Saturday, February 27, 2016

Basking in the Sunshine

It's Improv Week again over at the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters link up. I was so busy quilting Mod Trips this month, that I had no time for improv. But, I figured, why not start now?

For this week's trick, I'm using Sujata Shah's Cultural Fusion techniques to make curvy half square triangles...

...and curvy rail fence units...


...and combine them into curvy churn dash blocks!


A churn dash quilt has been on my to do list for several years. Then when my guild started its crayon challenge, I hoped for a yellow crayon so I could make a yellow and white churn dash quilt. I got purple, but I liked this idea enough to make it anyway.

And, I've been thinking for a while that Sujata's elements could be combined to make interesting traditional blocks.


So, this is Modern Utility Quilt #2, which I'm calling "Sunshine." It's possible that this could turn into a series. And it's also looking likely that these Riley Blake ginghams will keep showing up:


I went to a lot of trouble to get the complete set of those ginghams in all 11 colours and 3 sizes when they were released. I thought I would put them all in the same quilt. But once they arrived, that seemed uninspired, and they sat in a box in the basement. Now I think several quilts will be better!

All the fabric is stash, like my first Modern Utility Quilt, and it seemed like a good chance to use all those large and small scale florals I used to buy. These are the first two blocks I made:


I have to say, I was feeling some doubt at this point. But I had the fabric cut for the first eight blocks, so I kept going:


It was all darker and browner than I expected. And was that citron Mini Pearl Bracelet really a good idea?

In improv theatre, the formula is to always say "yes, and..." So I squelched my doubts and thought, "ok, where do I go from here?" Most of the really pale yellows I'd pulled went back in the stash. The rest I pinned right up on the wall with the finished blocks:


This seemed like a crazy idea at first, but it turned out to be really helpful to sit back and see how everything was working together. So on Monday, I'll be linking up to Design Wall Monday as well!

All the fabrics fit into that range between the citron and gold of the first two blocks. I think the pure white fabric makes the dark fabrics look darker, so there will be less of that combination in the remaining blocks.

I've been looking at this pile of yellow fabric on my sewing table for a few days now, and I'm feeling good about where it's going. But, I promised myself I would get some more things quilted before the hot weather returns, so I will have to pack it up soon.

And before I go, look what I found when I logged into Blogger this afternoon:


I always enjoy these little synchronicities, which I know is why I keep finding them. This is a particularly good one. And it's probably why I "accidentally" logged into Blogger before I had my photos edited. And, check out the rest of the page:


LOL!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the improv quilting at the February link up, right here. Happy quilting!

17 comments:

  1. Your improv churn dash blocks are wonderful. The colors are cheerful and the design makes everything playful. I'm glad you kept going and added some of the gingham. It reminds me of a sunny kitchen. I'm going to have to get that book.

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  2. Love your improv churn dash blocks! Curvy is cool! My grandmother had a yellow kitchen and when I saw your white and gingham block that was what I immediately thought of! She made the most interesting salads. . .bunnies made of pears/cottage cheese/cinnamons on a lettuce leaf and jello/cottage cheese on a lettuce leaf. . .are you seeing the unifying factor--that lettuce leaf! Thanks for the flashback! Keep up making those blocks. This is going to be a wonderful quilt!--Terry

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    1. Did anyone ever eat the leaf? I remember, vaguely, that it was the jello that made it a salad back then. The "sunny kitchen" theme, as Kyle said it, was unplanned, but I like it! I think it's a happy association for most people. Thanks, Terry!

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  3. really liking the curves you have on these blocks they work so very well and loving all the yellow, you certainly have a big stash. Think I will have to pop over to amazon for a certain book! Did look for it at a quilt show last year but they did not have it then the purse must be shut for now as have spent a small fortune on fabric recently that I did not need!

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  4. The curves give a really upbeat and unusual flair to the churn dash block. And the yellow is so bright and cheery. As long as you have just a bit of the really bright yellow it won't overpower the block. I think all the other fabrics you have there will tone it down and give the quilt some balance. I hope you have some more white/yellow fabrics for the quilt.

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  5. The first 2 blocks do set up a lovely palette for the rest of your fabric choices. Interesting how all of those different shades of yellow come from those 2 blocks, from the darker browner fabric to the bright "mini pearl bracelet. With your colour sense, I know you will come up with a comfortable balance of the brights and darks.

    After your previous recommendation of Sujata's book, I did go out and buy it. It is helping me wrap my head around this whole "improv" thing. I really like that she includes a section called "The Root Connection" to share what has inspired a particular quilt. Seeing how you have adapted her curvy piecing technique to a traditional block is very interesting.

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    1. The colour reproduction in that wall photo is not the best. In real life it looks better than that! So no, I'm not worried about the mix any more. I'm glad you are getting some value from Sujata's book. What I like best is that she empowers you to do your own thing, and you do not have to do it exactly her way to get a great result. Simple techniques, wide application!

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  6. Beautiful curvy churn dash, love yellow!

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  7. Your idea to use Sujata's method to make other blocks is inspired! Love it. Yellow is not a color I cotton to, but you are sure using it to goid advantage. The range of yellows is important otherwise there wouldn't be much difference in value, which always makes for more interesting quilts. Your instincts are good. Hope to see this finished.

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  8. Yellow is the perfect color for the end of winter. Spring is coming soon! Sujata will be so proud of you: combining two designs to make a new pattern. It's exactly what she wants people to do. Congratulations.
    Thanks for linking this with AHIQ. Keep up the great work.

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  9. I love yellow, so joyful, and your blocks are great!!

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  10. Oh, this block looks like vintage meets modern and I love it. Guess you could call it butter churns! I love gingham too.

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  11. Love your wonky churn dashes! Great blend of colors! They work so well together.:)

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  12. The curves are very enticing. I'm almost tempted to try myself! I do love the yellows in their variety. They play so well together.

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! Once you get the hang of it, the curves are fun to do. And the great thing about these blocks, is that they don't have to be perfect. :D

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  13. I love the curvy churn dash blocks; they have a lovely carefree, happy feel somehow and that's enhanced by all the yellows. I also like how the last picture, on the design wall looks: I think your colour decisions are sound, so can't wait to see where this goes next.

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  14. Right about now, I was in India in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Amy and I were visiting palaces and mansions and I must say, your colors reminded me of that trip all over again. Those fabrics work just great! Happy to see you combining the freeform blocks to make new ones and enjoyed reading about the process.

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Happy stitching!

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