Friday, January 29, 2016

Warm Houses {Improv Handbook Score #4}

I can't think of a time when I've had so many false starts with a project.  When I decided to start sewing again this week, I thought about finding something simple and repetitive.  Easy.  But somehow, even though I knew improv sewing would be challenging, it still felt like the right thing for my soul.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

First I chose colors:  warm berries, bright reds, soft browns, a range of purples and pinks.  After the cool-colored fans I had just barely managed to eek out early in January (also with a few false starts), these mostly warm colors seemed like a nice change of pace.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Working without a ruler, I sliced the fabrics into strips and sewed them into a string block shape. As soon as I trimmed up the block and popped it on my design wall, I yanked it right back off.  At least I knew me mind.  I confidently cut the block into quarters and played at arranging those pieces a bit before coming to an understanding.  It was time to start over... again.  Frustrating.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Here's what came out next.  It's a play on the log cabin block.  I'm using a darker fabric at center, which looks sort of like a door, and building the houses around the center in radiating analogous-ish colors. 

Do you like it?  I do!  In fact, I liked this so much that I ripped apart those string blocks for pieces! 

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

So good to feel successful at last!  Two rows of houses went up before day's end.  I love the way they look arranged in this mirrored setting.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

And then I found a mini quilt composition of random squares in dusty mauve that had never come to a finish.  It's the perfect bit of "different' to interrupt my houses.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Today when I add to this patchwork doodle, I want to bring in cool colors.  My intention remains to use most all the colors in Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids fat quarter collection.  With such a strong, warm row, it's hard to know how to transition.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

The left side of the lower row of houses has a bit of extra space, so I threw together crumb scraps like so.  Isn't that cute? 

I love random scrappiness.  Most of this patchwork doodle is going to have a controlled color scheme made up of analogous-ish color arrangements.  Perhaps little bits of wild scrappy rainbows will be just the thing to fill in corners, use up scraps and pull the work together.

Yes, I think so.

33 comments:

  1. I love it and it will be interesting to watch where you go with this.

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  2. It's great and love the colors. So settling and comforting. Have you ever seen Hilde Morin's work? I've taken some classes from her and I love her wall of the world. http://hildemorin.com/hm-work-houses.htm
    Laura T

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    1. Thanks for sharing that link, Laura. Fantastic work. I like the "random windows" piece the best.

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    2. Thanks for the link Laura, I’m in love with the windows. I asked for Windows’s of the Provence blocks in a Free quilting Bee and couldn’t figure out what to do with them, but Hilde Morin’s work has inspired me!

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  3. I love the warm colors you've used for your houses and the little mauve mini in the corner! And the cool colors will add an interesting contrast. Sometimes playing with fabrics and colors is the best part of quilting:-)

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  4. Love your palette and direction. I'm just finishing Score #1. Love the concept as well!

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  5. I have been carrying my improv book around with me - studying it. Thinking about improv #1 and how to do it. I want to jump to #2, but I won't. I like what you are doing and that you have that luscious box of solid colors. I think that was a great idea. I find myself wishing i had more solids in my stash. Keep going. Can't wait to see where you end up.

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    1. Oh, I understand that! I like to study the book as well. Wishing solids for everyone =)

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  6. False starts, happens all the time and in more areas than quilting - homeschooling, gardening, writing, house cleaning.... ;)

    I love your warm and cozy houses!
    Can't wait to see more :)

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    1. Thanks, Annabelle. I think it's a bit of wishful thinking too - warm houses on a cold day =) I'm glad to say we are mostly doing well though. The children have commented in round about ways how happy things feel now, how happy our home is, how much they appreciate me back in our homeschool. We all have a more grateful perspective, even in the loss.

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  7. I like the cheerful, bright colors and I am always happy with squares and rectangles.
    Glad to see you at the sewing machine.

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  8. If your blocks are houses, then the random squares piece at the end of the top row looks rather like a park :)

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    1. YES! And I love what they add to the composition!

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    2. Oh, yes, I'll agree. How clever you are!

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  9. It's looking great - and I always love when you pull out the crumbs :o)

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  10. I love the rest improv gives your brain - you have to really think about things but you don't have to do the oh so precise cutting many patterns require. And it's unique!! Nicely done Rachel:))

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  11. I love it!! Your eye for color and design is so unique. :)

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  12. This is looking exciting Rachel - I love how you weren't hesitant to redo your string blocks. Love how this is shaping up too. The warm colors you grouped together are perfect! Improv really is good for the soul.

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  13. Can't wait to see it..... Wonderful color scheme......

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  14. looking really good! There are times when working with fabric is just so good for the heart and soul :)

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  15. I really, really love it. I have enjoyed all of your quilts in this book. So much in fact that I want to get the book. I love the idea of the no ruler! Can you tell me the NE of the book again? Thanks!

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  16. Oh how awesome. They remind me of the little dwellings in an African or Asian village. So warm and bright but simple. I'm so glad the kids are going well. I have been thinking of you often.

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  17. Ohhhh I like these houses. Rachel, your creations speak so absolutely from your heart. The colors are pleasing.
    All of you have been in my prayers this week.

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  18. Loving these blocks in the colors you chose and together they look fab!
    Thinking of you and your family ~ sending love.

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  19. These are such sweet little houses. Will watch for how this turns out even if it's in fits and starts.

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  20. Gorgeous. I'm thinking I need to make an improv day soon!

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  21. This is the most inspiring quilty thing I've seen in ages! Looks like a great big loving exhale from your heart.

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  22. It's such a delight to see improv in all its infinite forms! Love your work. I just found you--where Have you been all my quilting life?--on Teje's blog--I'm now following you (but not in a creepy way :)

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  23. Improv is much more complicated to me than making regular quilt blocks. It’s an exercise in letting go trusting your instinct and you’ve done a wonderful job!

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