56'' by 56''
A few years back a friend of mine in the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild, Katrina Hertzer, posted a picture on Instagram of her son painting. Aside from the fact that her son is adorable I was completely smitten with his painting. So smitten that I went to the sewing room that afternoon and made a block inspired by his in progress painting. Then I decided it needed friends. And a lot of improv pieced background.
This is a great example of Improv With Intent. I had a shape I wanted to recreate but I wanted the movement and hand like the original inspiration. It had to be improvised. I sketched out how the block might be constructed in terms of process and just went for it. Lucky for me it worked on the first one.
I had no clue what this would be - or even if it would be anything - when I started. I just wanted to play with the shapes and colours. As I went along I explored different ideas, some layout options, and sizing. That is the heart of improv - starting without knowing where you will end. Not to mention embracing the process as much, if not more, than the product.
It's just bonus when it turns into an awesome product.
One of my favourite things is the mix of gray and cream in the background. It isn't expected, people usually go with one or the other. Doing so also meant that I could use that floral scrap there - it is from my first ever quilt!
The quilting is simple. Using my walking foot I made wavy lines across the quilt. My aim was to mimic the lines a paintbrush gives. I did make my life a bit more challenging by not quilting over the red lines on the front. So there was a lot of stopping and starting and burying of threads. A lot. It was totally worth it. I also changed thread colour every 5-7 lines, between a light beige Aurifil and the ultimate dove gray Auriful 2600.
I started the quilt in May 2013, the top was finished in October of that year, and it sat partially quilted for about a year, or more. I'm not quite sure why I just never finished the quilting, but that's what happened. Then, a few weeks ago, I needed to take photographs of a quilt being blocked for an article. I put the call out and had some quilts volunteered, then realized that with just a few hours of work I would have this one ready. I buckled down and just did it. .
Also, three cheers for another awesome back alley trailer for photo ops.