Archive for the ‘2017 Improv’ Category

New Years Eve is here and I thought I’d do a wrap-up of what I’ve finished this year.  I could just direct you to the tab at the top of the page – but thought I’d repost it here with a little commentary.


Sushi was the first finish of 2017.  I thought it was my favourite of the year but it’s my 2nd favorite (Voluptuous Woman beat it by a nose!).  This was based upon the work of Sherri Lynn Woods.  I loved the process.  The wabi-sabi nature of it.  The input from friends on how to proceed.



Next was Splendid Sampler.  It was a comfort quilt that I finished up for a friend who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.  One year post diagnosis, she’s doing well.  And, she uses the quilt.  It’s on her couch.  It’s always an added bonus to see a quilt you’ve made being used and appreciated.

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I did a cot quilt to add to a ‘grandmothers basket’.  I used 9 patches that I received in an online swap and made them into a disappearing 9 patch.


January also saw the start of the Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge.  I have not been impressed with the administrators of this club – however, the lessons are valuable.  I do like this piece.  I like the rust.  It’s in my top 5 or so of the year.

I embellished my jean jacket with some Japanese fabrics and crocheted a scarf.  I actually crocheted two scarves but didn’t take a picture of the 2nd one.

I also made a few bibs and some shibori/indigo needle cases.

Another baby quilt was finished with the bib leftovers.  However, I don’t have a picture of the finished quilt for some reason.


Three more improv pieces were completed based upon challenge scores from the Sherri Lynn Wood’s FB group.  I like the taupe/red one and the pink one isn’t too bad.

I knit 3 luxury spa washcloths for my mom.  I hope she’s using them!   Mom?  They were made with really plush yarn – it was a pleasure to knit them.  I also knit two sets of fingerless gloves (one for me and one for a friend) and crocheted two sets (one for my niece and one for charity) but didn’t take pictures.


Next was Squircles – looks like this was a June finish.  This one makes my top 5 also.  Hand appliquéd.  Hand embellished and quilted with hot pink thread.  Also the border fabric was painted by me.


This is the BOM from Sue Spargo – modifications to embrace my style of improv.  Hand embroidered and hand quilted.  Ok, I like this one also.  🙂


Then there was the quilt in memory of Lila Jane.


And Steampunk.


In September I finished Split Personality – the double-sided curtain hanging between the lounge room and the dining room to block the A/C.

The last 2 months of 2017 I finished off these babies:

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Oh, and this one from a class one of the quilt groups I belong to took at a LQS.

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But my favourite of the year – is my Voluptuous Woman quilt.  I absolutely loved making this and love the results.  Thank you my friend Brooke for the woman image.  Thank you to all my peeps who provided input on her.  She hangs over the fireplace in the little house.


I think that’s it for finishes.  I have several that are close to being finished but I can’t put the final TICK in the finish box quite yet.  There are 5 tops ready to be pin basted and quilted (3 machine, 1 hand and 1 commercially) plus the hand quilting on my hexi quilt and the hand appliqué on my Ruby May top.

Reviewing this – I’m amazed at what I’ve accomplished.  I don’t know that I see a real theme revealed – which is what I was hoping for.  I do know that the quilts I love the most are the ones that start with an idea and develop from there.  The wabi-sabi style.

Tomorrow is the first day of 2018 and I will stick with tradition and start a new quilt.  For luck.  I have 2 in mind – or maybe 5.  🙂  I’ll let you know which one wins.

Thanks for following my blog!  I sincerely appreciate and value your encouragement and support.

Life is good.


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Ad-Hock Improv Quilt hook-up with  Kaja’s Sew Slowly and Ann’s Fret Not Yourself.

About 3-4 weeks ago, I pulled out my Cherrywood fabric  stash and started playing with them and Maria Shell’s book Improv Patchwork.  My loose goal is to work my way through the 4-5 different styles of blocks.

First up was stripes.  I added the appliqué circles.  I actually have 4 in this ‘style’ but didn’t get a picture taken of the last one.  My favourite is the purple one on the left – I like the background gradations.  In person, it almost looks like it glows.


Next was ‘dots’.  I have 4 of those too.


The next block style I’m working on is triangles.  Then checks, chevrons & herringbone.  The pieces are all relatively small (under 18″).  Once I get a few more pieced, I’ll set up the Janome and get stuck into the quilting of them.

I can’t say I love them.  I think it has been a good thing for me to do – working with solids (as I rarely work with solids) and playing with someone else’s ideas.  I suppose it is stretching me creatively…but honestly, I feel a little bit ‘ehhhh – whatever’ about these pieces.  I’m struggling to describe what they DON’T do for me…I guess they just don’t inspire me or give me that excited feeling I have with other quilts I’ve made.  Dare I say it has almost felt like doing homework?  Especially the 2nd set.  The first set I’m ok with – I think because I like the appliqué circles.  It might just be that this isn’t my style of improv.  It’s almost a little bit TOO controlled for me?  I’m not sure.

My DWR is coming along smashingly though.  I love working on it and I’m already starting to feel sad that I’m nearly finished with the embroidery work.  I might be at risk of over-embroidering it.  Then again, can a crazy-type quilt ever have too much embroidery?  It might need some paint and rust to distress it before I call it finished.  My plan is to send it to a custom quilter to finish it by quilting the names of places we’ve lived and visited over the last 18 years.  So hard to believe it’s been that long.  I am a very lucky woman!

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A friend of mine sent her Sweet 16 to my place for a visit.  I’ve named her “Sweetie”.  Sweetie is a bit temperamental but I have had some success with her.  I can’t tell you how amazing it is to quilt with something that not only has POWER but has SPACE.  If I was on the build-up side of my quilting career, I would be sorely tempted to invest in a machine like this.  SERIOUSLY tempted.  (That brings shivers down the spine of Mr. W because of the price!!  ha!)

In the 2 weeks she was up and running (and singing!), I quilted 4 placemats, 2 baby/toddler sized quilts, 1 lap sized quilt and several practice pieces.  I also used the basting function to baste 20 Liberty of London flowers onto a linen base for hand appliqué.  I was up at 6am each morning and out playing with her for 60-90 minutes before brekkie.  It was a total blast.

Earlier this week, she made a loud CLUNK and up came an error message.  I wasn’t able to get past the error so the plug has been pulled and she is awaiting a trip to the repair shop.  Best guess it will be February before she comes back to her temporary home.

Here are a couple slide shows of the finished pieces.

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I’ve become a less consistent blogger.  Sometimes I think about not blogging but I guess I’ll just keep plugging along and blogging when I feel like it.

Today I’m doing my AHIQ (Ad Hock Improv Quilt) link-up  (Edit:  I just realised that I’m a week early.  Last month I was late.  Go figure!).  Just a drive-through post of what I’ve been working on.  Some improv and one quite traditional (who knew?).

Voluptuous Woman/Body positivity:  Background is dyed/painted/stenciled/written onto a embroidered linen tablecloth that my friend A gave me.  Voluptuous woman drawing was made by her dear daughter (thanks B!).  I’ve made a pattern using techniques learned from the book Pictorial Art Quilt by Leni Levenson Weiner.  I’m using beige crumb piecing for the body base and then using 3-5 toned fabrics for shading.  I don’t have the shading pieces quite right yet – still searching.  Next step is to trace this pattern onto freezer paper.


The second improv I’m working on is a challenge by Sherri Lynn Wood’s FB group called 2017Score2.  Our parameters were:

LIMIT 1: Pull orphan blocks, never pieced blocks, or a pieced top (or all 3!) that you just never loved enough to finish. Chop it up, slash it, separate it, reconfigure it, overdye it, etc…manipulate it in any way you like to form the foundation of your new piece.

LIMIT 2: Use any of the fabrics from your scrap bin to develop out the rest of your design. 
Any prints you use should ONLY come from your scraps.

LIMIT 3: You have the option to purchase TWO SOLIDS specifically for this project to help balance it/fill it out. THIS IS NOT REQUIRED — your scrap stash might have plenty of multiple solids to work with — just remember: if its in your scrap bin, then its fair game!
(Solids can be new yardage, thrifted garments, fabric you bartered for…whatever your own definition of “purchase” is!)

LIMIT 4: Utilize contrast “grouting” to join the more randomly shaped, or unevenly sized sections.


I’m using some Japanese taupe crumb blocks and slicing/grouting with red and charcoal.  Trying to keep it to my 18×20″ size range.  So far, I like where I’m going with it.  Hope to have more time this weekend to dig into it.


And here is the traditional work I’ve been doing:  Hexagons.  From The New Hexagon book and Glorious Hexagon booklet.  About 50 done.  50-60 to go.  Nuts, right?  😉  Surprisingly, I am really enjoying doing these.  They are the perfect project for travel.  Perfect for sitting in front of TV.  Perfect for sitting in the front room gazing out the window at the cows munching in the paddock.  I’m even considering starting another EPP (English Paper Piecing) project when this one is finished – perhaps Lucy and the Crosses?

A local quilt shop has come up with a new EPP product that I will be doing a blog post on soon.  I’ve been playing with her product this week and think it’s really slick.  Stay tuned for details!



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