Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Green Floating Squares Experiment

I've been plowing through the floating squares quilt as it is a very messy project. Working on this sort of quilt just sort of takes over the quilt room! And wowsers, late yesterday evening I was rewarded with a finished quilt top. Minus a bit of trimming of course.
Floating Squares quilt top
All along I kept auditioning fabrics and trying to 'look ahead'. It really helps me to not give up and just throw it all back in a bin, always very tempting to me. This style of quilting is just crazy awkward to me!

I so wanted to keep on using the oldish bits of green fabrics from the very bottom of the tote and except for about three or fabrics, every single fabric in this quilt has been with me for at least two plus years! One fabric in particular, the dark green polka dot, was bought between 1993-1995. So amazing that I didn't already get rid of it and why not, you may ask? Our income has been a fluctuating thing through the years. I do not get rid of fabric easily or well. There is this very real fear of fabric deprivation you know!*wink
All the blocks on the wall, auditioning fabric....
You might also think that I stole some blue for this quilt, but believe me when I say those fabrics were in the green tote as well. You know how some fabrics look green or blue depending on what they're lying next too? These are those kinds of fabrics and they always ended up back in the green tote because they look more green than blue. {Unless of course they're in a green quilt!} I will admit to making one more intensely thorough search through the green tote though. And that's where I found the brighter/bluer greens that seem to wake up the more boring greens. The first time through, I thought they were too brassy to be included.
Playing with a bit of pink
And at some point I decided to break my own rules and add a spot of another color {pink}. I didn't want to introduce too much, but it just seemed to be crying out for a bit of spark. Red was considered too, but it always shrieks 'Christmas' to me unless done very carefully. haha  Does this look like a careful quilt?
Sewing rows and deciding on placement....
As I worked through sewing the rows together, occasionally I had to make a square a bit longer. I just added a skinnier strip of fabric to extend the length and then put the pink right at the end. Kind of a cornerstone, but not exactly. I was going to do this for every single short block and then decided, no, a little pink goes a long way. Instantly, I could see the pink was going to be a perfect addition in very small doses.
One row at a time
I had to force myself to keep using all the ugly greens and not just pitch them aside. One of the things I admire most about the Gee's Bend style/make-do and utilitarian type quilts is the fact that the makers are very courageous about blending fabrics. So very bold and unapologetic. The unexpectedness of some of these extremely different fabrics being used  in the very same quilt {even side by side} always makes me smile, but when it comes to my own work? Totally different story! In this quilt I managed to use an old, (ugly) floral batik, an 80's style calico with pink roses, that hideous dark green/cream polka dot, and even a cactus print that I'm positive was given to me. I would never, ever have bought that!

 There are things already apparent to me that could have been done differently. For instance, I wish I had been more careful in how the horizontal strips of green were staggered. A slightly better placing could have possibly allowed the quilt to have better flow and movement. But it's done, I have to feel good about that. And the fact that it looks interesting to me {there on the wall} when I walk around the corner into my quilt room--success of some sort, don't you think? Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!

18 comments:

  1. I like the little winks of pink. Good call.
    I'm still not ready to try this. At this point, anyway. Which is progress from not ever, I guess... 8)

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  2. I like to keep pink around just for that purpose when it comes to scrappy quilts. I love the challenge of using what I have on hand to make a quilt. Just so much more fun! I have been working for four years trying to use up my stash. I just can't justify spending the money for more fabric when I have it on my shelves. But I have slipped a few times and purchased some layer cakes of repro fabrics. I guess I need to figure out what I want to do with them OH MY!

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  3. Congratulations, your wide, wonky sashing does exactly what it should to bring the squares together! The pink does good work but I especially like the attention-getting teal.

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  4. You have done great on your floeating blocks and this top just looks stunning. Congratulations and thank you for all your inspiration you have shared with us.
    Greetings,
    Sylvia

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  5. You have been bold and daring and it's paid off with your make-do and use it up approach. I'm not sure if I could do it, but you created a visually charming, carefree quilt, which isn't easy to do.

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  6. Oh wow! Don't ever let yourself think you don't have a fabulous sense of color and rhythm! The pink is a perfect touch. I think I would have a hard time making this but I simply love it! Gotta give it a go one of these days. Once again, thanks for the inspiration.

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  7. I love seeing your process. The pink is magic! Thanks for sharing yet another wild and wonderful quilt.

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  8. It's coming along nicely. I too like the touches of pink

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  9. Well done for hanging in there :-) The pink and the teal are both clever additions - they just lift the darker greens a bit. I also think your sashing works really well. It's a different way of thinking about everything, isn't it? And isn't all quilting messy???

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  10. The tiny splashes of pink really add something wonderful to this top. I'm with you I'm the fabric purging fear department, but your stash sounds at least a decade newer than some of the pieces in mine! But how else to put a new binding on an old quilt but with vintage fabric.

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  11. The tiny splashes of pink really add something wonderful to this top. I'm with you I'm the fabric purging fear department, but your stash sounds at least a decade newer than some of the pieces in mine! But how else to put a new binding on an old quilt but with vintage fabric.

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  12. I wasn't sure about this one early on, but really like how it is developing. It was an interesting path you put yourself on -- not wanting to invest your fave fabrics in a new & challenging process. But you really pulled it off!

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  13. It works! The bits of pink, the wonkiness, and the pieces sewn in to make everything fit. I love it! You could have been pulling from my green scrap basket, because I recognize some of the fabrics in there haha. It's harder to make something we like when we're limited(in fabric choices), but I think the outcome is much more interesting.
    Great finish!

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  14. Some of my ancient buys never see the light of day - perhaps I should give this a go? Thanks for inspiring us to use all the fabric and linking up to #scraptastictuesday

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  15. I think you did a fantastic job. The pink was a perfect addition!! You inspired me to make one like this using my old blues from so long ago. I was wondering what to do with them. What pop of color would you recommend for me? Red seems logical but I want something different. I agree about not being able to part with older fabric. I too wonder who bought some of my stash as it couldn't possibly have been me. ha ha

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  16. I forgot to ask. Did you use a particular pattern?

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  17. Oh, yes! The blue-greens and the bits of pink really bring this quilt to life. Congratulations on using lots of old (vintage) fabric and finishing the top. I feel happy looking at it, too.

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