It’s been all about quilt play with improv waves this week!
Week 4 finally saw me bust out my rotary cutter!
So far, I’ve gone through 3 shapes without using my rotary cutter once! This is new for me, normally I like using my rotary cutter during improv, but I love my tailor’s shears and I was curious to see what I would create just using my scissors. Curves it turns out, I prefer using my rotary cutter. I feel as though I have more control and more fluidity. Maybe next year’s challenge I’ll dive into that a little more 😉
I will say it was hard to resist incorporating quarter circles and circles in my quilt blocks this week! But I resisted and tried to stick with this week’s shape to sneak in some quilt play with improv waves.
What surprised me the most was how challenging I found the waves. I was surprised too as I was really looking forward to the quilting waves exploration and yet the cutting and piecing were not flowing. I don’t know if my sewjo was off, but I wasn’t having much success with them at the beginning.
This is where it’s important to not get discouraged and just keep working the block and technique from different angles. Sometimes you have to really think outside how you’d typically piece a block to come up with new solutions.
It will feel uncomfortable and frustrating.
Stick with it!
That’s how you make breakthroughs and grow in your quilting practice.
One thing I found was working gentler curves helped and led me to some fun discoveries.
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SHAPE OF THE WEEK – WAVES
Piecing curves can take a minute to get used to. Take your time with this one until you start to feel how the fabric behaves when you cut it on a curve.
The glorious thing about incorporating curves and waves into your quilting is the natural and organic feel they bring to your quilts. They’re the best for breaking up harsh lines and overly linear compositions.
Even I had some challenges piecing my waves – I went a little too wavy and it caused some puckering issues.
As I like to do, I started by joining strips using some leftover bits to have a larger piece to work with. From there it went in lots of directions – layering, slicing, stitching, slicing and another round of composition play!
Always interesting to see where a block will take you. Despite having a moment of shizzle stickleness, I still landed with a block that captures waves, while not being overtly wave-centric.
I love where she landed.
This one started with a cutoff piece and she evolved from there. I just went along for the journey and kept trusting my instincts while reminding myself of the prompts to keep me going when stuck or looking for inspiration.
The gentle curves were my fave. It’s a nice contrast to the Drunkard’s path blocks I often stitch.
This was a great combo of strip piecing and negative space. It’s got a ying-yang feel to it that reminds me of a jewelry box my mom had when I was young.
I love how there’s the more detailed patchwork on one side and bordered by a gentle curve leading to the negative space.
Also, she’s quite big!
All good as I still have plenty of fabric on hand.
I’d already been slicing and dicing quite a bit already with the waves, so I decided to work with some waves with more of an improv orange peel effect.
Loved piecing it this way too!
With the last one being so big, I was curious about working in some detailed pieces. This one has smaller curves than the others.
I realized that I love working piecemeal, creating shapes to incorporate into my composition. I love the process, it’s creative, but it’s also a mental challenge, a brain teaser if you will that I love solving!
It’s a lovely mix of instincts with on-the-go decision-making and problem-solving.
Don’t forget to flip your block around to see which direction you like it the most.
By Day 5 I was feeling a little tired and not in the best zone for improv. I even took a break mid-block – ha!
That’s exactly what happened here, I came back from my break and knew what I wanted to try out. It didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined, but I would say those curvy slopes turned out even better 😊 That’s always the best reward for working through an idea and not giving up!
Here’s a list of the materials and notions I used to make my 30 Days of Improv QAL quilt blocks:
- AGF Pure Solids in Blueberry Zest*
- AGF Pure Solids in Field of Lavender*
- AGF Pure Solids in Peach Sherbet*
- AGF Pure Solids in Apricot Crepe*
- AGF Pure Solids in Sweet Macadamia*
- LDH Scissors*
- Sewing Machine*
- 50wt Thread for piecing*
- Cutting mat*
- Pressing table
Check out the following posts for more 30 Days of Improv QAL 2022:
And that’s a wrap on the block-making! Next week it’s all about pulling these lil’ cuties into a quilted wall hanging. If you haven’t already,
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