31 March, 2014

Hot, Awesome Mess


Look at that quilt top, floating in a snow globe. Oh wait, that's only half the quilt. Do you know how hard it is to photograph a king size quilt top?

Yes, I made another king size quilt. I couldn't help myself. Last week I needed to flex my improv muscles. Not that I needed practice at improv. No, I needed the therapy of just sewing for the sake of sewing. Mindless, no planning play. It did wonders for my mood (and my cold). And before I knew it I had enough blocks to more than fill my design wall.


Once the blocks were up on the wall I started the puzzle piecing to get it all together. I only went by size, filling in gaps and squaring up as I went. I paid no attention to colour or direction. In fact, the only design decision I made was to make sure the feature fabric was on each corner of the finished top.

Then I made it bigger. At first, it came out to about 83'' by 103''. It seemed like such a funny size, and a few more inches meant it would cover our king size bed nicely, with extra quilt for snuggling. So I added another 11'' on one short end. It seemed totally crazy to make it even bigger, but felt right. And seeing as making this was a form of therapy it only made sense to make it the way that felt right.


This quilt began at Quilt Con last year. I was lucky enough to get a spot in Denyse Schmidt's Improv class. See more about that experience here.

About 6 months ago I made some more blocks with the scraps I had from the class and new fabrics I added at home. Then I packed them all up and they joined my WIPs. My thirty something WIPs. It was such a thrill to pull them out and put them upon the design wall. More of a thrill to get to playing again. Every night last week, after the kidlets were in bed, I entered my studio and exhaled.


Play, play, and more play. Then I totally took advantage of my time with a part time babysitter. Deadlines met for the week, I took a whole day to get the top together. Another couple of hours at night and it was done. Then another hour to add that final strip. 

Sometimes I look at the top and think it is a hot mess. And other times I get giddy with all the little bits that pop out at me. It may be a king size quilt, but there are so many tiny scraps in there. Big and small, they all play together. I do love the way it looks, but I think this quilt's value to me is definitely in the process.

Now, hopefully I can find that value when it comes to basting it.


19 comments:

elle said...

It is a wonderful quilt!

Svetlana said...

wow, what a perfectly perfect therapy and mood booster you had. Your quilt top looks amazing.

What Comes Next? said...

how perfect - excellent therapy and a gorgeous quilt!

Bower Bird Patch said...

Gorgeous Cheryl, it's very funky and looks like it belongs in some art space. Can't wait to see what binding and quilting you choose.....

liz said...

LOVE!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Fabulous, Cheryl, superbly great !~! Improv is the way I like to fly and this quilt cries IMPROV in big big ways. I love it.

Dominique said...

I love it. I am starting to do improv piecing, but would have never had the courage to use another print to tie it all together. What a great result!

carla said...

Hi!!!! I love love it!!!! It is beautiful!!!!

VeeV said...

i LOVE it... so the feature fabric is the black and white..... but the aqua colour repeats a lot throughout all the blocks...
did you just happen to have aqua scraps, or did you designate the aqua to be incorporated into this quilt.
absolutely charming!!!
xo
eva

Jasmine Travers-Charbonneau said...

Thanks for sharing! It's great to hear about the creative process and see where it can lead.

Suzanne said...

I think your quilt is fantastic. It reminds me of a QR code in color.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing! and btw...how do you baste your quilts for machine quilting?
lanie

Leanne said...

It's great, I love the way the black and white print works with the solids.

Linda said...

Love what the black and white does. Perfect choice. Love it so much!

Colleen said...

Lovely quilt top! It looks like you have a giant back there holding it up!

MalinisQuilts said...

This quilt is absolutely amazing. I love how you used the black/white print. Its a nice combo with all the other colors.

I love improv piecing any day. Its is very calming and relaxing to work on.

JaneB said...

so cool! I must make more time for simple improv quilting.

Birdblocks said...

I love, love, love it! Wish I had the guts to do someting like that. I love your work, your books and your blog.
Greetings from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Merel

jodydeschenes said...

gorgeous!