Off Centered Improv

Off Centered Improv

Next month I’m lucky enough to be leading a sewing workshop at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. I grew up in Cincinnati and my family all still lives there, so this will be a really fun opportunity for me to hang out with all the talented modern quilters in my hometown.

Off Centered Improv Top

The guild was really great and left the decision as to what we would be working on up to me. I love improvisational quilting so I thought that would be a fun technique for everyone to explore. This is our class sample ~ improvisational log cabins.

Off Centered Improv Center

These blocks are a bit similar to the pillow I made Jennifer last October. You can see the work in progress below.

Improv Piecing

I broke down the log cabins by warm and cool colors, incorporating a bit of grey and just a small amount of prints.

Off Centered Improv Pre-Quilting

The border is a black and white Alexander Henry crosshatch.

Off Centered Improv Bottom

I quilted this mini quilt with randomly spaced organic lines. They are all around 1/4″ apart, but I didn’t mark or measure. I used my walking foot and slowly moved the fabric back and forth ever so slightly as I quilted.

Off Centered Improv Workspace

This new quilt has a home above my new computer workstation in my sewing space! For more information about the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, you can contact them through their blog or email them at cincinnatimodernquiltguild (at) gmail.com.

Pick Up Sticks

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This is one of those posts that for the last 5 months I couldn’t wait to share…but then that changed to dread over the last 2 weeks. Last December I made this quilt and pattern for Issue 2 of Modern Quilting Magazine. For those of you that haven’t heard, this UK based magazine, owned by All Craft Media, went into bankruptcy about 2 week ago. There were a lot of people with subscriptions that will probably lose out on the magazine and their money. Some did receive Issue 2…not me though so I haven’t actually seen my quilt in it. Lots of artists have projects still with the magazine and may never see their quilts and projects again. I actually thought I would never see this particular quilt again, but I did receive it back about a week and a half ago and for that I am very grateful. I don’t really want to make this post about ACM though, so let’s just focus on the quilt. :)

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These quilt blocks were made by placing fabric strips improvisationally through square blocks. I used all solids – a combination of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Moda Cross Weaves, Art Gallery Pure Elements, FreeSpirit Designer Solids, and Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids. The blocks measure 9″ x 9″ unfinished. My blocks alternate warm/cool/warm/cool… colors.

quilt_2_sm

I decided on a scrappy binding and quilted this in a free motion meandering design. I am really happy with the finished product and it will probably now live in my daughter’s room.

quilt_4_sm

So, I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but just because I like to keep my blog a positive place, please let’s focus on the quilt in the comments and not negative or disparaging comments surrounding the now defunct magazine. I know for those involved, emotions are high. Thanks everyone!

Updated:
Wow, I am really overwhelmed by all the emails and comments from you guys offering to send me a copy of the magazine! I am actually practically speechless over it, this is just the best community.

Since people are just now getting their magazines late, I’m going to wait a couple weeks and see if mine makes it over here. Looks like there is hope! Thank you so much everyone. xox

Another Update (early July):
Thanks so much to one of my readers who let me know she found the magazine at Barnes & Noble. I just found and bought a copy there! So if you are interested in making this pattern, check your bookstore for the magazine.

For the Love of Solids ~ A Work in Progress

FTLOS Blocks

I’ve started work on my first item for the For the Love of Solids Flickr swap. After spending some time studying my secret partner’s inspiration mosaic, I decided to embrace the improvisational, liberated sewing technique. I made these blocks using just my rotary cutter and no ruler. This photo shows the blues more accurately:

For the Love of Solids Blocks

Part of the swap involves posting work in progress photos and getting feedback from your partner (without them knowing it’s their project). I’m now trying to decide on whether or not my partner would like blocks pieced directly together or maybe off centered in some sashing… We shall see!

A Tale of Two Pillows

Pillow Gifts

I mentioned in my Sewing Summit recap post that on Saturday night I went to a great dinner organized by Jennifer and Elena. Well, besides all the work that goes into getting together a group of 20-something people you have never met before…they also put together swag bags for us with items donated by some very generous sponsors. When they gave them to us at dinner, I swear you would have thought it was Christmas! Lots of squealing going on. (Pretty sure the table of men next to us watching the football game thought we were nuts!)

Pillow for Jennifer

I wanted to make a gift for each of them as a thank you. First I was thinking a mini quilt but then opted for pillows. Because, as Amanda says, anything can be a mini quilt, even a pillow!

Pillow for Jennifer

In Salt Lake City, someone smart said that life would be a lot easier if everyone you made a gift for had a Flickr Favorites photostream. How.true. I did some snooping in Jennifer’s photo stream and noticed a lot of work by Stitch in Dye’s Malka Dubrawsky. Luckily I just took a class on Improvisational Piecing by Malka so I sort of knew how to start.

Pillow for Jennifer Embroidery

I made four improv blocks, each around 5 inches. There is a bit of curved piecing – yes, that’s on purpose! LOL A bit of adding fabric to the square to make it fit to the block next to it. Then I off-centered the block for the pillow. I’m 95% certain the tan is an Essex Linen. I wish I had marked it when I bought it! Then I embroidered Jennifer’s name on the pillow to personalize it a bit. I quilted the front with straight lines, about 1/2″ apart, in the sashing. I made a scrappy binding for the pillow, love scrappy binding!

Pillow for Elena

When I was looking through Elena’s favorites, I noticed she liked bright colors and stars…she had a lot of stars in her Favorites! Remember that tutorial on Y-Seams last week? I needed to learn those to make her pillow, which is a block from the Jazz Hands quilt in Material Obsession 2.

Pillow for Elena

I quilted Elena’s pillow using straight lines on either side of the diagonal seams. Then I also embroidered her name on the front. The binding and backing of Elena’s pillow are both from Erin McMorris’ Summersault fabric line.

Pillow for Elena Embroidery

Both pillows are a bit smaller than 18″ (I like the overstuffed look…I hope they do too!) Jennifer and Elena received their pillows this week so I’m not spoiling the surprise. Thanks again to both of you!