Thursday, February 28, 2013

My improv days are finally behind me.

A few years ago when I first started quilting it seemed as though every quilt blogger was trying out – and loving – improv piecing. I remember seeing so many pretty quilts and thinking to myself, "That looks like fun! I can do that!"
A quick rummage through my stash revealed a stack of solids, leftover from an older project. Score! I started cutting, pressing and sewing with gusto. A few days later I had 20 or so blocks finished and I couldn't wait to...

... hide them at the bottom of my UFO pile.

I wasn't just that the colors weren't "me". I simply didn't enjoy the process or the results. I like modern quilts, but I still have a huge traditionalist streak running through me.

But even though I couldn't bear to look at those bright little blocks, I also couldn't bring myself to throw them away. So they languished in my UFO pile for a good eight or nine months before I finally took a second look.
Flash forward to last year's Festival of Scrappiness over at Stitched in Color when I happened to come across those lonely little blocks while organizing my sewing desk. I think the passage of time helped make them a little more palatable, because for some reason I picked up a wacky coordinating print and decided to turn them into a baby quilt for donation.

I no longer hated those improv blocks, but I wouldn't say we were friends either. So I put the top away, this time at the top of my UFO pile.
A few weeks ago I ran out of white thread for my postage stamp quilt but I still wanted to sew... so I pulled out that old top, chose backing and binding fabrics from my stash, and finished it up.

I think it's finally grown on me. I kind of like it... a little bit.

But I'm still no improv girl.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle. I laughed when I read your post today. I am not a modern person either, but I ACTUALLY LIKE your quilt and I really like the quilting. It is a great baby quilt--very cheerful. I think I need to get out my scraps and try this--ummm-I don't know how this will work. I like things very orderly.Think I could do it?
    Say "HI" to the kids. Take care.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad somebody likes it! Hahaha! You should give it a try - you never know if you like something unless you give it a shot, right? I'm betting you'd be great at it! Have a great weekend Joyce!

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  2. Ditto to what Joyce just said. The quilt is bright and cheerful and will make a lucky little baby very comfy and warm and the lucky mom happy every time she wraps her baby in it. Your choice of coordinating fabric is perfect for your blocks. And an extra bonus; your UFO pile just shrunk by one. Congrats!

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    1. I'm very happy to have one less project hanging over my head. I'm glad you like how the quilt turned out. In the end, I'm somewhat happy with it. It's definitely grown on me a little. At least I don't hate it anymore, right? :)

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  3. I think it's awesome you tried it out and got it finished! I like it- super bright and fun! I really love to crazy quilt and improvise as I piece. It's so true that everyone has their own style and taste and comfort zone when it comes to projects! Way to try something new! very cool!

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    1. Thanks, Robyn! I'm just glad it's finished. LOL I love all of your quilts - you make it look so effortless! :)

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  4. Haha! A very honest and thus fabulous post. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's funny, I still read other people's posts about improv quilts, like the one you just put up on your blog, and think those quilts are lovely. But I'm no longer tempted to make one myself! LOL

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