At the beginning of the quilt guild year, Andrea & I volunteered to give short guild meeting programs on Improv & Focal Point respectively. Andrea’s Improv program was scheduled for October to coincide with the Cheryl Arkison Improv workshops. Mine was scheduled for the November meeting.
In April, we had each signed up for an improv workshop so we would be able to do design mind melds later. The best laid plans and all that. I wasn’t able to go to my workshop so Andrea attended in my place. One of the design exercises was wonky log cabin blocks. Andrea has made several wonky log cabin quilts so she experimented with log cabin piecing where the starter piece had more than 4 sides. I found this one to be quite striking:
Having been liberated from the constraint of starting with a 4 sided piece of fabric, I decided to do some improv piecing starting with a circle. I dug through my scrap stash and found the leftover slabs and jelly roll strips from a quilt I made last year. The 2 circle halves were sewn into two slabs cut off at an angle so the resulting piece had 5 sides. I added strips and slabs until I had a full piece that was a single improv block. A secondary goal for the project was to have the circle serve as the focal point for the piece.
The October meeting was cancelled due to a power outage. Andrea’s program was rescheduled to the November meeting. Since we had been planning on helping with each others’ programs and many of the pieces we were going to use in our programs were the same pieces we merged our notes into a single talk.
The week of the November meeting came & the meeting was cancelled due to a snowstorm. The guild already had the meeting area booked for the day that Saturday for a workshop so the meeting was rescheduled for Saturday morning. Because we have a stall at the market on the weekends only one of us could attend. As a result, I did the combined program.
While I was doing chores around the house over the rest of the day I was thinking about the things I had talked about and some of the pieces I had shown. I decided to start a modern quilting project that provided lots of negative space and had an improv focal point. I also wanted to experiment with a log cabin piecing around a triangular centre where the pieces being added were triangles. I decided to use just 4 fabrics for that in such a way that if 2 pieces of the same fabric touched, one of them would be a point. Here it is after 3 rounds:
One of the things about adding triangles is that each piece replaces 1 side with two. I didn’t get very far before I had to add smaller triangles that aligned with the two adjacent sides which reduced the number of sides by one. Once I got most of the way to the size I wanted, I decided to piece it out to a square.
Next I needed to choose a background/negative space fabric. I settled on Kona White.
I wanted to soften the transition between the block & the white background so I turned the piece into a circle using the lighter 2 fabrics from the block.
Once that was done. I squared it up, calculated where it would be positioned, then added 4 blocks of white based on those measurements.
It will be a while before I have a chance to get this on the long arm. Since that’s where the bulk of the creativity comes in, we really won’t know how well the whole process works until then.