Monday, March 17, 2014
Authors Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr run Modern Quilt Studio and I am an avid fan of their work. They've published several books now, as well as a magazine. This particular book is the first one I ever purchased about modern quilting. While there are a lot of great patterns and ideas for quilts, it was the first book that helped me understand what modern quilting is and how to think about design. I'd been anxious to use the book and I ended up choosing a pattern from it when I was given this group of Amy Butler fabrics by QBFFT.
In my mind, those fabrics did not lend themselves to something traditional. With the exception of the one solid, they seemed to fight with one another. I had to find a way to get them to work together. As I perused this book, as well as other pattern books, I kept coming back to this one photo, despite how different my fabrics were from the ones used in the book.
This quilt is called "Improv." The individual blocks are pieced using an improvisational technique. There is a degree of structure to get you started, but then it becomes kind of random. I began by cutting my 10 fabrics into strips of several different widths. Then I cut about half of those strips into small pieces 2-5 inches long. I tossed all of the small pieces into a container, mixed them up, and then randomly sewed them to the longer strips. Like this:
Here's my container of small pieces:
I wound up with small units that I sewed to more strips. Then I began to randomly sew those units together to create larger units:
Until I had a stack of blocks:
The blocks were supposed to measure 6.5 x 6.5 inches. But I wasn't paying attention at first and I soon realized my blocks were nearing 8 x 8. So I made 35 7.5 x 7.5 inch blocks. It was easy to get carried away.
I loved being forced to just sew units together. This really put me outside of anything I had ever done before. After auditioning the squares against various solids, I settled on this purple.
And here are some close-ups:
It's randomly quilted with spirals.
I'm really happy with how this turned out. This book not only gave me a great way to use those fabrics, but it taught me to think very differently about the kind of quilts I want to make. It's a tremendous resource for anyone interested in modern quilting.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Two years ago I blogged about a challenge the QBFFs and I had organized. We exchanged 2.5 yards of fabric. Each of us had to take the fabric we were given and make a completed quilt for the person who gave them the fabric.
These are the fabric collections we exchanged. The fabric for my quilt is to the left. The fabric I received is above on the far right.
It took 2 years for the last of us to finish her quilt. I actually finished mine in late 2012, but I couldn't reveal it until now. Below are the finished quilts.
The rules were pretty simple. We had to use some of each fabric, we could only add one more fabric, and the quilt had to be at least lap sized (bigger than a crib quilt, smaller than a bed quilt).
QBFFA and QBFFC exchanged the two collections in the upper left above. Here are their completed quilts side-by-side:
Here is the quilt QBFFT made for me. I absolutely love it! I think I need more yellow in my life:
Finally, here is the one I made for QBFFT. I used an interesting pattern, and I will blog more about it shortly.
We're already hard at work on our next two challenges! It's a great way to stretch our abilities.