Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Don't Wear Blue...

...In fact, with the exception of my blue jeans, I don't own any blue clothes. It's just not me.
I don't use blue to decorate my home either, nor do I use it often when I make quilts.  If you've ever seen blue in my quilts it's probably because it was used by special request.

Recently, Karen, owner of My Fabric Spot, offered Josee and  I each a fat quarter bundle. This one from Denyse Schmidt's new line and this one from Tula Pink. I was hoping to get the Tula Pink Bundle, as it is more in keeping with my preferred colors. But it went to Josee instead. I got the Chicopee bundle in Relish. 

Josee was kind enough to offer to switch with me but, upon giving it some thought  I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to step out of my comfort zone for a change.  I suppose it's good for creative growth. 

So I stared at these fabrics for MANY days waiting for inspiration to strike. But it just  wasn't. 


I searched the web looking for inspiration from other quilters. What were they doing with their Chicopee fabrics? I saw lots of lovely quilts but nothing that really struck a cord with me. 
Then I flipped through Denyse Schmidt's latest book and saw this image:


 It's a picture of the author's inspiration wall (I love seeing images of other people's studios). Somehow that image struck a cord with me. So I thought why don't I just drape the fabrics on my design wall and see what happens. 
I began arranging and rearranging and started cutting and sewing. 

 The first few patches that I sewed together were too 'perfect'.



So I cut those up again and rearranged some more. I still wasn't completely 'inspired'. It wasn't until I caught a glimpse of a little strip of orange fabric that a lightbulb went off. 
I threw it onto the design wall and "Bam!", it started to come to life.  I grabbed every little piece of the orange fabric that I had (I even unsewed some orphan blocks)and kept chopping away. 





   
The process for making this quilt was COMPETELY improvised. What I call true improv. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with these fabrics even as I started cutting and sewing.  The process was just about the most fun I've had in a long time. I felt like I was in a trance moving from cutting table to machine to ironing board and back to design wall.  I kept working until I ran out of the Chicopee and orange fabrics.  
I had to add a few small pieces from my scrap bins to fill in the gaps.

How I put it all together is  difficult to explain , so "à la Sherri Lynn Wood" , I put together a little slide show to illustrate how  the quilt evolved: 


video

(It's not best quality, but I'll try to fix it)

UPDATE: to view a better video click here)


Here is the finished quilt:




I quilted it in organic/straight lines, in varying widths.  I left it 'un-squared' and bound it in Kona Navy.


Detail

Who knew that I would end up liking it so much. So much so that I am considering submitting it to Quiltcon in the Improv category! 

Go figure.

Oh, and one more thing: I don't wear prints either.

12 comments:

  1. You have definitely rise up to the challenge! I love it, particularly the pops of orange. I encourage you to submit it to QuiltCon.

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  2. Beautiful...I love the orange and how it pops out at you!

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  3. It's fabulous! Definitely enter it in QuiltCon! Fantastic!

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  4. I've been thinking about this quilt all day. So good.

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  5. This is a great quilt! Seems so different from what you usually do, but still somehow soureeish. Enter it for sure! The more I see of Chicopee the more I like it.

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  6. Nice work! I agree ... you should definitely enter it in QuiltCon!

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  7. What a fabulous quilt! I love the improvisational process.

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  8. Incredible work--I love it! Julierose

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  9. How did I miss this? It is so beautiful. Masterful work with those prints. Did it get into QuiltCon? I should think so! This is like music. The rhythm of your attention is so evident. I can see you were in the flow and present when you were making this quilt when I look at it. Fantastic!

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  10. I love this quilt of yours, it's incredible!

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  11. Inspiration is your quilt. I am working on one now that is a reaction to having worked with so many greens the past two months combined with a gift of a nice scrap bundle from a recent give away at Modern Quilt Guild here in Washington DC. Now I am deep in the orange and loving it. Thanks for a great read about how yours came together.

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