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!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

AHIQ and Random Stuff

It's time for the monthly Ad Hoc Improv Quilt challenge link-up and I'll be linking up with Kaja at Sew Slowly.  I missed last month as I was in Las Vegas, and I don't have a lot to show this time, but I will share what I do have.

I was inspired, around Valentine's Day, to make some wonky hearts!  A "squirrel" project.  You know what  I mean.... an-out-of-the-blue, wild-hair hankering to make some little hearts.  I decided to go with bright solids with text and low-volume prints.  I do so love that combo!  Well, I'm a little rusty at making wonky hearts and the first two hearts didn't quite make the cut, but I kept going and the hearts  have improved.  I'm starting with 5 inch squares of the solid color and when I'm done, I'll cut all the hearts down to a common size.  I think.  I have no plan for these, I'm just playing and having fun!  I used Lazy Gal Tonya's tutorial for the wonky hearts.  You can see it here.

The other improv project was also hearts!  I made some blocks for the Block Lotto drawing in January.  Improv "slabs" were the basis for the hearts. The pattern is here. They're not the most improv-looking, to me.  If I were to make more, I think I'd get a little crazier.  *grin*  Sadly, I didn't win the Lotto, but I had fun making the heart blocks.

and even more hearts!
DS and I were going to bake Valentine's Day cookies, but as we were preheating the oven, we heard some strange noises coming from it.  The electric element was on fire!  It was like arc welding going on in there!  Yikes!!  I turned off the oven, but the fire was kept going.  So, not knowing what else to do, I called 911.  The nice firemen came and unplugged the oven/stove and told me not to use it!  Fortunately the cookie dough was still in the fridge, so we didn't lose it. Not having the stove top or the oven made making meals a little challenging until the repairman got there.  We went out to dinner a couple of times and BBQ'ed and microwaved.

In the end, we got a new element installed in the oven and we finally got our cookies baked about 10 days late.  Better late than never... and they were still yummy!

These Japanese X and Plus blocks were the January Block of the Month for the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild.  We used this tutorial at Christine's Color Connection blog.  They were easy and they came out the right size with no problems!  You can see the finished quilt here.  (That committee is some fast sewists!)

Boy blocks

And these string blocks were the February BOM.  For these blocks we used the Scrappy Strings tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.  We adapted the pattern by using a few more strips than called for to end up with 10 inch blocks.

Girl blocks
Most of our Blocks of the Month go to the charity quilt committee to be made into quilts to give away.  This month the call was for blocks for kids' quilts in particular.  I think these came out so cute!

My other quilt guild makes quilts for a local hospital's babies.  Most of them are small to be used for preemies and also early demise - the  little ones that don't make it.  This is one I made from hand-me-down scraps.  I've gotten it quilted and found a fabric for the I just have to do it!   Hopefully by the guild meeting on Friday.

Remember this one?  I started this in January 2015 and it was meant to be a long term project.  You can see the beginnings here.  I've had the blocks done for a while (see them here) and I'm finally starting to sew them together.  Two rows done!  Moving right along....    I want to have this finished for the quilt show in September, so I can't stall too long on this.  But I have a 3 day workshop coming up the middle of this month and that has me kind of distracted. 

Another scrap project.....some badly needed new hot pads.  I even used scrap/leftover bindings.

And, my giggle for the week, a Star Wars Tie-Fighter Tie!  I love it!

Tomorrow I'm going to Sew Expo with some friends.  That will be fun!  I haven't gone for a few years.  It's so massive that it's sometimes hard to find what I want, but I have fun looking. It's not as big as Pacific International Quilt Festival that I used to go to in California, but still big enough to do some damage.  $$$!  Let the shopping begin!