04 February, 2015

Playing With Circles in Quilting - Part 2

Ride the Waves
50'' x70''

Improv curves are fun. In a fit one day last year I pulled out a playful and lovely combination of fabrics and made a whole bunch of blocks. It was just one of those quilts that came to be with no rhyme or reason. I'm pretty sure I had it done in just a couple of days. Then it sat. The moment passed and there was little motivation to finish it.

Then you realize that someone needs a pick me up, a hug as much as possible. And in your head you kind of realize that these fabrics are so her. So her, in fact, that you may have picked them with her in mind. You may have stuck with this size of quilt because it is the perfect size for her.

And then you finish it with big lines of loops because they are fun and everyone deserves a bit of fun. And she deserves a finished quilt so the loops make that happen too. So does binding it among a stack of quilts you feel you just have to get done for Christmas. That way you can give it to her when she most needs it.

Then she texts you that night to say how much it is helping in the dark and lonely moments and you realize that this is indeed why we work hard to make quilts for people we love. This way, love is all around them.

Even her dog approves. Then again, there is no accounting for taste.

The improv curves are easy to do and totally take any mystery out of curved piecing. There really are no mistakes with this technique. You can see that sometimes I doubled up the curves and other times they are just simple. All together they echo quarter circles. Which means you can use them like you would any other Drunkard Path block. I chose a setting that creates diagonal lines of movement across the quilt. Simple, fun, and effective.

Overall, that's what the quilt is - simple, fun, and effective. Design wise, yes. but also in spirit.

All year I am going to be posting more and more circle techniques. This is some time to play with circles and there are so many things to do beyond the basics. Join me for the monthly series, Playing with Circles in Quilting.

If you want more details on making circles or any of the techniques I introduce here, check out my Craftsy class: Inset and Applique Circles by Machine or my workshop in the book, Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quiltmaking.


Dominique said...

great quilt, great story. I have always loved, and still do, the aqua-red-pink combo. I hope this quilt continues to bring comfort and a little joy to its recipient. Isn't that a great reason to have some fairly advanced WIP? Some quilts ready to finish without too much work, when the occasion presents itself?

Samantha Lindgren said...

I have a stack of fabrics slated for a quilt for a friend in a similar circumstance. The stack has been sitting there for about a month waiting for inspiration....and now you have given it to me! Thank you! I will make her an improv circle quilt....

Margith said...

Lovely quilt :-)

house on hill road said...

I love this - the colors, the fabric, the curves. So beautiful, Cheryl!

felicity said...

This is a particularly beautiful post, Cheryl. I do love a good improv curve and I really like what you've done with them here.

Sandra W said...

It's a very nice quilt.
I am starting to think about red. It often seems that there isn't a lot of red in the q shops. Lots of green and blue.
When I recently went through my stash I was surprised that my red pile was the smallest. How did this happen?
I decided to make a q that uses 16 fat quarters of one colour--and I just had enough of red.
In batiks--which I have officially decided not to buy anymore--you will find very few reds.
So now I'm on the search for more reds.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful quilt, I love the color scheme and all of the wonderful prints you used.

Lisa J. said...

I'm all about improv and curves right now, so this sounds perfect for me.