Cynthia who blogs @Quilting is more fun than Housework, asked if I had any scrappy projects to share on her Oh Scrap link up...well yes indeed I do!
Improv is like putting together a great big puzzle, you have to turn, twist and chop it up to make it fit. Making something that looks complex and visually appealing without looking like a chaotic mess is not always easy, but it sure is a lot of fun for me.
After making my Improv Table Runner: Stained Glass, I felt energized! I can't really explain it, but I knew I wanted to do more. Only this time I wanted to focus on one block and one color, pillows were the logical choice.
|18" x 18" Pillow Cover|
It was time to pull out the solid scraps! I would love to say I have the perfect scrap storage solution for everyone, for me mine works, but everyone has their 'own way' that works for them. I tend to keep my regular cotton solids in one bin, my Shot Cottons in another bin and my favorite color combinations in two other bins! I know exactly where I need to go when I need a color!
This was also the time to set up my newest set of tools, my mini iron and folding cutting/pressing mat.
The first day was awkward with my 'station' to the left of my machine. The second day I flipped the mat and had the cutting mat next to me, which made it much more comfortable and efficient.
From my scraps I pulled all one color in as many different shades as I could find. Sometimes I need to slice a strip from yardage for more variety and that's fine. It doesn't always get used up right away, but it's there for the next improv piece.
I begin by pairing up pieces (lots of pieces), cutting random sizes or angles and chain piecing them together (#1). After which I press them nice and flat (#2). Here's where the puzzle building starts. I start building bigger pieces by pairing up the initial pairs or adding another piece (#3). Eventually they grow big enough and I can assemble them into one big block (#4).
You can see how it becomes a puzzle! Of course, since I had my improv station up, my scraps at hand...it was easy to jump from one color to the next and create an entire series of improv squares. Did I go overboard? I'm not quite sure about that!
Once the block was assembled, I cut each one in a wonky shape ready to frame with black.
The strips of black were roughly 1 1/2" - 2 1/2" wide. This gives me enough real estate to play with for the next step.
The final frame.
Again, size doesn't matter! (too much) You want the strips wide enough so you can get some fantastic angles.
I then add enough black around the sides to make an 18" x 18" pillow, allowing a little extra to cut the yellow border a bit wonky. I used Kona Cotton for all the black on the outside, but bought a less expensive cotton for the lining. Basted and ready to quilt!
This was the time to go wild! I broke out my FMQ imagination and went to town! I was 100% sure each pillow was going to have pebbles over most of the block, the rest of the space was random, random, random!
Pebbles are so much fun to make! Plus, I know they will look amazing once they come out of the wash!
The pillows were finished off with a hidden zipper back. I highly recommend this tutorial: Hidden Zipper by Svetlana @ s.o.t.a.k handmade. It has become my favorite way of finishing off a pillow.
Like I said, an entire series!
Inevitably, there are always extra pieces with improv. Me being me...I wasn't going to let those pieces make their way to the scrap heap! They are now 'one', peacefully coexisting together!!
Pillows are the perfect way to add color and texture or transform an entire room. This I know, but don't practice!! I am so tempted to make something like these for my very own couch!
Oh, one day Jayne, one day!