Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Working on the Wall or on the Floor. It all Works!

Here's the project taking up my design wall today. I was hoping to be further along with it, but lately the family has been quite demanding of my time. So, three more string sheets to sew up and things should start moving along very quickly.
Basket Love on the wall
The baskets are interesting as they are all various sizes, but finally the decision was made to square them up. Oh, not all the same size or anything boring like that, but at least get them square so that the handles will be pointing up. That was the deciding factor in the end. I really, really don't want the handles tilting in all directions! With the darker coping strips added and then trimmed down, they will all be the same exact size and hopefully, pointing straight up. And although that seems like a cheater thing to do in an improv. style quilt, it will actually make adding the setting triangles onto those vertical rows much, much easier.
Starting with the improv. baskets
I can only take so much chaos in a quilt project right now before I'm working at complete overwhem! Just too many outside distractions at the moment and quilting is supposed to be my happy place.*wink  I thought all the colors had designated spots in my project and then of course the quilt balked on me. It didn't want the sour green around the blocks like I had originally planned out and the stringy rows? Not going to be mixed browns in this quilt. No sirree! And so it took some time playing with the fabric, auditioning possibilities before any cutting and sewing could be started.

After I finally settled on the mixed greens for the vertical string columns, everything else just sort of fell into place with ease. Most of my string sets are wide enough that I will be cutting them in half and then joining them end to end. After much contemplation, there are about 10 baskets that won't fit into this particular quilt. I'm sure they will find a home somewhere else along the way, possibly even a more puzzle piece sort of quilt. Maybe when things settle down I will have more of a mind to do a trickier layout. Those requires more layout time on the {quilting room or living room} floor as my design wall is so small--I'm constantly jumping back and forth depending on what is trying to be accomplished. Some weeks, the {much larger} living room floor is pretty much out of the question!
Working out the color plan on the floor
With my limited time in the quilt room the last several days, it felt like everything was moving in very slow-motion. I am positively itching to get this particular quilt where I can SEE something happen and interruption after interruption has continually bogged me down. Stop and start. Stop and start. You probably all know how that goes! 

This is the only open-ended Imrov. project I have on the go at the moment, but this has been a surprisingly good month for finishes. Coins and Baskets as well as Patchwork Doodle were both brought to the quilt top stage in June! I always count quilt tops as a finish as it feels so very good to get to that point. Then later on when they are truly a finished quilt, well, that's another finish! 

I was also able to sneak in one, true-blue finish with my green Floating Squares quilt! I've tried to mix my improv. quilt tops into the queue of quilts that need stitching. They always seem to come together so much faster than the more traditional style of quilting. It can stack up really fast, but there's no percentage in putting my creativity off for another day, or month, or year in an effort to stay on track. That ship sailed a long time ago and I'm mostly okay with the idea that I'll always have more quilt tops than I could possibly complete in a year. As it is, I have two more improv. quilt ideas that are very close to being put into action, and also, all the fabric picked out for the next Improv. Handbook score. It's almost addicting to start working in this no-rules, no-ruler, no-boundaries sort of way. All that quick machine stitching and slashing into fabrics has become a very nice balance to the applique work that I so love to do!

Linking up to Ann and Kaja for AHIQ #22! Why not hop over and check out Kaja's wonderful new quilt top. It's a beauty!


  1. Nice group of basket blocks! Looking forward to seeing them come together.

  2. Quilts are a journey. I always enjoy hearing about yours.

  3. this is coming along well, liking the dark sashing added to the baskets works very well, your improv skills are so good ans such a great imagination you have to come up with these plans

  4. I really love the first layout with black sashing and green strings ! So interesting !

  5. I am the opposite of you. My improv piecing takes me longer than traditional because with improv I do a lot of thinking. I look forward to seeing how this basket quilt develops. So far it is so interesting!

  6. Totally understand your frustration with wanting to SEE some results -- I struggle with that urge a lot, too. Liking those baskets!!

  7. I get that itch too when the ideas are way ahead of the physical reality and I can't free the time for my hands to catch up with head! It does look like this is moving along though; I like what's on your design wall a lot.

  8. I like the first photo of baskets and the second (larger group) even more. Are you deciding between matching points and Streak of Lightning set? I see both in that photo.
    These no-rules quilts are the perfect antidote to fussy cutting. I'm glad you're using Sherry's book. Thanks for linking an insightful post with AHIQ.

  9. Great baskets! I like the streaks of lighting layout. A lot of movement in that one also the baskets on point! It will be a fun quilt!

  10. I like where this is headed!
    In regard to "may seem like a cheater thing to do in an improv quilt"...I don't think so. You are making it up as you go along and not following a pattern so you are improvising whether you square up your blocks or not. Improv (to me) means improvise and improvising can be done in a number of ways from substituting fabric when you run out of one to adding a touch of yourself to even a traditional quilt.

    Anyway...carry on...great job...I admire your applique especially since it's not my thing!

  11. Love your little baskets! No, squaring up isn't "against the rules" in improv quilting. The point is, you make your own rules and usually each quilt gets a different set of rules. You're doing great! I think improv is a lot of fun, and I'm glad you do too.

  12. I like the way your basket love is developing. Interesting discussion here about squaring up; it had never crossed my mind not to! There again, that would be quite a challenge: making things fit without squaring up!


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