Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Probably Not My Best Work, But Having Fun Anyway

It's Ahoc. Improv. time again and I am still 'playing with scale'. It's gotten a little out of hand as you can see. So chaotic it's almost to give me a headache, but well..., there's maybe? possibly? a vintage vibe trying to peak through.
Trying to decide if the large blocks are a 'go'

I went ahead and ripped the blue tabs off the centerpiece. Oooh, that's much, much better. Thought that might happen, but when I decided on the big blocks, it was time for the tabs to go. Then I went ahead and added some blue back into some of the blocks. All the fabrics as a whole are so mellow and sweet {truly}, but in this particular grouping of blocks, the energy is practically surging. There was definitely an attempt to get value changes wherever possible {you know me!}, but I tried very hard to keep green in every block for unity. Or something important like that. Somehow it just didn't quite do the trick like I wanted and needed it too. So much for using up bits and pieces of a million fat quarters and expecting to get something that looks like background.
Laying out the blocks....
So yeah. This is not exactly what I set out to do, but of course, there are always deviations and distractions, quirks and surprises when working improv. At least in my quilting room. Guess I can't say for sure about yours! Can I calm things down with a strippy border around the centerpiece?
Considering other options...
Nah... Not working for me in any of the colors auditioned, tho deep red was the best bet. I do like the light pink and dark brown strippy inset border there on the bottom though. Maybe if I repeat that on the top of the quilt, just one row into the quilt? I threw these leftovers into a rough looking row just to 'see'. There's nothing quite like having it right in front of us to help make up our wishy, washy minds.
Probably not....
And the railroad tracks border idea was definitely intriguing, but just too much, too much. Can't handle all this strong 'look at me stuff!' And now I'm back to the strippy bars border minus one row of blocks for the length of the quilt. It's a really busy look, but somehow ties everything together regardless. Not a design to win any awards, but it will still probably keep someone nice and warm some day in the future.
Maybe a yes....
We have been gone several days in a row and there has been lots of craziness going on since we returned. This was farther than I expected to get today, but still not nearly far enough to satisfy. When the middle of the living room floor is the only design wall that's big enough to work with, time for auditioning becomes very limited. As it was, I had several of my family carefully walking across the quilt blocks. What to do? Once it's picked up, then it's who knows how long till there's another opportunity. So be it.

I did go ahead and start sewing rows of the quilt together tonight, randomly turning quilt blocks in a different direction when I got the urge. It was annoying to me that they were all placed so purposefully in a 'weave' pattern--that carefulness was the unintended result of hurrying to move things off the floor. I prefer a bit more randomness, but it might be too late to make it happen. 

Hoping to lay it all out once again with enough of the strippy lt. pink and brown border sewn to make a difference.  Wish you could see the true colors of this quilt--it's not nearly as mushy looking at it looks in all these horrid pictures! This project has been fairly mindless, surprisingly fun and also, really good to get rid of {more} sage green fabrics stock piled so many years ago. What was I thinking? There's nothing wrong with working with the old and languishing when we're focused on design possibilities, right? And it's always good to practice with the pieces we won't cry over if we mess up too terribly. Linking up with Kaja and Ann for AHIQ #32! Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to catch up on the emails and blogging comments too...


  1. I like how you've laid some of the blocks with dark pink horizontally on the right-hand side of the photo; on the left they are mostly vertical. I guess this is probably the result of replacing the pieces for the umpteenth time, but more variation in direction might make the design less "rail fence" and more frivolous, if that's what you're after. I also like the introduction of the "piano keys" row; it's a very nice effect.

  2. I like the quilt so far. Warm greetings

  3. I am glad the blue tabs are gone. I really do like the look of this - especially that last photo. And adding in quilted texture will add yet a few more layers of intrigue.

  4. I like the last photo too and I didn't care for the blue

  5. That last photo looks great. And, I'm glad the blue tabs are gone too. It's all about experimenting and knowing when to dump the experiment! I love that center so much, it just didn't need any other distractions. Looking forward to seeing you next decision.

  6. I really do like this a lot. I agree that working to avoid a strict rail fence layout will give it a softer look, and like that light pink/brown border a lot, especially the fact it is repeated. In fact, I'd be tempted to use it three times, not just two.

    1. PS: As always, thanks for linking up with AHIQ!

  7. I like where you're going with this quilt. You're getting somewhere and I'm enjoying the journey from the peanut gallery! :)

  8. I like the playful quality of this quilt top. Setting the medallion off center was an integral part of that. Have you considered striping the B&W portion, in the bottom half, to use as a binding? It would echo the railroad portion used in the medallion, but not be overwhelming.

    I am very new here and if I overstep my welcome please let me know.


  9. Always interesting to follow your creative process. I miss the little blue tabs but I can see why you removed them. Love the colors.

  10. I do like the last photo, love the colours and the layout so far!

  11. That’s the thing with Improv. You never know if it works until it’s working. Makes me very very anxious when it’s me, but I love it when I see it with someone else’s project.

  12. Good choice to remove the blue bars from the centre and I'm loving the basket weave feel of your block layout. Another winner. You are an improv master! (or is that mistress??!)

  13. Isn't it all about experimenting until you come up with something visually appealing. I like the last photo too.

  14. I like where you're going with this quilt. You're getting somewhere and I'm enjoying the journey from the peanut gallery! :)


  15. I like the rail fence blocks. Mostly because they are perfectly straight seams. Gives the quilt a playful look....and I don't sew rail fence straight seams very well.

  16. Oh, Kaja's three repeats sounds interesting. Twice on the bottom; once on top. I would make a strict weave but like the idea of randomizing the design.
    Crazy idea but... those blue strips look like signature blocks to me. If not here, they'd be neat on something with autographs of appropriate people-of-importance to the recipient.
    Thanks for linking with AHIQ and for playing along so joyously through the years. It's a pleasure to see so many different ways to approach utility quilting.

  17. I am so relieved the blue tabs are gone. They looked to me like painters tape holding your central oval in place while you designed the rest. I was a bit dismayed to find they are/ were a design element in themselves. Also I'm not a fan of the weave-look, I love how you're changing the directions so they look more random.


  18. Always interesting to follow your creative process. I miss the little blue tabs but I can see why you removed them. Love the colors.

  19. I love the use of civil war and other fabrics to make such graphic and modern quilt. That sage green fabric was good for something, after all! As always, loved reading your design process.

  20. I like it - the composition and contrast is great.

  21. Love how this is coming together!


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