Thursday, February 13, 2014

ice storms and improv

In honor of Valentine's Day and my current obsession with warm, girly colors...

Improv for do. Good Stitches

improv blocks for Love circle of do. Good Stitches!  This February, Natalie's asked for monochromatic improv blocks, with dark value centers, finishing at any size.  Her strongest criteria?  Small pieces.  Mmmmm....  My witty bitty scraps thank you!

Improv for do. Good Stitches

I made this biggie block last night.  When I finished I wasn't sure I liked how much white I had used around the outside.  It has great contrast and feels SO Valentine, but looking back at Natalie's examples, I thought less contrast would be nicer.

Fresh and early today I started new purple and pink blocks.  Would you like to come along?

Improv for do. Good Stitches

First, I sorted my scraps into several piles, light to dark values.

Improv for do. Good Stitches

These blocks are made improv log cabin style.  To get things started I sewed together dark value pieces, pressed them, trimmed them and studied to see how they might fit together to make a center.

Improv for do. Good Stitches

Once centers are formed, I square the edges and grab some more scraps.  I almost always sew scraps and then trim them up, squaring the edges to match the straight seam lines.  Sew first, cut later, live on the edge (wink). 

Improv for do. Good Stitches

Pretty soon the composition starts looking nicely complicated.

Improv for do. Good Stitches

Ooooh, and I make a mini mountain of pretty trimmings!

Pause!

And then when I'm coming in for the last round of low value pieces.... Pause!  Because you can't sew without power.  Darn.  And you can't iron.  And you can't blog.  And you can't even check emails.  (But you can do yoga on audio with the last bit of laptop battery power).

Snowed in!

Yes, there is a little (lot) of this going on out there, and I know it's not just South Carolina.  Snow and cold abound, they do!

Snowed in!

Snowed in!

The morning after an ice storm, the trees are sparkling pure gorgeousness!

Snowed in!

But the beauty does have a cost.  Last night I counted the sound of 10 branches falling as I tried desperately to go to sleep while ideas for my next class went gallivanting through my brain.  Fortunately, this is the biggest branch we found down in the morning.

Did I mention that I'm snowed in with my husband, but no kids?  Yes, the kids are at grandma's.  And I know, it's ok to hate me some.  Happy Valentine's Day though!

almost Valentines Day!

Just a bit ago the power came back on.  I wizzed through these blocks and over here to share them with you.  What do you think?  Do you like the lower contrast pink/purple versions or the higher contrast red?

Turns out, I like the red.  Haha!  Figures.

41 comments:

  1. These are great. I'm inspired now to go try some

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  2. I like them all! Enjoy your valentines sans children. And as the candles will be on, it won't matter if the power goes out ;-)
    E xx

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  3. I love the red too probably because of the low-volume border. Lucky snow day for you! I'm not even jealous because I'm praying for you to give us all a happy announcement this year! ;-)

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  4. They both look great but I must confess to liking the red a tad more. Maybe it is the influence of Valentine fever :0)
    Stay warm!

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  5. They all look great but I do like the red best too.

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  6. I just came back from 4 days with no power last week, I feel your pain! Today we got 16" of snow!
    I like both but the pink really gets me! Hope that helps.

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  7. I'll trade - I'm snowed in with three kids and no hubby! It's actually been quite fun, just no time for sewing. I love the blocks you made today. I've been thinking of trying to turn my scraps into fabric so I might copy you when I get some time in front of my machine. Stay warm! Have fun!

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  8. I must confess I am infatuated with the low volume ones!!

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  9. I like them all! Now I want to go see up my own!

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  10. I love all of them but the Valentine block is my favorite. Glad you got your power back! We got about 14" from last night through this morning. Then we had sleet and rain and now we are getting a second round of snow. It is beautiful at night when it sticks to the trees but what a mess it creates.

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  11. I think they're all fantastic. And how did I not know you wet win SC? I'm in NC but we frequent a beach house in your beautiful state!

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  12. Ugh, that should say "were in" SC….

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  13. This is a great creative exercise. I'll have to try it sometime! Goodness, enjoy that snow in with the husband. :)

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  14. I'm loving the pink and purple, but then purple is what I'm working with at the moment. Yeah for electricity!

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  15. I like them all for different reasons and yet when it comes right down to it I do love the red best...now if you'd made a magenta or a teal/blue-green combo in the same fashion as the red...hummmmm. Enjoy your snow-cation! ; )

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  16. Snowed in with no kids, sounds like a valentine present to me ;)
    All three blocks look great but I do like the low volume around the red. I think it acts has a border without breaking the random pattern.

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  17. Enjoy your snowed in time with the hubby! I think your blocks will fit in nicely with what's posted in the Flickr group... in the grand scheme of things the higher contrast red will look great... They look awesome, great job as always.

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  18. Love your blocks. Charleston escaped the snow and ice this time, Summerville got it though. Our problem is that the bridge has been closed again- still closed. Enjoy time with your husband and I hope you keep your power.

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  19. I like them all! Now I want to make some - what a great use for scraps! Her quilt is gonna be fabulous.

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  20. I prefer your blocks over Natalie's blocks. I especially like the lightness of the edging on the red/pink one.

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  21. I love the pink and purple. After seeing thsee I'm going to be making some of my own.

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  22. I think I'll be making some like the pink and purple very soon. I am surprisingly drawn to the pink block, which is odd because I am not a pink fan. I can see the red block making a gorgeous quilt though so I can't wait to see more of these in the future.

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  23. I do love the red and white. Red and white and I are having a thing right now :) The others are also great, but that red is saucy.

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  24. I love the red! I like the purple too, but red's a favourite! Can't believe you're snowed in without children - Cupid really has smiled on you! Enjoy!

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  25. my favourite kind of piecing! And have lots of kid-free valentine fun ;-)

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  26. Love the blocks! Also, love ice storms like that (way up in Canada), escpecially when you don't have to drive anywhere ;). So pretty. We're having a snowy morning today, hope it clears up so I can get out with the wee-one!

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  27. Lovely stuff! My favourite kind of piecing...especially with straightening up the edges afterwards. It's very forgiving!

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  28. I love them all...once again I've seen something that says to me..."You have to try this!"

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  29. I find that when I see one of your post and your showing your scraps and it seems your working on each tiny piece.. you have patients girlfriend. please Stop by my blog and share a love story and read others.. Happy Valentines..

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  30. It is the pink/purple - purple is the best - love the random patch work squares.

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  31. They are all beautiful, but I do prefer the last two you made. Thanks for a quick and easy idea with my scraps!

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  32. Lovely blocks! And what a great winter! We are missing the snow during the whole winter season.
    Have a wonderful weekend! Jolana

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  33. These blocks are gorgeous Rachel! Going to have to try these out - they'd make such a fabulous quilt!

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  34. They all strike a chord with me! I like them!

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  35. I like them all... they are very pleasing with the darker or intense colors in the centers...... Good job!

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  36. Very nice blocks. I like the gradient of value you formed with them.

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