Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The New Improv. Quilt and Taking Stock of the Completed Quilt Tops

I've been working on this Improv. strip quilt, trying to get the top finished up for my first quilt meeting. It was started with the idea of it being a baby quilt for one of my nieces, and then I changed plans midway through and went a different direction.

The new Improv. Quilt Top
Sometimes there are certain pieces of fabric that just seem to be shouting for their chance in a quilt. For this fabric pull, the demanding fabric was a mauve solid {you can see it buried there in the middle between the darkest pink and the purples}. I've been trying to use it for eons and it never gained much traction. Possibly because it was a moody tone?

Starting with a fabric pull
Finally, this specific color palette hit all the right notes and we were off and running! The mauve in question had more lavender in it than pink, but because it was so light colored compared to the purples, it easily slid in with the light pink fabrics. Okay. That'll work too! I love finding areas in a quilt to sneak in a slight blend, so this made me super happy.


Strips all ready for sewing...
All the strips were free-cut, very fast and easy to do. As you can see, the basic formula was first: determining the color pairings, then secondly, determining which color in each pair to cut in the wider or more narrow strip. Cut, cut, cut, then sewing pairs of strips and on and on till here we are at the individual rows being sewn. Very organic looking until it came time to put parts and pieces into proper rows. Then it's time for some measuring and squaring up so that everything lays flat.

13 rows all sewn
For the strips, I {mostly} started with chunks of 10" x 18" fabric and then further cut the strips from there. Generally, 2 chunks from fat quarters, but as always, some were already slightly depleted and on occasion, the piece was more like a half yard. Basically, for a baby quilt, you'd probably need 20 full fat quarters {5 each color} and for a throw quilt, 28-32 fatquarters {7-8 each color}, or the equivalent amount of fabric of course. 

For the purposes of the quilt meetings, I'm definitely figuring 20 FQ's for the baby quilt. That feels like the bare minimum for a scrappy result and too, I really want extra sets. People tend to get so frustrated by awkward looking repeats and it always helps to have enough to play. There are tricks and tips. Hopefully I'll be able to convey them adequately!

The full quilt top. Might gain a border before I'm through.
The first two meetings have been postponed for various reasons and now we're set for Thursday evening. It's so nice to have everything ready to go and now, I can concentrate on other things in the quilt room that already seem more interesting! Had to laugh when I glanced over at the wall the other day and then really looked again. How funny that I just unintentionally made a quilt project based on the color theory in the bottom right hand corner! The poster is from one of my daughters so then of course I had to let her know how she's subconsciously influencing me!

The poster in my quilt room
And for Quilting Babcia {Pat}, here's the post with all the completed quilt tops. They're a bit wrinkled from being folded up, mushed and shoved into a drawer. The Improv. one that was previously shown will probably get a border before I'm through, so that one isn't included and... the Christmas Stars in the hoop isn't included because it's well on its way to a finish. 

Completed quilt tops
The first two quilt tops {above}, red, white and blues, are the ones that my sister was going to throw away. Uh huh. They are not fantastic, but I couldn't bear for them to end up in the trash, especially because the bow-tie one is hand pieced.*sigh  The other two quilt tops are probably some of my least favorite so all of these usually reside in the very bottom of the quilt drawers. Very hard to get to and I don't care. They probably won't see any stitching until I find a good recipient or need a camping quilt.

More completed quilt tops
The first quilt, {above}, Moody 9-Patch is actually the next one that I'm hankering to get into the hoop, but alas, I don't have any backing fabric for it right now. {I've got the sads about that in case you were interested.} The next two feel too 'new' to jump the quilt top queue {plus I don't have backing fabric for them}, and the last top, Roman stripes will probably not get quilted until I'm certain of the recipient. So boring 'cuz I've already finished one that is nearly identical. Which always feels like a good idea until it doesn't anymore.

And more
These quilt tops {above} are: a Christmas quilt--not getting quilted until the 2022 holiday season, the Melon Patch Jubilee quilt--too new, HaHa quilt --needs to be next, definitely first in line and well... I just don't wanna. Too much white I think. I'm always squeamish when I think about it so yeah... I just tend to avoid it. And the last one--Crazy Daisy is too new. Obviously. Needs to marinate awhile yet. 

And more
Okay, Ormes Inspired {above}--gearing myself up for that one. Trying to subconsciously figure out the stitching pattern because consciously thinking about it isn't working. Next is Big Kiss--Probably gonna happen here pretty soon, but I did something dumb and sewed up the backing already--it's batik. Ughh. Always a bit more difficult to hand quilt! Then there's Love Apples which could be quilted soonish. I'm thinking about it. And last is the Seedpod Flower quilt which I love, love looking at. Saving it for when I need an extra dose of quilting love in my lap.

And still more
Then there's the Pink Tulip quilt. Yaasss! Gonna happen this year for sure. Crossroads which is entirely too new, The 16-Patch pink quilt top that I made for my sister {years and years and years ago} and somehow found its way back into my stack of 'To-Do's'? Yeah. It's 100% Next-Up-In-The-Hoop. I want it done and moving on so I can get back to mine, all mine. Which just might be Spring Flowers, the blue /cream one at the end. It looks very easy and might be the right quilt to soak up the leftover irritations of not getting to work on WHAT I Want to work on.

The last of the lot!
And last but not least is the 4-block Tulip Basket quilt, backing ready to go and just waiting for the right time, Ode To Joy--too new just yet and then there's the last one... Glory Be. Everything ready to go for that one too. Probably be in the mood around 4th of July or sometime like that. We'll see! Can only hand quilt so many in a year and the machine quilting is getting sparser and sparser around here as time goes on. How many finished quilt tops do you have hanging around your quilt room? If I have an exceptionally good year, I might finish half to three quarters of these....


26 comments:

  1. Oh, my! Seeing all of these quilts together is quite the treat. They make a splendid show. Have fun with your class.

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  2. Oh my, all these quilts to choose a "next one" from is amazing, and the fact that likely more than half will be hand quilted this year kinda boggles my mind! I think your students will have fun making their versions of your improv quilt.

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  3. However you look at those tops ..... you are going to have quite a lot of enjoyable hours of hand quilting! Woo hoo!

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  4. I love the colors in your improv quilt and I'm not usually a mauve fan. What fun to see all your quilts lined up and waiting their turn. Good luck quilting on the batik. I did that once and will never do it again. I love the spontaneous feeling of your quilts. There is so much energy.

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  5. Oh, Audrey - please change out that batik backing for another that will be easier on your hands. Mine hurt just thinking about you needling all that (and I don't even like machine quilting a batik back on Max - he isn't at all fond of batiks). What a delicious baby quilt you have for that group of ladies . . . hope the first gathering goes really well.

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  6. Great new top. Love the effect it has on my eyes. (They just want to run up those sticks, haha). What a lovely top parade this was. Loved it. If you don't care for the orange T quilt, I'd be willing to take it off your hands. Just offering. Looking forward to more finished quilts. Enjoy! ;^)

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  7. I love your work. That lone star in the first picture, that your sis was going to toss out, just sings to me!!!! Love, love, love!

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  8. Love your improv "bigger than baby sized" quilt, great colour combo. And I loved this glimpse of all your completed quilt tops, all so very unique.

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  9. Audrey,
    Sherri has an interesting post on softening batiks today https://sherriquiltsalot.com/2022/01/12/sewing-with-batiks/

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  10. Well. I feel so much better now after seeing your pile of beauties waiting in line elbowing their way to the top of the que.
    They would fill the rest of my life if I never made another! I love your work and am inspired to be braver.

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  11. What a grand quilt show! I do keep a list of flimsies-in-the-box. Seventeen, if I've counted correctly. I really, really like your improv "sticks" design.

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  12. Can't better the words from Nan that this is a grand quilt show!!
    I love your Improv.Strip Quilt Audrey, both design and colours used, very nice indeed.

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  13. Wow! What a great group of tops! I’m totally different- I currently have exactly ONE finished top patiently waiting for its turn at hand quilting. I used to hand quilt almost everything, but am now, since I’m older and time is fleeting, sending more out for long arm quilting rather than letting them pile up. I’ll always be hand quilting something, though, because I love doing it and love the feel of hand quilted quilts!!

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  14. I love your colour scheme - as is often the way you have taken colours I wouldn't have thought of and made them look like they should always be put together. As for your still unquilted tops - wow! Can I give you a list of the ones I want to see finished first?

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  15. Sounds like you will teach others how to make the strip quilt at the quilt meetings? If so they are in for a treat! Good luck to you!

    Oh, what a gorgeous lot of flimsies you have! Not sure how you choose which one is next. I have quite a list of tops too - over half are donation quilts. Most of mine stall at flimsy waiting for quilt backs.

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  16. Oh my! That IS a big boatload of tops! I love how you rationalize what comes next in the hoop. I agree with your thinking on your "Seedpod Flower" quilt as that is one of my all time favorites too and you should save it for when you need a "lift". Enjoy the quilting!

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  17. I like your new improv, great color and fun design!
    Enjoy your class on Thursday!

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  18. great improve strip quilt. They are so fun to make, maybe I'll do another this year. Interesting color combination.
    Woah! that is a wonderful stack of tops!!!!

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  19. Jaw drops, eyes gug out [me]--that's a LOT of tops. So much enrgy and creativity.

    The improve is interesting's---I'd do it in shirts and cheddar maybe. I notice you are gravitating currently, in general, to the midrange secondary tones, lots of rose/peach and greens.

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  20. Love your quilt Audrey, and how great that you will be sharing some of your quilting knowledge in a teaching capacity. Lucky students to learn at your hand!

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  21. Good luck with your quilt class. They will love the colors you chose and all the pointers you've worked out, especially the 20+ fat quarters. So important to have variety. I wish I could be there.
    Your quilt show is exciting. So many wonderful quilts to finish. Have fun with everything.

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  22. Well that was a treat to see all your finished quilt tops, Audrey. Thanks Pat for the suggestion. And yes, I have a few too and I need to steel myself and face them one of these days. I hope you had fun at the quilt show. Happy Stitching dear!

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  23. That is quite a number of them awaiting your lovely hands to finish them. Best make a choice... sis's quilt first, and get at it! There are no lovely little Tailor of Glouster mice to quilt these for us, though we may wish there were.

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  24. Your quilts are beautiful, especially your sister’s. I like your idea of letting your tops “season” before quilting them. I think I will borrow that one.

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  25. I love the colors in the new quilt! And what a joy it is to see someone who has almost as many unquilted tops as I do. I love your explanations of "too new" and "needs to marinate awhile longer". I have the same thoughts about mine and that is why mine don't get finished sooner.

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