Saturday, February 15, 2014

Improv III started

I have been pretty excited about this project since I saw this site:
The Ripple Effect

Wow what a fun concept and what a dynamic impact without a lot of fussy piecing. With the limited time I have of late to work I decided that this type of piecing was something I had to try. I forged ahead and started with a palate of fabrics in cool colors but have since also decided to make a version in orange and blue with some yellow and reds thrown in just for other words I will begin a series with this concept and see where it goes.

Here is the first project in the Improve III series. I am going to call mine wonkey drunken paths as this is really nothing more than a drunkards path block remade to be wonkey and improvisational with a series of curves instead of the one for the original drunkards path.

My palate began with the cool side of the color wheel that includes lime greens, turquoise and purple. I love these cool colors. I cut out one 18 inch square of the three fabrics on the far right of the photo and got started. I used the tutorial from the Quilting Edge. I made my seam allowances narrower than hers at about 1/8" to 3/16" inch instead of the 1/4" that she used as my quilt will be wall art and will not be washed or used for a cover of any kind. In other words it will have a gentle life so does not require the larger seam allowances. This also likely makes the seams lay a bit flatter and allows for more curvey features.

The first thing that I did with my squares was to cut the notch in the top right corner of each as was recommended in the Quilting Edge tutorial. I do not really see that this needs to be done as once I put my first cut in I knew where the bottom left corner should be so in the future I will leave that step out. I laid the three fabrics in a stack and just took my rotary cutter and made a cut that was not a smooth quarter circle. In the photo below you can see the three fabrics with the same cut. Now find what fabrics to pair and get sewing that first seam on all three.

 I decided to pair them so as below. This is the first seam sewn on all three blocks. It might be hard to see as the green one is laid with the blocks on top of each other so it is hard to see they are separate pieces.
 Now I laid all three blocks on top of each other again and cut another wonkey arc with the rotary cutter. I kept the same fabrics instead of mixing things up more with this first set as I really just wanted to see how this was going to work.

 This is that second arc sewn with the purple and the green. The blocks were all laid on top of each other again and another cut was made. At this point you can see that the right side is notched and does not line up exactly. Not to worry these blocks will all be trimmed at the end so that will not matter. I sewed these by laying the two pieces on top of each other and having the inner or smaller part underneath. I just began sewing with no pins and kept moving the top part to line up with the piece underneath. When the seam is finished I pressed the seams towards the center of the semi circle.

Here is the next arc added and another cut made for the last round of this three blocks. is one of the three finished blocks. This process did not really take very long. Now to play with the remaining fabrics and cut up 6 more 18" squares and make them into blocks. I have already eliminated and added to the original palate.

From this point on my quilt will not progress as the tutorial as she quilted each of her blocks separately which is a good idea if you want sashing between the blocks. I do not want a sashing and I have a longarm quilting machine so see no advantage to working with each block separate. I do know that I already really like this process and am pretty excited to have a finished wall quilt from these blocks so I am pretty motivated to keep going with this project. I will be teaching a small class on Improv quilting next week at a retreat. This project is one of the things I will be working on at the retreat so I am hoping to come home with a finished top with the cool color blocks. I will also likely begin the next in the series with the turquoise and orange color palate.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Improv II Top Pieced

I finally found time today to get the Improv II top pieced. It is a very rustic piece and will hang as art. This piece was a real learning curve as I have never tried this method before in quite this way. The final quilting and the cropping of the quilted piece will change it a bit but for the most part the feel of the piece will remain.

Now I need to get off the computer and get to some cleaning and cooking so I can be ready for the superbowl later this afternoon.

Next week I will go thru my fabric selections and do another edit for the Improv III piece. I am still trying to come up with the final colors. I am torn between lots of solids in brights vs a mix of solids and prints in the cool colors. Once I figure it out I will be cutting 18 inch squares of 9 fabrics and then will be ready to get cutting and sewing. The Improv III will be totally different from I or II and I think I will end up liking it the most of the three but then until they are quilted, embellished (those that I decide need it) and bound I will not really be sure which will be best. They are all very different and the techniques. hints about Improv III yet!