Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Waiting for Wonky

This month's block request for the Fat Stash Brit Bee came from Nikki, who requested a scrappy Improv block along the lines of the blocks in Lu Summer's Quilt Improv quilt book.

Now, as it happens I have Lu Summer's book as my parents gave me a copy for Christmas. It is a lovely book, but like Nikki I have only browsed through it and dreamt of making something similar but never actually got around to it. Time to pull out the book then and have a go!

Nikki sent a lovely bundle of scraps that easily separated into a warm and a cool pile so that's what I did. Next up I browsed through the book and thought that I might have a go at Lu's Quarter Circle block. Then I decided against that, I might be happy attempting curved seams for myself but I am certainly not up to inflicting my attempts at curved seams AND improv on anyone else just yet :)

Chevrons seemed like a better way to go!

Fat Stash Brit Bee June block 1

Well, it didn't quite work out as planned as you can see!

It was only as I was putting the strips together that I realised I had completely skipped the instruction to change the strip placement from lower to higher on the second and fourth strips. As you have probably guessed by now from several other mishaps, angles and more specifically visualising them in fabric really isn't my thing. Perhaps I should have stuck to curves after all :)

Somewhat chastened by my lack of chevrons in the first block I decided to play safe, surely not the point of improv I know, and go back to basics.


Fat Stash Brit Bee June block 2

This block is reminiscent of the slab blocks from the Sunday Morning Quilts book that I made for my first Bee. I hope it fits the bill.

Do tell me how you tackle improv piecing, as clearly I could do with some tips!

Linking up to
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19 comments:

  1. Improv quilting is not as easy as it looks like. Here is my first try at it: http://courtepointemoi.blogspot.ca/2014/05/pour-ma-1ere-partie.html. You have to loose control, and try to deal with the end result. By the way, I really love your colors. And If you didn't tell us they're was a mistake, I wouldn't have think of it. It said to myself when I say your first picture: cool, nice movement. Imagine a quilt all made with that kind of block, going in several directions, or turning around an axe, like a pinwheel.

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  2. It may not be chevrons, but it's still quite pretty!

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  3. I love these fabrics!
    I improv my leaders/enders, and just collect shapes and pieces until I have something building that inspires an actual block!

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  4. I'd love to give you some tips.... But you're doing WAY better at improv than me!

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  5. Alas on the chevrons, but they make fun wonky stripes!!

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  6. Improv scares me. Don't know why - isn't the point to let go and enjoy freedom? :) I really, really like the "messed up" chevron block!!

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  7. I'd say that you completely succeeded @ improv with the block - even if it wasn't the improv you were expecting - you definitely improvised! Call it a design decision and show it off :)

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  8. I did not like improv at first but it is growing on me! Great blocks!

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  9. i think your block must be as improvisational as it gets especially since it wasn't what you planned :) not sure why but i have never given improv a go although it is on my list to try especially after seeing your pretty blocks!

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  10. this is the first I have heard if improv quilting so off to find out more, I seem to discover new techniques etc every day from bloggers, you blocks look good to me

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  11. I like your blocks! Does it matter how you got there?

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  12. I love improv piecing. There's something so freeing about not lining things up and obsessing about perfect seam allowances. I think the biggest part of improv for me is trying not to have too clear a picture of what the finished block will be. I take each strip/bit as it comes and let the piece develop along the way.

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  13. I really like both your blocks. Haven't done too much improv, maybe as it needs a good bit of decision making and things seem to try and line themselves up? Wonky can be harder than it looks sometimes!

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  14. Pretty! Sometimes "mistakes" work out well.

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  15. Maybe you should call that block directionally challenged. ;-) I like the fabrics.

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  16. Whether it's what was in your head or not, the finished block is made of bright, fun colours that work extremely well together. I'm slowly learning to let go of the picture that's in my head. Sometimes I like the results, sometimes not so much, but I always learn something along the way.

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  17. I think they're both fab blocks x

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  18. I like your non chevron block. Separating the warm and cool colours is really effective and the way the strips are angled makes the whole piece look like it's reaching for something. There's a lot of movement that creates anticipation for whatever block would be put next to it. (that's my non quilter but artist interpretation of it anyway)

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  19. What a lovely blocks you made!

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