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: 


(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.


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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lift Your Heart!

It's a term that I hear a lot in my Yoga class. I like the phrase as it not only provides the physical benefit of opening up the lungs for proper breathing and improving posture, but also because it encourages one to be of an open heart and mind. 

I started working on this quilt a few months ago. I had a small pile of pink fabrics leftover from another project. I started by laying the fabrics out on my wall:

Thought about adding different coloured fabrics:

Made more 'boxes' and rearranged them a few times.

But I was not excited about any of the arrangements. Until I came up with the idea of stacking them (inspired by this quilt). 

I wanted to make sure that the stack of boxes fell right down the center of the quilt so I hung a black ribbon down the middle of my design wall, found the center of each box and lined them all up.

They are all centered here, except the last one.

Next I added a free-pieced heart at the top and Kona white as the negative space.

This quilt really came to life for me once the heart was added.

I quilted it in a diamond shaped cross-hatch pattern. I love the texture that this gives.

The name of the quilt is featured on the back with some free-pieced letters and a scrappy heart.

Lift Your Heart!
Largest quilt I ever made (65 X 86), a generous twin-size.
Used Quilter's Dream batting 'Select' instead of my usual 'Request'.  Not a good idea as it was considerably heavier.  Had a very sore shoulder after quilting it. 
Used Kona White and various shades of Kona Pinks (except for the Blush pink. That was purchased at a local fabric shop).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIP wednesday

All the 'orange peels' have been appliqued.

The blocks are waiting to be pieced.