  The sun is supposed to actually shine here on Friday and I hope to get the official portrait then.  You'll just have to wait to see the "full monty" until then.

I got to really play with some liberated improv last week, when I went to La Conner, Washington and took a 3 day class with Gwen Marston on Abstract Quilts in Solids.  It was so much fun!  I made new friends and played with my fabrics.  What is better than that?  I will do a post all about this class later, but right now, I'll "show and tell" my work/play from the class.

I had seen the exhibit of Gwen's abstract quilts in solids at the Northwest Quilt and Textile Museum the day before the class, and I had drawn out a few ideas.  So I knew where I wanted to start.  The night before the class, I came up with some color schemes, so I got right to work in class.

I have to add here that I was kind of freaked out about working with solids.  I haven't used solids in a long time.  They seem so "flat" to me - I'm so used to the prints in the fabrics doing some heavy lifting for texture and interest.  I made myself only bring solids - no prints of any kind!  After viewing Gwen's quilts, I realized that the actual quilting gives the texture and I really need to plan for that when working with solids.  It helped me to calm down and realize that it really wasn't too scary.

I knew I wanted to do some of the "unequal equilateral triangles", as Gwen called them, so I started with that.  And I wanted to include a curve and some floating squares.

Here was where I stopped at the end of the first day.

The next day, I changed things a little.

I decided I liked the green better than the purple/pink I had in there.  That strip across the top is actually light blue and it just looked glaringly clunky.  

And here is where I ended up at the end of the 2nd day.  That light blue strip was too much, and my table mate suggested trimming it down.  Now I like it!  This still needs to be squared up, and it's possibly not finished.  I'm still thinking about what else it needs, if anything.  Maybe another round of borders?  Maybe just some snazzy binding.  We'll see.

I wanted to try something else before the class was over, so I got started on my 2nd color scheme idea. 

I wanted to try some half log cabins, which I had never done "liberated"/improv before.  I cut some random width strips and 3 1/2 inch starting squares and just started sewing.  It was very fun and relaxing.  I'm trying to channel the Gee's Bend quilters here.  *grin*

Gwen said she'd never really used the half log cabin before.  She and Freddy used some in their collaborative quilts, but only with prints, not solids.  

I liked those so much, I made some more!  I'm not squaring these up too much yet.  These blocks are pinned up on a carpet-covered wall that was in the classroom.  I'm kind of liking that dark "background" in there.

And here they are on my design wall in my studio, in a more mixed up layout.  Looking at this photo, I can see that they do need some more dark in there.  Maybe sashing?  For right now, I'm still thinking about where I want to go with this.  More rounds on each block? 

I'm hoping to get back to this pretty soon.  However, we have to get through taxes before I can do much more.  I'd rather be sewing!


  1. What a fun quilt! I love your use of solids. I have thought about doing an all-solid quilt, but I haven't tried it yet. I would need to increase my solid collection if nothing else!

  2. Our taxes are finally done - so glad you had a chance to spend those days with Gwen! Looking forward to your "full monty" post for your medallion quilt!

  3. So many details of your process. I agreed with each step (as if that matters.) But what an enlightening explanation.
    What fun you had with Gwen. I believe I read posts by some other people who attended that workshop. And her last one. Such a memory you will have.
    Thanks for linking with AHIQ. I look forward to seeing the completed quilt.

  4. You are having fun!
    I used to live in Anacortes, WA, very close to La Conner and I have been to the NW Quilt and Textile Museum. Good for you to be able to take a class with Gwen.
    Your work is beautiful, inspiring.

  5. Looks like you dove right in and had fun. That first piece has impact. I like the simplicity of it. The half logs will be an interesting challenge. ,Have a fun week!

  6. I like your improv half log cabins very much. Using the same dark green is brilliant for showing off the bright "logs".

  7. I like the peep at your finished medallion - when do we get to see the whole thing? As for your class, it sounds wonderful. Thanks for talking us through your pieces - it's so interesting to follow the process and see where you got to. I especially like those log cabin blogs and look forward to seeing where you go with them. Thanks for linking up!

  8. SO JEALOUS! lol Good for you getting to take that class! Love seeing the peek of your finished quilt and those half log cabins are very inspiring. I've been thinking about making some largish ones. They are really calling my name lately!


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