Tuesday, March 5, 2013

into the unknown

You know, for how much I truly love improv piecing, I don't do it all that often.  I'm so easily beguiled my grand quilty plans, ignoring that little voice that whispers the process is important too.  So even though I had planned to make an improv quilt with this selection of Shelburne Falls fabrics by Denyse Schmidt, and even though I had told you as much yesterday, I almost, almost talked myself into a pickle-dish.

 Shelburne Falls + Scraps

I think only a quilter can do that?  The pickle-dish that is.

randomly cut

But, no, around noon I started cutting willy nilly into my new yardage, slicing 7" wide width-of-fabric strips and dividing them into smaller cuts at random.  So brave, so reckless.  Then I tacked up a big piece of batting for a design wall and started arranging pieces.

Improv in Shelburne Falls

Fabrics will stick to the batting just like a felt board.  It's perfectly delightful!

arranged on my wall

This is the first time I used a design wall for improv.  It was so much more effective than blindly piecing at the machine, evaluating and then cutting/piecing again.  Doing the improv design up front and all at once gave me a sense of control (that I apparently craved) while also saving time and allowing me to make a more intentional design.  I popped in a few solids and some other scraps in coordinating colors, most of which happened to also be Denyse Schmidt fabrics!  (insert geeky quilter grin)

and then... a quilt top.

After lunch and a few hours of sewing, I've got this.  She's a square-ish baby quilt, I do believe.  Not sure how that happened so fast.  But darn sure it was fun!

Improv in Shelburne Falls

Hmmm.... what's next?

Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt can be found online in Canada at Mad About Patchwork & Fabric Spot, or in the States at fabricworm, Pink Chalk Fabrics, Sew Modern, The Intrepid Thread & Fat Quarter Shop

Thanks to Freespirit for providing these fabrics at my request!

19 comments:

  1. Looks fab! I have never tried improv but after seeing this I want to go and start cutting random sized pieces of fabric straight away!

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    1. I hope you do give it a try, Janine. It has lots of happy sewing potential!

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  2. How often did you press your seams? Improv sounds fun!

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    1. Well, that's a nice thing about laying out out the improv design and then sewing - I was able to chain piece about 3-4 seams at once before getting up to press seams. I just continued to take a few from the layout, sew/press and then return them to the layout. I guess that's a big part about why the sewing went much faster than decide-as-you-go improv.

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  3. It turned out cute. Yeah improv.

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  4. Cute! I think Denyse Scmidt fabrics are a disease I dont want a cure for - says the girl who just bought 15 half yards of the latest DS Quilts lines. Thank goodness Joanns takes coupons.

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  5. Way to go! I love the improv results!

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  6. I love to work like this- so much fun is to be had on the design wall. I made my Dear Stella (Quiltcon entry) like this along with something I'm working on now. Enjoy the process!

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  7. I just took Denyse's improv class at QuiltCon but this way might be a bit more comfortable for me. I'll have to give it a try.

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    1. Using the design wall makes it feel like painting. I love how easy it is to move things, fold fabric smaller or bump fabrics down.

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  8. I think you're really finding your voice with this-- it's gorgeous.

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  9. Gorgeous- way to go! I always manage to talk myself out of improv piecing...

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  10. Such a pretty result. Doesn't look improved at all. Well, nothing like my attempts at improv anyway. :)

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  11. super pretty. I love the henna garden and fmf bouquet next to each other there. And the tan solid fabric.

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    1. Thanks,Vicki. Adding in my own scraps to a collection always makes it more interesting to me.

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  12. funny, I'm saving my Shelburne Falls for a pickledish quilt. Your improv looks great

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