Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Little Bit of Adhoc Improv. Quilting!

So.., big step for me with Improv. I actually cut into good pieces of fabric, not oldy moldies at the bottom of the stash totes! It seemed easier to go the 'baby quilt' route for my first time. Lesson the panic a bit and work on a smaller scale.
The initial stack of fabric. Later on I added more blue and some yellow
I used Sujata Shah's 'Cultural Fusion Quilts' to make wonky looking flying geese {she calls them tipsy triangles}. First I cut 6" squares with a ruler, then I started making my free form blocks, cutting and re-stacking as the directions state. Love that her book makes it easy to find directions for making units, learning the process, instead of having to wade through specific quilt directions for everything.
Getting started with the free form part....
Eventually I ended up with stacks of free looking hourglass units. I've been looking at these in her book for months {for another project} and just couldn't quite bring myself to cut into the fabric. This little baby quilt was an excellent trial run. I love some of the hourglass units and others, not so much. It obviously depends on how gentle or steep a curve you cut. Something to think about!
Free looking hourglass units
On to the trimming. How I do hate thee....! It's just so tedious. I wanted to run screaming from the room, really I did. But... lots of breaks over a period of a couple days and finally it was all done and out of the way. And though I'm not a big fan of waste, what was leftover seemed very reasonable.
Trimming, trimming, trimming, trimming, trimming.....
Finally I ended up with my wonky geese units. Exactly what I was wanting! Sujata suggests mixing up the squares in order to end up with a more interesting blend of fabrics. I thought about it, but in the end played it very safe as I really wanted a calmer arrangement of geese {lots of repeats} for this particular quilt.
Wonky geese on the wall
Eventually I found my way to this fun little arrangement on my wall! This is only the first layout audition, so it's not exactly set in stone yet. There are about 40 geese that still need to find their way into the quilt and of course those oddball geese with the wrong color backgrounds need to find a home as well. When it's actually sewn together, there will be many, many points disappearing, but I think that's one of the charming things about this style of quilt. Ahh... Sujata, you don't disappoint! The directions are very clear with lots of pictures, something that I for one, rather appreciate. My brain doesn't always compute well with the way people explain things!
The beginnings of a baby quilt
Then I jumped over to these little units made from my scrap bin. I'm starting to get an idea about how they need to be joined together.
Scrappy improv. units
I cut some 1 1/4" strips in a light colored fabric that will hopefully help make these blocks 'glow' a bit. It's not something I focus on very often, but when I see it happening almost by accident, it's time to take advantage!
The new unit
And last but not least, here's the last Adhoc Improv. arrangement all put together and ready for pinning. The vintage block has a little bit of rust staining and the basket wasn't hand stitched very well. Keeping it small means I can use it for a wall hanging--still enjoy my efforts without stressing over how well it will hold up to normal wear and tear.
Vintage Basket quilt
Somewhere along the line I decided it was perfectly acceptable to have two different quilts being hand quilted at the same time {two different hoops of course}. I can still hardly fathom why and how this came to be, but apparently this is my new 'normal'. Check me for a fever....

Linking up with Kaja and Ann today for lots of Adhoc Improv. fun! 

26 comments:

  1. Those tipsy geese are really great Audrey - I love seeing them lined up like that. You did a really great job letting go of the need to control and the results are so much fun. I have trouble with that.
    Love the scrappy block fabric combinations too, And the way you've framed up the vintage basket - it looks like it was all part of the original.

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  2. "tipsy geese" I like that term Lara! great improv Audrey will be fun to see how they all turn out

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  3. I'm avidly checking out your geese! I've got Sujata's book, but haven't dared try anything yet. Your geese are so enticing...

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  4. Good luck with your hand quilting.... variety is the spice of life, they say.. Love the wonky flying geese. I have made these in the past from a different book and found them to be so much fun. Looks like a lovely baby quilt!

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  5. Oh loveing your "funky Geese" they are so neat....hugs, Julierose

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  6. I love those geese and those scrappy improv blocks. I like that the geese are in there colour sets....improv doesn't have to mean chaotic does it? I also find trimming tedious.

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  7. Love your tipsy geese. They look terrific together on your design wall. I always appreciate your talk throughs. It gives me a bit of a nudge to loosen up a bit. (Hard to teach an old quilter new tricks!) hahaha

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  8. I like how your tipsy geese look together but doubt I could do randomly wonky myself, I just don't have it in me. You're obviously feeling very creative lately, and I don't think it's rebellious to be quilting two quilts at once!

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  9. I just love them, I want to try that. I like flying geese and this version is so cool. Thanks for sharing with us. You give me so many great ideas and inspiration

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  10. Love your tipsy geese! I really enjoy Sujata's technique too. It adds a lot of life to a quilt.

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  11. I just ordered Sujata's book yesterday, so I am very happy to see this great technique will be in it. It is just what I am looking for! Your geese are really good -- I love the colours and the layout too. You're on a roll!

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  12. tipsy geese work so well maybe this is another book I need to buy! Loving the scrappy blocks such a good way to use up small bits of fabric

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  13. What a way with words. Tipsy geese. Did they eat fermented berries? They look wonderful. Flying geese are one of my favorites - so many ways to put them together.
    I've been stalled on my scrappy improv blocks. Your method of sashing them looks like a good way to handle them. There is a point where they simply become a mess. I like the size of yours.
    Thanks for linking to AHIQ.

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  14. Ooh, I like everything here. Fying geese are one of my absolute favourites and yours look great - I like that you have managed quite a calm feeling to the arrangement. Your basket with triangles looks very 'you', which can only be a good thing, and your idea of sashing the little improv blocks makes a lot of sense; if you can get them to 'glow' you are really onto a good thing. I have just come to terms with more than one project at a time and now you introduce the idea of more than one quilt in the hoop at a time - it's a slippery slope...

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  15. I can't tell you how happy I am to read your post. I wasn't a big fan of trimming the squares at first either. For me both my laziness and not wanting to waste fabric were the reasons for it. Your version of Tipsy Geese was one quilt I wanted to add to the book but clearly ran out of time and pages after 15 patterns. Glad you tried your improv quilt using my book. That baby is lucky baby! The basket quilt with triangles all around looks fantastic too! I enjoy your in-depth posts. This was even more fun ;-) Happy Thanksgiving!

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  16. I love the Flying Geese. Even using rulers I don't have to try very hard to have them looking like what I call Lame Ducks. I hate trimming too and try to avoid anything that involves it like the plague!

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  17. Pretty cool! I'm not sure improv quilting is for me, but you definitely took some of the dread out of it, especially with the Flying Geese.

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  18. Your improv projects are all looking really interesting... I love your Flying Geese! I struggle a bit with improv, it can be tricky keeping it under control and so I enjoyed reading your post today.

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  19. I love it. Your choice of prints in colors that remind me of quiet times on a sunny day laying on it reading a good book.

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  20. I love it. Your choice of prints in colors that remind me of quiet times on a sunny day laying on it reading a good book.

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  21. I love the tipsy geese, and the arrangement is great! This will be such a lucky baby!

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  22. Oldie mouldies....that gave me a chuckle!!
    I don't like wonky stars, but I do like your wonky geese en masse!

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  23. The geese are wonderful. I like the arrangement and the differing backgrounds a lot. I'm also intrigued by your improv setting for the vintage block. I've got some vintage printed panel pieces that are so very staid and traditional by themselves, but could be much more interesting incorporated into an improv arrangement. You've given me hope!

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  24. What adorable projects! I love the pink strip sashing!!

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  25. Great wonky geese quilt top, I love where you are going with this. I have Sujata Shah's book, I must make time to make a few wonky geese too!

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  26. Those flying geese are right up my alley! I love the colors but even more the stress free way of sewing together the geese is my kind of sewing! It took me a moment to understand how you made them but seriously, this is fabulous! Much easier than my patterns or directions!

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