Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What Imrov. is Teaching Me

So here it is time for the AHIQ March link up and I'm sort of betwixt and between. There's definitely been progress made on one of my previous improv. projects, but it's improv. of a different nature. After adding on a narrow red border, I went neutral and very unobtrusive for the following one.
Upper border applique not looking so good...
Maybe try the large berries on the side?
Because.... yeah. Neutral is often a good choice for the background of those nifty applique borders that I love so much. Not that this quilt had to have applique, but you know me. There was a picture in my mind that beckoned and then after auditioning it, my stomach sort of clenched up. Nope. That is NOT going to work. Which was kind of unfortunate, because I was so confident in how it would look, I had already sewn the flower stems to my border panels. Ouch. How does this happen?

So after playing with several different flower ideas {all based on a bright red stem???}, small and large berries, weird looking leaves, plus all of the above in several different colors, I settled on the bright red {solid fabric} berries with no leaves. Just a whimsical, but monochromatic, sort of repeat--every berry placed by eye not exact positioning. And hopefully it won't end up looking like my improv. sprouted a strange bright red fungus....
Almost through with the first border...
On to the machine stitching sort of improv.! Wanting to play, I dug into a lovely pile of marinating fabrics and made some free-cut string sets. For some reason the strings are still calling to me and I'm wondering if they could possibly be part of something new around here. I love applique. Am always trying to insert it into every possible quilt project. {Perhaps you have noticed?} So what if I use the improv. play to make what I have been thinking of as  'intentional backgrounds'. The idea being that the base improv. unit; ie, the quilt background, would not need to be outstanding, just sort of loose and fun. Then I would have this area to do whatever I wanted to with some whimsical applique. It's an intriguing idea so we'll just have to see where I go from here.
A small stack of string sets
All of these are a minimum of 17" long with 1 to 2 1/2" widths. I didn't want anything too narrow and stringy for the first cuts. I actually do have the faintest idea of where this is {should be} going. Which doesn't mean it will work out 'cuz the first audition hasn't exactly lived up its promise. But I'm discovering more of what improv. is all about. Being open to different endings. Finding creative solutions to unexpected problems. Listening to what the mix of fabric and pattern is trying to say. Leaving opportunity for surprises. It's all good and I'm having fun. Isn't that the most important part? Why don't you check out what Ann and Kaja have going on for this months link up!

27 comments:

  1. I love the big red berries - they look nothing like fungus :0)

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  2. so is "improv" the same as design as you go? I'm not sure on the trend for the new words and just checking. I love the applique that You have added - think it looks great!!

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  3. I love watching your design process in action, false starts and all!

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  4. I like the berries but I kinda liked the funky flowers too.

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  5. Looking forward to seeing where your improv projects take you.

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  6. The way you build your quilts, I've always thought you were an improv quilter! Just keep doing what you do so naturally and you'll have another winner.

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  7. Интересно. Аппликация очень стильная.

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  8. I don't see anything wrong with your choice for the border. Maybe you would feel better about it with another red border afterwards or a wide red binding.

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  9. I love your definition of improv. Someone's going to want to put that in a book! Maybe you should! Your quilts are looking great. I don't see a fungus, either. They have me thinking cranberries. And I like the funky flowers but maybe not both on the same improv quilt. (There's enough going on already.) Can you maybe use the flowers on the strip quilt later? I like applique borders, but haven't used them in a while. You have me wanting to rethink those.

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  10. " small and large berries, weird looking leaves, plus all of the above in several different colors, "

    I like that. But, the important is you enjoy. If that not like you, you can change. A little work added. :)

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  11. That is a great definition of improv!

    I like the berries, and have seen enough of your quilts to know that even if you're not entirely happy at points along the way, you always get there in the end, so the quilt will work. I love the idea of making 'intentional backgrounds' as a base for applique: it will be very interesting to see how this evolves.

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  12. Okay you just cracked me UP with your fungus remark! :) I think they look wonderful : )

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  13. I think your strings would make wonderful backgrounds to some of your beautiful applique.

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  14. I look forward to seeing what you decide on the strips.
    The applique border look fun and not fungi! LOL

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  15. Lori wins! "Fun and not fungi!" is the best thing I've read all day! I think improv is being willing to take that first step into the darkness just beyond the light from your flashlight beam. All you have to do after that is just keep on walking! I have no doubt that you are going to end up with two amazing finishes! ❤❤❤

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  16. Improv is fun, isn't it? I fully understand getting the picture in your mind and then reality not being exactly what you were expecting - lol! But, that's part of the fun - being creative and NOT knowing what the end result will be. It just leads you to another avenue til you find what is pleasing in your eyes! I think your borders are looking nice!

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  17. Finding the right path can be challenging but it's got to be fun too. Otherwise, why go down it. I like the red berry border, but I wouldn't eliminate the flowers quite yet.

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  18. Thanks for walking us through your improv process! It's really interesting to hear how someone else approaches improv and your addition of applique adds a wonderfully unique touch.

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  19. Great design.
    I agree with Kyle, 'It's got to be fun or why do it?'

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  20. I like the red berries on the side but the flowers were also good I think, but you have to be happy with it. Love to see how your improv. quilt is developing. And I can see a beautiful applique on the string block. Greetings Aurora

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  21. I admire your ability to improv.

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  22. The berries are so fun! I enjoy reading your process and how you worked through your ideas. But I especially loved your final paragraph defining improvisation: "Being open to different endings. Finding creative solutions to unexpected problems. Listening to what the mix of fabric and pattern is trying to say. Leaving opportunity for surprises." What a wonderful definition. Thanks for linking another insightful post to AHIQ. It helps us all move forward.

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  23. I always love reading about and watching your design process. Looks like more wonderful quilts are in the making!

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  24. Great work!! Loving your process here and looking forward to seeing the outcome.

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  25. Love improv, because I love theater and creating quilts is like a play, never the same performance twice.

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  26. I liked the other flowers better but I know you are not finished with the fun gus flowers so will stay tuned.

    After I appliqued my fireworks dresdens on to the rail fence background I thought of making some "intentional backgrounds" too. I've seen some awesome quilts using those "intentional backgrounds". I have a feeling yours will be one of those.

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  27. Your quilting adventures are always full of surprises. I like how you go with your gut, create something, then stand back, take a look and add another layer. That IS the fun part! The string blocks will be a great background for some applique.

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