Monday, 29 July 2013

Embracing Improv!

Hello! Hope you've all had a great weekend? I spent time working on my Improv Block from FQR and making it into a cushion.

When I'd been packing up for FQR the instructions for Lu Summers class was for scraps around 5" or a charm pack. After a bit of a root around, I found a charm pack (about 20 pieces) of Avignon by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake, a few matching solids of yellow, turquoise and Kona Snow and kind of hoped for the best!
Improv Block by fabricandflowersuk

I was quite nervous about the Improv class because I'm an instructions kind of girl, so Lu's 'cut around 5 strips, about 1" wide' was a bit of a challenge for me. So I did as I was (roughly!) told and learnt four different techniques: strips (which could be turned into HSTs, which I didn't do), log cabins, chevrons, lazy drunkards path and crazy patchwork. I actually found it easier to improv as we progressed as we had more scraps, whereas to start with I had to cut things to size. I'm so glad I took along the solids to provide some contrast and some 'rest' areas in the piece. Others in the class had taken mostly solids and mixed in with a few feature fabrics and their pieces were really amazing - I definitely want to try that next time!

The construction was again quite fun for me: there may have been a moment where Lu and I had a conversation along the lines of:

Me: So how big is the block meant to be?
Lu: However it's shaping up, it's up to you....
Me: Ok......so how should I put the pieces together?
Lu: Just lay them out and see what you like best
Me: Okaayyyyy.......

But I made it through! I'd already decided to make it into a cushion for Little Girl and as the piece was so busy I added a Kona Snow border, before using all the left over scraps to make a very scrappy binding.
Improv cushion by fabricandflowersuk

For quilting, I thought it would be fun to echo the drunkards path as well as have a go at spiral quilting. I remembered reading a 'how-to' guide over on Kerry's blog and would thoroughly recommend it, her template rocks!!!!
Spiral Quilting on Improv Cushion by fabricandflowersuk

It's a envelope-style cushion, but when it came to putting it together I realised that I had the two pieces for the back but only one was wide enough. What to do?! I ummed and ahhed, checked my stash and decided that it really was the best choice, and that I'd just have to piece a bottom panel. I added some Kona Snow, decided it looked a bit empty and that as it was for Little Girl I would add a special message for her.....
Special message to Little Girl by fabricandflowersuk

So a truly Improv'd cushion I think?! It's been so fun and I'm already planning some more projects: a wall hanging using some Oakshotts and someday a quilt for Boy 1 (he keeps asking for "a dark blue quilt Mummy"!!!). First, I'm going to eagerly stalk await the postie to bring me Lu's new book for more inspiration and ideas!

Sx

Todays sky ● blue, clouds, grey - think we've had pretty much everything today!!!

15 comments:

Sarah Lou said...

Looks gorgeous, lucky Little Girl! Love the fabric choices and the quilting :D

Nicky said...

Great improv! Love the message - true love that is!

Jo Jo said...

It's gorgeous Sonia! I like the sound of a dark blue quilt for your son too - he clearly has great taste! I love your message, sadly though I think my boy loves chocolate more than me, hehe ;)

Jo Jo said...

It's gorgeous Sonia! I like the sound of a dark blue quilt for your son too - he clearly has great taste! I love your message, sadly though I think my boy loves chocolate more than me, hehe ;)

Vicki said...

Cuter then cute! Improve is so much fun...we all need to do it more often!

Lorna McMahon said...

Sweet pillow, Sonia! I love the spiral quilting and the binding is superb! Congrats!

joanne said...

It is perfec and the message makes it so specialt! And I love the quilting!

maria said...

It's lovely and great to learn a new technique. I love the message on the back.

heart of charnwood said...

haha, love your conversation with Lu, you can always tell the people who like structure rules and a set pattern when it comes to these kind of projects, it makes it a whole level tougher, but with beautiful results!

pennydog said...

Fab fix, you did good! :D

made by ChrissieD said...

Looks fabulous Sonia, the fabrics, your piecing, the quilting and then your hand embroidered message just makes it perfect. :)

Flying Blind... said...

It looks brilliant!!! I am going to try so hard when I the book - and need this class next year!

Lynne said...

That's lovely! I do like the chevrons at the bottom right.

House of Pinheiro said...

wow, looks great.. that class was really fun x

bearpaw said...

So lovely! Is improv meant to look that coordinated though?! Your dialogue did make me laugh - so that's why Lu said your class was needy ;)
I loved that Avignon line too.

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