Saturday, June 26, 2021

Ups & Downs :: Back on Track

It's been a while, but I'm back with a new project to share!  I'm not sure what happened to me or why I haven't posted lately.  It's weird because I've always loved writing blog posts and couldn't wait to share whatever I was working on.  I suppose we all need a break every once in a while.  

Since my last post I took my machine in for a deep cleaning.  While I could continue to piece things together, I couldn't quilt any of the pieces until I got my machine back.  It took two weeks and nearly went to three but one of the ladies who works at the shop told the tech that 'Jayne needs her machine today' and lo and behold...I got it back!  It helps to have friends in high places.  

What I'm sharing today I haven't quilted yet.  It's in the queue and I'm excited about the possibilities!

I'm back to my comfort color combination!  Pink, orange and yellow!  It's always filled me with happiness and has never failed me in any of the projects made with these energetic colors.  Coming up with a design or idea might take a while, but the colors never!

It started with a simple improv curve.  I was off to a great start and eager to make more!

And so I did!  Four perfectly imperfect curves that fed my need for a little improv magic!  These were the easy part, the hard part was figuring out what to do with them and what to make next.

There's improv where you have a concept and there's improv where you start and figure it out as you go.  I'm mostly in the latter category!

I thought a nice fit with the curves might be some small inset circles.  Once again, not perfect which was very much intended.  After a while even these changed form!

I also pieced triangles that at first I wanted to pair with the inset circles, but after sewing a circle to the top of a triangle it was plain and simply wrong.  What I love about improv is if it isn't working...slice it up and try something else.

I often stare (or glare) at the parts and pieces of an improv project for an undetermined amount of time until something makes sense and the design become clearer.  

The inset circles become double inset circles, the triangles become their own feature or in extreme cases I won't use them at all.

When I'm struggling with a design, walking away for an hour or a day is often the best thing to do.  The break often brings clarity to a design idea.  Fresh eyes!  Fresh mind!

Eventually I made the decisions needed to bring this quilt to an end.  Designing as I go, scraping ideas that aren't working and in the end feeling good about what I've done.  Some improv comes together easily and sometimes it doesn't.  Half the battle is not giving up!  Who doesn't love a good challenge?!

I fell in love with the center circle and would love to explore more of that on a larger scale.  Right now this wall hanging before quilting is 16" x 17".  I'm considering making circles that are that size!      


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Perplexing Puzzle!

Looks like I found my next big project!  I knew I was going to make a quilt version my latest  table runner:  Endless Possibilities, I just didn't know when it would happen!  After going back and forth on what to make next and not coming up with any good ideas, I decided I may as well get started with this puzzle of a design sooner rather than later!

With no color restrictions or size requirements I began making block after block for several days.  Once you start it's very hard to stop!  I wasn't fussy with the colors I picked for each block which made the process painless and quick.  Plus not having to worry about 'perfect' helps a lot too!

My intention when I started was to make the blocks larger than the table runner version.  For the most part that happened.  The blocks varied in size from 8 1/2" to 5 1/2" in length and the width was all over the place.  It really doesn't matter in the end.  For some reason I aim for large and end up smaller than I planned!  Go figure!

Once I thought I had all the blocks I could ever want I got to start arranging them on the design wall.  I grouped blocks that were close to the same length in rows.  The trick was to place enough in each row that would fill my preconceived size of the overall quilt.  My aim was to have a quilt top that was around 50" x 65".  In the end the top will be about 55" x 70", close enough for me!

I learned that if you think you have enough blocks made...make more!  Until you put the blocks on the design wall you really can't gauge if you've made enough.  The blocks weren't squared up beforehand which gave me wiggle room to fill each row.  

When making these blocks I tried not to worry too much about what colors I used or put in each block.  Some blocks are a combination of three colors, while some may have four.  Not color was off limits, the more the merrier!  I also didn't worry about having too much of one color or like colors too close together when placing the blocks.  That's not to say I didn't tweak the arrangement, but it wasn't a mind bender like many times happens during the layout process.  


The center from top to bottom has the blocks sewn together side by side and I added Kona Nightfall around the sides for a floating effect.  Let's talk about the floating didn't come off as I had planned, but I like it just the same.  I think a brighter background color or less blocks around the edges would have been the better plan for my floating block idea.  By the way, I also added Nightfall on the edges to finish it off.

That being said, I still love how it turned out!  Things don't always go the way we see it in our head, at least that's the case for me!  I've decided the quilt top will look beautiful hanging on my wall for a couple weeks.  I need to take my sewing machine in for a deep cleaning and get it back in tip top shape!  The hardest part is waiting for the 'your machine is ready' call!