Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blue Skies

The sky has been the most beautiful shades of blue.  The weather has been warming up and the days are getting longer.  It puts a spring in the step. More people are outdoors, and greeting each other after a long winter's nap.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What's the Difference Between a Modern Quilt and an Improv Quilt?

Nancy Kerrigan. 
Photo by Gianluca Plantana CC BY 2.0 via Flickr
Yesterday, I finished the binding on the improv quilt I am making for possible consideration for Sherri Lynn at Dainty to use in her upcoming book.  I still have to make some minor adjustments, but for the most part it is done.  This now leaves me free to work on other quilts.  Right now, my plan is to use the scraps from the last several quilts (and other cleanup projects) that are still in the living room.  If I use them up, I don't have to figure out a place to put them away!

Anyway, I discovered that there is a modern quilt guild on Facebook, and I joined it.  One of the posts was asking for volunteers to do a demonstration at an upcoming meeting.  She said it would be an improv demo.  I'm sure she meant that the demonstrator could just improvise and do a quick demonstration on whatever she wanted, but it made me think of my latest improv quilt.

The thing is, I have thought of modern quilts and improv quilts to be on opposite sides of the spectrum.  On a modern quilt, there is a lot of attention spent on artistry and execution.  Sure the shapes are simple, but careful consideration is given to color placement, and balance, and precision and all those kinds of things. They are deceptively simple because they look easier than they are. Sure I could make one, but will it look as good as one made by a modern quilter?

On the other hand, improv is more spent on bold design and more winging it.  You may not know what you are going to get at the end, but you take a chance to see if it will be good or not.  I suspected but now know that an improv quilt is not easier to make than a modern quilt is.  Sure, you (okay, like I did) can take the lazy way out and not bother to square up your blocks before sewing them together, but then you have to figure out how to work your way out of your "mistake" when the quilt doesn't lie flat.

Having just watched the Olympics, and particularly the story of Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, it makes me think of ice skating, like Nancy's artistry is compared to Tonya's big jumps and bold moves.

In skating, it is possible to have both artistry and physical technique, and I am sure the same is true for quilting.  I could have spent more time squaring up the blocks, or arranging them on a design wall. But then you lose some of the free spirit of the improv quilt.

What do you think, can you have both? Is there such a thing as a modern improv quilt?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow on Playground

It continues to be cold and snowy. I'm not used to showing this many snow pictures, but I thought these in the school playground were colorful and fun.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Deep Snow

Since it remains cold, the snow is still here and very deep, up to the top of Zeus's legs. Luckily, he loves it.

I even saw people waiting for the bus, standing on top of snow like this or even deeper, without falling through.  The whole length of the street had snow that was that deep.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Whiteout Snow

I don't know why my camera overexposed all the photos I took today.  The city does not not clear the side streets unless .. I'm not sure what the unless is, but our street hardly ever gets cleared.  Many of my neighbors get stuck coming out of their driveways and parking spots on the street.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Snow Steps

I had already started shoveling before taking this photo, but the snow was as deep as the steps.  Hopefully I remembered how many stairs there were!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pens in Snow

Someone dropped all these colorful pens in the street.  I don't know if the pens simply dropped out of a backpack, he or she simply fell, or if this is evidence of a bullying incident. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rescue Rooter

A truck owned by a plumbing company, Rescue Rooter.  Don't worry, it isn't at my house.  Sometimes when I look at old newspapers looking for genealogical information, I get sidetracked by the advertising.  I figure years from now, I will want to know what kinds of advertising I saw, and what trucks looked like.

And what cars looked like.  Here are two red cars parked across the street from each other.  Most of the cars that are being sold are muted, calm colors, like champagne, silver, black, white, and pewter. Even the blue and the green are very calm colors.  The bright blue car I showed the other day is an exception. But lately, there has been a surge of red cars.  It seems that it is a catching trend - that people who buy red cars tend to live really close to other people who have red cars.  It's like people need a leader to say, yes, it is okay to buy a red car.  Yes, my own car is red, but it is not in the picture.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Superbowl Sunday

Hope you are having a wonderful day, whether you are watching the game, or enjoying some leisure time.  I have finished piecing the improv quilt.  I have also added tucks / darts so that it  now lays flat.  I repeated the process several times to make sure that the quilt would be truly flat.  After a few runs, I decided any remainder will have to quilt out.

 Since I was using blocks, it is squarish. I debated whether to trim it straight and have a real rectangle, or to leave it wonky.  I decided that I did want to use a ruler to trim it straight.  Since I didn't want to chop off any of the blocks in the straightening process, I added some more fabric to the edges that would have required the other side to be chopped off.  I kept adding bits and pieces to both sides.  Then I finally decided to bite the bullet and trim the thing already.  This was difficult, since there were several large pieces that had to be chopped off.

I wish I could show you the photos, but I have promised confidentiality.

Yesterday, I pieced several leftover fabrics to make the backing.  I though about making the back improv as well, but decided that I needed straight of grain to help support the bias edges on the front.

Today, I will be piecing the batting (only two pieces), and sandwiching.