I have done quite a bit of Improv quilting over the course of the last year or so…. for me it is a great way to dust off the cobwebs, particularly if I have lost my sewjo a little.
So this wonky log cabin was a fun project that started after I had collected a hug bag of navy scraps….
So I started with the navy scraps and as I begin putting the log cabin blocks together the navy seemed boring… it needed a little something to give it a lift. It just so happens that I had a small scrap pile of orange bits that were left over from another quilt and the navy and orange were the perfect combination.
The orange is the perfect contrasting color to the blue… these two colors are actually opposite each other on the color wheel…. which just enhances the impact of the color splashes.
The trick is to only put a few pieces of the highlight color in each of the log cabin blocks…. some of the orange is a full strip and other bits of orange are only inserted into the navy strip…. and I think those little splashes are the most successful pops of color.
Because of the randomness of the orange inserts your eye moves around the quilt more… hunting out those little splashes of contrast.
This quilt is also already out in the wild. I made it after the hospital said they needed a few more quilts for older teenage boys. I am a pink girl through and through but I loved the challenge of making something not too girly.
First I want to say thank you to everyone for the well wishes and kind comments on my last post. I read them all… and will slowly work through responding but know I was really touched by the reaction to my news. It was not an easy post to write but now that it is done I can start with the quilt catch up…
And first up is one of my favorite finishes over the last year or so… an improv cool tree quilt…
I started this top in 2019 when I was teaching Improv quilting at Modern Domestic…. I had a pile of light blue fabrics and wanted to use them…
I have definitely made improv trees before usually with green follage of varying shapes and brown trunks… but with this quilt I limited myself to triangle trees in navy blue with dark grey for the trunks.
I used up a bit of my navy/blue scrap pile but really busted through my light blue/light grey stash and scraps. There is a fun “anything goes” with improv and it all seems to work… as long as you define some rules to begin.
For this quilt my parameters were for the background either light blue or light grey or low volume with blue print. I wanted the background to read overall cold. You can see from the pictures the cream based fabrics have a little warmth to them but they are not over powering.
The trees were navy or a dark blue. The touches of different shades of blue, like the royal blue add interest to the tree tops, so that they are not just a solid navy.
For the back of the quilt I used a piece of Tula Pink wide back that I was gifted by a friend. In the last couple of years I have been piecing a lot of my quilt backs….using up bigger cuts of fabric and scraps of wide back. I am not sure the long armers who help with the charity program as thrilled by my backs, but they make the quilts fun.
I have to finish with the obligatory photo of Nick’s pinkies. Mr Wombat has been such a support the last year…. not just holding up quilts but holding me up through some not so fun times.
As summer is coming to a close here in the US I took the opportunity to make the most of the sunshine recently and get some quilts photographed…. I actually have a stack of quilts finished but have not got all of them photographed.
I got a little bored with sticking the finished quilts on coat hangers and hanging them on the back fence so I have been venturing out with them when I can…
My latest adventure took me to the Oregon Coast with my cousin (aka. the quilt holder)…
This quilt was made at one of this years Charity Sew Days. Actually we made two of these tops in one day. This year the charity program has exploded in a wonderful way.
This is a fun block that I have made before but I love this all solids version. The pattern was designed by my talented friend Michelle Friedman several years ago and you can find my step by step of it here… We did vary the pattern a little, using pre-cut 3 1/2 inch squares instead of strips, but the result is pretty much the same.
I absolutely love the quilting on this quilt, done by one of our talented long armers, Nancy Stovall. She used fluorescent green thread which was a daring choice but works wonderfully with the quilt.
This quilt has now been labeled and set aside for next years Camp Erin. The sister quilt, which was slightly smaller (4 blocks x 5 blocks) has already headed out to our local PICU.
Block: 12 inch Urban Chicken block
Fabric: various solid cottons including Kona, Bella Solids and Cotton Couture
Finished quilt size: 60 x 72 inches
After an extended break from paper pieced stars I am now venturing back into familiar territory. At QuiltCon I ran into an old friend who challenged me to make a special quilt… my response to that challenge will unfold over the coming months….starting with this block…
This is an adaptation of one of the blocks I did for my pink Snowball quilt (which means you can use this pattern too if you want to make your own version of my fun modern baby quilt).
You can see I used my tried and tested technique of marking the colour variations on the pattern. If you want to make your own block, and do your own markings… you can download the free paper piecing pattern here….Adventure Star block 1