Saturday 22 January 2011

Comfort Zone … Schmumfort Zone

Today’s post is about my “Bloody Mary Bendy Block", or Mini Quilt, for the DQS10 swap on flickr … This was my first foray into improv quilting* ... 

*a fancy way of saying you don't measure anything and you just go with the flow ... 

If you're a tad OCD about stuff like straight lines, measuring and geometry (which let's face it most quilters are, LOL)  this can be a little unnerving!

Loretta Pettway, 
“Housetop” variation, 2003
Cotton and cotton blends
Overall: 89 1/2 x 71 in. 
Mount: 70 1/2 in.

I was inspired by the Gee’s Bend quilts I’d seen online and in a book I was given for Christmas … click on the link for a wonderful website devoted to the ladies of Alabama.

(c) 2007-2011 by Elizabeth Green-Hartman

Then this truly fantastic Echino improv block made by Elizabeth Hartman @ Oh! Fransson inspired me to give this whole quilt block improv thing a go …

 And this is what I came up with:


It’s pieced using tiny scraps of Echino Winter 2010 in the left hand and bottom strips, and then some Ruby Star Rising scraps (leftover from this wonderful little gift), Patty Young’s Zen Garden in Espresso & Sherbet, Lecien dots in chartreuse, and the square multi colour print is Robert Kaufman’s Quilts for Kids.  The solids are Kona celery and tomato ... (hence the Bloody Mary name!) you can get a better look here.

My reflection on this is that the whole improv thing was strangely liberating, once I got over the whole “keep it straight” “what size should that bit be?” thing.  I also enjoyed choosing the fabric Gee’s Bend style, in a random way.  I even sewed a curve!  Woot! Woot!  I’d definitely like to do another, but the next one will be a little less Gee’s Bend-y and a bit more me-y.

So, DQS10 partner, if you're stalking me here ... I hope you like it :) 

Has anyone else tried a little improv?  Did you find it liberating or unsettling?  If you haven't tried it ... go on ... dare you!


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