Saturday, October 26, 2013

Improv Under the Influence - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to Poppyprint! I'm so glad you've stopped by for the annual fall festival.

I've been saving this little quilt for the festival, although pictures were posted on Instagram when I pieced it initially. It is made entirely out of Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids - in fact I used almost every last thread of the 7 small cuts of fabric handed out at our Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  We are participating in a challenge to make a quilted item out of these fabrics (any other solids could be added) and there will be a big reveal of all our members' quilts at our November meeting.

Improv Under the Influence by Poppyprint

As soon as I opened my package, I went straight to work on this quilt. I'd been playing with a new method of improv piecing that occurred to me one day last summer and I was itching to try it out using solids.  The name "Improv Under the Influence" has a double meaning for me. The first influence was a vintage quilt that inspired this modified courthouse steps layout - the quilt hung in "American Quilts - the Democratic Art" exhibit that I was lucky enough to see last year in Bellingham, WA. Photographs were not allowed in the exhibit, the quiltmaker was unknown and the quilt does not appear in the coffee table book I purchased, so I can only describe it to you from memory. The quilt had a very Gees Bend vibe, but did not originate from Alabama as I recall. Like my version, the steps were defined by colour. The horizontal steps were pieced from suiting scraps and solids in neutral shades of black, brown, cream and white. The vertical steps included a lot of red, brighter calico scraps and white. I couldn't take my eyes off that quilt.

Improv Under the Influence by Poppyprint
The straight-line quilting was entirely improvised on the go, using the piecing as a guide. I used lime and hot pink Aurifil 30 wt thread.

The second influence is that of traditional piecing methods. I often hear at my traditional guild that quilters want to explore the idea of improv, but they don't know where to start. The thought of randomly cutting strips of fabric with scissors seems wasteful and intimidating when they are used to precise rotary methods and a set plan.  The way that I constructed this quilt from pre-cuts allows you to maintain a 1/4" seam allowance, use your rotary equipment and have a lot of fun!  Using this method, no two people would ever end up with the same quilt because there is a lot of freedom to improvise and play.  I look forward to teaching the method at guild next month and can't wait to see how people use it in their quilt-making.

Improv Under the Influence by Poppyprint

The backing fabric of this little 28" square hanging came from a clothing shop in Sarlat-la-Caneda, a beautiful town that we visited in the Dordogne region of France in 2012. The colours were just so happy and unique that I bought a yard for my stash.  I could not believe my luck when I saw how well it coordinated with the challenge fabrics!  I chose to forego a traditional binding and instead let the piecing run all the way to the edge of the quilt by attaching a facing (the solid green frame you see around the backing edge). I followed this excellent tutorial by fellow VMQG member Terry Aske.

Improv Under the Influence by Poppyprint

An adapted, larger version of Improv Under the Influence will release as a pattern in 2014!

AmysCreativeSide

Support the quilt makers by voting for your favourites in tons of great categories - I've entered my quilt in the wall-hanging category.

30 comments:

CitricSugar said...

Wonderful way of showcasing solids and how much dimension and texture you can get with them.

Great work! and yay for promoting improv... It seems to absolutely paralyze people. If we can encourage more people to do it, I imagine the world would be a better place - lol!

Canadian Abroad said...

Fabulous! The colours are amazing and work so well in your design. And how great is that backing!

Annie said...

I love your quilt, fabulous color and design.

Arita said...

The quilt and quilting is fabulous. I love doing improv but so get how not everyone can do it.

karen said...

Beautiful!!

Katy Cameron said...

Absolutely love how this has come together, especially the checker-board in the middle

Jenny said...

Super awesome quilt krista

Kristie said...

Just love this one Krista. Knocks my socks off! :) And that backing? Perfection.

MariQuilts said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Krista!!

traceyjay said...

it reminds me of a vortex!
I too love the checker-board in the middle.

Mary said...

Fun quilt. Love the colors

Leanne said...

I love this quilt, it is full of fun and colour. The quilting is also wonderful. It is a perfect entry into the festival.

Debbie said...

oh I love this too! Sure wish I could hear you teach the method! Cool that you faced yours, as I did that for the first time this week too - a really nice finish for a quilt such as this...

Charlotte said...

I love this SO MUCH!!!! (can you tell I am very enthusiastic?)

Elsa said...

The detail in the center and the quilting are wonderful ~ love the whole design!

myBearpaw said...

Fabulous and intriguing and my favourite colour palette! I also love the way you have left out the binding - looks so effective!

Heather D. said...

Fantastic Krista! The improv quilting is just the icing on the cake.

Rene' said...

Stunning Krista!!! Loved seeing glimpses of this beauty on Instagram. Your pictures of the finished quilt do not disappoint ;-) The backing fabric is just perfect. Don't you just love when that happens?! So glad you are releasing a pattern. Can't wait for that. Thanks for sharing!

What Comes Next? said...

these colours just sing for me! Love how it all looks, and especially love that little piece in the lower centre that introduces the pinks into the limes and yellows.

Susie said...

Love it!! You are such a colorful cleverness, you are!! Thank you for spilling your magic over all of us, dear Krista.

moira said...

I love this. The colours, the improv, the binding, the back....everything

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Beautiful!

Svetlana said...

wow!!! absolutely stunning!!!

Heidi said...

gorgeous ! a masterpiece !!!

Alisa said...

It's beautiful. Improv but still organized. Love it!

kameleonquilt said...

What a lovely quilt. I like the way the quilting fits so well with the modern look of the quilt. Loved the backing fabric too, - I think I would have bought at least two yards ;-)

poppyinstitches said...

fabulous, love the pinks and greens together!

Michele Pacey said...

It's a real beauty Krista! The subtle curves give it lovely movement. I'd love to try piecing a quilt with this sort of curviness...

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is just gorgeous, Krista! I have yet to try improv. 2014 might be the year!

Edith Bieri-Hanselmann said...

Like this quilt very much.
Greetings from Switzerland