Monday, July 11, 2016

Ombre Grid {Improv Handbook Score #5}

Ombre Grid {Improv Handbook Score #5}

All finished!  This is Ombre Grid, an improv quilt made entirely without rulers (except for the backing and binding) and inspired by the fifth score of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  Author Sherri Lynn Wood prompts us to reflect and share about our finished works along these lines:

{Surprises}
It's really hard to keep this score to a manageable size!  Sherri mentions in the book that her quilt is huge, so that was a heads up for me.  Before I started I had a rough idea for the maximum width of each vertical row.  But, when you're freestyle cutting those large squares, it's so tempting to go big... and bigger!  And then the chunky sashing adds even more heft.

{Discoveries}
Even though I like the look of ombre, I don't like sewing ombre quilts.  I think this is the first quilt I've made with a monochromatic ombre color scheme.  Maybe because I get so much satisfaction out of playing with color when I sew, this doubly reserved color scheme (only one color and in proper order) doesn't suit me.  I put the large royal blue square at the top right where it did not "belong" to reflect this discovery.

Ombre Grid {Improv Handbook Score #5}

{Satisfactions}
I'm most pleased with the way the darker colors ended up nestling in the upper right and lower left corners creating a double diagonal ombre.  In the beginning I imagined the ombre progressing vertically with light on top fading to dark on bottom.  Then I allowed the royal blue piece to break the color pattern and the right-side gray/white border to reverse the ombre progression with dark on top.  When I mulled over the left-side gray/white border, I was struck with the idea of placing dark on bottom so that the light fabrics would be arranged in a diagonal through the center of the quilt.  That's what I like most!

Ombre Grid {Improv Handbook Score #5}

I'm also pretty pleased with the backing which is made up of Essex linen stitched together with an extra-tiny stitch length and wide seam allowances.   All those linens in grays and blues feel so harmonious with the quilt front.

{Dissatisfactions} 
I do like this quilt, but something about it does not feel like "me".  It's hard to put a finger on what makes a quilt reflect my personal style and what does not, but this one is definitely more tied to the book than to myself.  Adding the loopy quilting did help.  But, like my very first quilt from the book, I feel like I played this one too safe.  Maybe it was a good way to get back into improv though, after the long break I've had.

Ombre Grid {Improv Handbook Score #5}

{Next Steps}
The next score in the book has so much potential for personal interpretation.  I've been looking forward to it and thinking about which shape I want to concentrate upon.  But before I start score #6, I want to spend some time making a repetitive geometric quilt.  Maybe after some soothing predictability I'll be keen to spread my improv wings again!

p.s.  Ombre Grid is now listed in my Etsy shop.  You can find the American Made Brand solids I used in this quilt and Essex linen in many shades at Fat Quarter Shop.

14 comments:

  1. It looks awesome! Great job interpreting the score.

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  2. Okay, I have to say it's not my style of quilt either but I love that you trust yourself on this quilty journey and really love the colors and how you played with them.

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  3. I love it! Then again, I love blues and grays so much that it suits me.Youve inspired me to try something similar. I feel like the big squares feel manageable for the large quilt I'd like to make

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    1. That's true! The big squares are what make this quilt so quick. It's a great approach for a big bed quilt =)

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  4. Hi Rachel - I love your color choices but this quilt doesn't quite suit me. I think it's the prompt more than anything. I'd be tempted to add layers to it, a la Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession and that might be improv but it wouldn't be true to the prompt.

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    1. As a "layers of interest" person myself, I absolutely understand what you are saying.

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  5. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!!!

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  6. I wasn't too sure about this as you began posting, but I really like it.

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  7. What a beautiful quilt. Love the colors used and the quilting on it, just makes it special!

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  8. I really really like it! I love the minimalist beauty of it.

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  9. Oh this turned out really cool. I like the exercise, and I always like the colors you choose and just everything!!
    Happy Wednesday, Rachel
    It is a hottie here. I might hide in the house all day and sew....

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  10. I enjoy monochromatic design and this is not exception. What I enjoyed most though was reading about your thought process while you made the quilt. As I learn to work with color, it helps me to understand how you think though the making of a quilt. Thanks Rachel.

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    1. You are so welcome! I love blogging about process, so I'm glad some people enjoy reading it =)

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  11. The back is my favorite part. It looks so soft.
    Yes, spread your wings you'll soar!

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