Monday, 30 May 2016

Bluebell Woods Part 1

Oh yes, I finally started Bluebell Woods and the first part is done!!!

If you missed the first post it is based on Score 1, Floating Squares, in the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood, I say based, the score is for a quilt using three colours, a limited amount of two and a filler fabric using whatever amount you need.  I am doing one of the adaptations, using the same process but stitching together several blocks of varying fabrics.  My inspiration came initially from the (not to be used as) cake tins I received from my husband for my birthday recently (don't ask, it's in the previous post).


These are the fabrics for the first block, I didn't have a clue how much a 'limited' amount should be so I just cut off a chunk of two 'bluebell' fabrics and started cutting them into squares.  One fabric had a range of 2-4 inches square and the other 3-5 inches, the green 'leaf' fabric I just cut as I needed it.  Forgot to tell you, no rulers, I cut freehand using scissors, remember them?  We used to use them in the days before rotary cutters.  No I didn't use my cutting board for guidance, promise.


This was when the fun began, stitching the squares together, adding filler strips when needed to join large and small squares.  That was when I had my first insight, I can't cut squares for toffee, half of them resembled rectangles.   You may notice that the edges are a bit wonky too, believe me, they got wonkier.



Then I started to put them together, like a jigsaw, not so easy.


I don't mind telling you, it was harder than I thought, and I can't cut straight either.



Nearly there, still adding bits of filler fabric  to get them to fit, and trying to straighten some of the wavy edges like the one on the bottom left (told you it got wonkier, believe me now?).


At last, this is what I ended up with, approximately 19.5 inches wide (depending on where you measure), by about 16 ish inches deep, just squint your eyes and think of a bluebell carpet (well, a very small one then).

I don't know how many blocks I will end up with, maybe 9 or 10, who knows.  Overall I'm thinking of an end result of about 50-60 inches, whatever.

Now I have to evaluate the experience and see what I would do differently next time.  I didn't think too much about it when I was doing it, I just concentrated on trying to get the pieces to fit together, but apparently that's a good thing.  I would make more of a variation is the size of the squares though, and I would definitely try to cut straighter.  By the way, you see on the last pic at the left it looks like I matched my seams?  I didn't, pure coincidence, just in case you were thinking..........In fact now that I get a proper look, it's as if I matched them in a few places, piffle!!!

So, what do you think so far, inspired or dogs dinner?  And will you be coming back to see the next block?

I have also decided to go for it with this quilt and I'm making it my monthly goal to have it pieced, quilted and bound by the end of June and so I'm linking up with Heidi at Red Letter Quilts for One Monthly Goal.

Until then
smiles from
Kate

Also linking up with




23 comments:

  1. I love your colors, but I have to admit improv has me stumped. Don't know how far I'd get with it, but I'm interested to see the other blocks. Keep it up, Kate!

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  2. Yes I see a carpet of bluebells!! Love it but as Jennifer said not sure I could 'do' it - although I really like the improv blocks I see I think I would find it very hard. Actually maybe that should be a challenge to myself.

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  3. So wonderful! That first score is quite a ride and thoroughly worth sticking it out to the end. I made a small piece, about 32" square and moved from small squares to bigger squares and really love it. I have been putting off the quilting but should finish it so I can put it up on my wall. I will be back to see how things go!

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  4. Pretty awesome! That's your inner artist coming out to ply (in the bluebells with all the other fairies!) XO

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  5. It's beautiful right now. It has a balance of colors (not sameness) but rhythmic movement as my eye moves around to see it all. It looks just like the English woods full of bluebells I've seen recently on TV. Does it have to be bigger as part of the assignment or can it be finished as is? In my view there is no rule about wonky or straight, just looking and saying yes, BLUEBELLS. Does it express what you wanted?

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  6. Oh, I'm coming back. I like this first chapter of Bluebells and I look forward to the next. I believe you are on the right track. This part is both pretty and balanced.

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  7. Beautiful colors, but I'm not great at improv, I'm an ordered kinda gal. But your project has a nice symmetry and color vibe going.

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  8. Oh Yeah - I'm coming back! Always Kate! It was fun watching you work through this process and also, I really love your sense of humor. Definitely not 'dog's dinner' LOL. You scored on your first score!

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  9. I love where this is going, keep going! I have to say, I should have turned my mat over when I cut fabric for my floating squares, because I cheated and used the grid :-(

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  10. I love this....and it looks like sooooo much fun!!!

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  11. Doing improv is so freeing and fun! You did a great job of fitting pieces to make it all come together I giggled a time to two while reading your mostly at the comment of not being dogs dinner.

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  12. I had to laugh having just finished my mini finishing at 14" square this week. ( full reveal on Friday) I also cut more rectangles than squares.. I also can't cut straight with scissors and I wasted a lot of fabric trying to straighten things out. You definitely have the floating squares effect. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this. I love improv but I'm not sure that I love doing it with scissors.

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  13. Oh yes I'll pop back to see, your post made me laugh! I too have dabbled a bit lately with improv, it wasn't easy but a lot of fun!

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  14. I have great admiration for improv quilts - they are harder than they look! At least for me. I keep using my rotary free hand instead of the scissors!

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  15. Ohh, I'm not sure I could do this! Keep up the good work - I'll be back to see where this goes! :) Thanks for sharing this on MCM.

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  16. I think this is a good start. If you don't like working with scissors, just freehand with a rotary cutter

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  17. First of all, the book is So inspirational that I want to try all the techniques she suggests. Improv piecing with fewer colors is harder for me than using many. I think getting a natural look takes time to stand back and move things around quite a bit, but I think you've hit it here. I would be quite happy with the progress you've made. Good job, and certainly not a dog quilt!

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  18. Your blues and purples are lovely together! Improv scares the heck out of me. You cut FABRIC with SCISSORS?!! To me that's like cutting pizza with my rotary cutter -- unthinkable! ;-)

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  19. I'm on my second run through that book - haven't actually attempted any of the scores yet - but I'm not sure I will ever "get it."

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  20. Great improv! I really like how the not so straight lines work with your fabric choices.

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  21. It's looking beautiful! I can't imagine that I would be able to cut anything even remotely straight without using a ruler or marking a line or something :) Improv kind of makes me nervous, lol. Thanks for linking to TGIFF this week.

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  22. Good start on your blue bell carpet. Thanks for linking up. Looking forward to watching this one grow.

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  23. Great start on your bluebell carpet. Thanks for linking up. Looking forward to watching this one grow.

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With smiles
Kate