Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Revisiting a UFO and teaching improv

Sometimes quilts weigh on my mind,
like this unfinished log cabin I started in Jan. 2017.

I had a vision of blue starbursts in my head,
but I'm not happy with the contrast.
I used two jelly rolls with some additional fabrics,
and now I'm rethinking the whole project.
I have 36 14 inch blocks, so I may go with the furrow layout on the top.
The biggest obstacle for me is quilting it, since I don't usually machine quilt such large quilts.
And I'm quite hesitant to pay someone else to quilt it when I don't really like the quilt at all.

Recently I taught improv quilting at a local quilt shop.
This was my first real teaching gig, 
but I've been making quilts with improv techniques for more than a decade.
I was inspired early on by books by the late great Gwen Marston,
and by online sewalongs with Tonya Ricicci, who doesn't hang out in blogland anymore.

The piece with the green border is an improv village on a table runner.
I used lots of scraps and the same background fabric.


I showed my students how to make trees and a variety of houses
and they all did great.

I showed them some of my improv house quilts too.
The one at the left is from 2009, and uses log cabins and wonky houses in a variety of sizes.
The made the one at the right last year for a new baby.

6 comments:

myrtovl said...

I was following Tonia for many years and I have learned a lot about improvising, her book on improvised letters is great. It’s a pity that she doesn’t show off in blogland any more, I really miss her.
Myrto in Athens, Greece

Barb said...

great log cabin quilt - love the colors.
yay for teaching improv. I'm teaching liberated houses next week. I love teaching that class. Your house quilts are wonderful!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Perhaps you could donate the top and let someone else finish it? Hard to work on one you don't care about. Good luck with the teaching gig - it takes a lot to prepare but when you do it right, the class goes smoothly and the students are happy. Tonya is on Instagram for those who want to keep up with her these days. I don't know if she's on FB (I am not). And for those who loved her letter book, Lynne Tyler has just released her fabulous free pieced letter tutorial that takes Tonya's methods and moves them into the stratosphere. (patcherymenagerie on Etsy).

Louise said...

I know several charities that would be happy to take your pretty log cabin top (or even just the blocks) and finish it up for you. Shoot me an email if you want more info!

Your improv houses and trees are inspirational to me. I really need to try my hand at that :)

Good Earth Quilting said...

I totally understand unfinished quilts. If I had this blue lig cabin, I'd turn it on point and applique something into each corner. Just a thought.

patty a. said...

I like your log cabin quilt top. I like the furrows layout too. If you plan on quilting it, what design would you use? I find that pin basting the quilt well and having a space that supports the quilt make it easier to quilt a larger piece. When quilting the harder parts in the middle, I just take my time, straighten out the area I am quilting, and stitch a small section at a time. Straightening it out often keeps the backing from folding over and you getting a wrinkle.

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