Sunday, February 12, 2017

From Improv to Precision

More than 20 years ago, back when my DH was beginning his decline in health -- a decline caused by (then) 35 years with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)...I was a knitter and an embroiderer.

Two friends, Janet and Candy (neither of whom read this blog; of that I'm quite sure) decided -- separately -- that I needed to learn to quilt.  "Cutting fabric into strips", each one said (unbeknownst to the other), "is therapeutic."

"You'll like it", they each said.

Candy invited me to accompany her to something at an LQS (for knitters, this translates to "LYS but for quilters") called the "Saturday Block".  The deal was this: in January of the given year, pay $10 for a pattern and some fabric.  Make a block from that and bring it back -- finished -- the next month, and get the next pattern and background fabric FREE.

I tried it.

I was hooked!

Over three (or four; I forget which) years, I learned to cut and piece fabric.  I made many stars (somehow these kits always featured stars!).  I eventually learned to make 1/2-square triangles so that the points would match.

I still love to piece quilts...only now?  I'm learning to make 1/2-square triangles improvisationally, which means the points no longer have to match...except when they do (have to, that is)!

My next step in Lesson 2 of Elizabeth Barton's "Mod Meets Improv" was about triangles -- preferably free-cut, from squares that were free-cut...from fabric with a 'split-complementary' colour selection...

It turns out the hardest part was choosing the fabrics -- because I have precious few solids (or near solids) that aren't landscape fabrics (and therefore untouchable for purposes of this exercise).  I hauled out my colour wheel book* for advice:

That only took me the better part of a morning...

*colorWorks: the crafter's guide to color by Deb Menz -- Interweave Press, 2004.

Then I free-cut 5" squares (the best I could do with the amount of fabric available!) and sliced them in half diagonally (no ruler!)...and arranged them on my design wall:

I played with them a bit but frankly, none of them seemed to measure up to the I tested my choices by converting the photo to grey-scale, just to be sure the values were right:

I decided I liked I stitched the squares into rows and the rows into a single piece:

Everyone's Got an Angle
(C) 2017 

And I submitted that to EB for critique...and she loved it!  Whoo hoo!  Life is good!

This means that it will be sandwiched, quilted and prepared for exhibit...somewhere...sometime...

And so I took a break, and reverted to more precise piecing...with this:

A mystery table runner featured in a newsletter -- and in print -- by Canada's only commercial quilters' magazine, Quilter's Connection.  Now, quite frankly, it's part of a contest, which I have no intention of entering.  I just thought it would be nice to have a "Canada 150" - themed table runner on my dining table.  I found some appropriate fabric, and so far have completed the first row....

The pattern calls for two of "Row 1" so...there you are.  Because it's a mystery project, I'll not be showing more of this for a while, so as not to spoil the fun.   The deadline to finish and submit the piece is April 15.  Though I'm not entering the competition, I won't be showing the finished piece until the deadline has that wouldn't be fair, would it?!

All I can tell you is that I suspect with Weeks 3-5 remaining in my "Improv" class, and "Abstract-a-licious" with Lyric Kinard starting later this brain is likely to go into over-drive, trying to reconcile 'improv' with 'precision' with 'who cares?!'

Stay tuned for the fun!  :-)

Meanwhile, even though it's Sunday, I'm linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday. This week she's contemplating composition and lo and behold -- she talks about the colour wheel --  so pour a cuppa, read what she has to say about it, and enjoy what everyone's doing over there!  :-)


Christine Staver said...

Margaret, your quilt for the EB class came out really well. Good job!

Judy Warner said...

Love that your class seems to be so much about free cut. Never knew that about the mod movement. Love your triangle piece!

Linda A. Miller said...

Love the colors in your quilt, Margaret! Thanks for sharing.

elle said...

I can see why she liked it. It is marvelous!!!

Anonymous said...

I love it too. I'll be interested to see how the mystery table runner works out.