Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Improvisation

When I was first introduced to quilting, I had my doubts. The fabrics I saw lining shop walls didn't thrill me. Tradition and history hold a special spot in my heart, but many of the quilting patterns and styles I encountered seemed a bit...I don't know...blah. Isolated, I tried my best to find styles and material that I felt drawn to, dabbling in creativity until I would occasionally come across something that inspired me.

Over the last year, however, I've been exposed to so many different styles of quilting through new friends and acquaintances online. I am convinced that I have entered a new world of quilting possibilities of which I never even dreamed.

Here's my first attempt at "improvisational quilting." You pretty much just make it up as you go, not following a pattern or any rules. Talk about liberating! I can't imagine going completely crazy on the improv though, so I tried to maintain some sort of uniformity or organization for the whole thing.

This quilt is crib/wall hanging size and I love every inch of it! The greens make me certain Spring is on its glorious way.

**QUICK NOTE I almost forgot. My hero at Quiltology, Colette, found some extra Michael Miller Damask fabric in her scrap pile that I needed to complete the quilt, since I hadn't bought enough originally. The dear woman parted with it so that I could finish my quilt. Have I mentioned before that this woman deserves a crown in Heaven? Cause she does. A shiny one. With lots of pearls.

50 comments:

Amanda H. said...

This is beautiful! I love the greens and great job on the improv...that can be a scary place to venture for me!

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Love what you've done! The quilting draws me in!

Jennie said...

Hi! I came over from Flickr because of this incredibly awesome quilt! I love it! Great blog- I am an upstate New Yorker transplanted to the Chicago area (I live in the 'burbs, though, not the city). I read your post about giving up your NY license- I felt the same way! I'll stop by again! ~ Jennie

Sarah Pead said...

Love it! I have a question for ya. How did you get that main navigation on the top of your blog? I have a professional design blog that I want to make look more like a Web site, but I don't know any tricks on how to do that. I would really appreciate the help! Thanks!

Always Inspire said...

Once again, another that I absolutely LOVE! You are so very talented!

Cheers,
Julie

Mal* said...

I love to read about people testing their limits and trying new things, but it's even more exciting when such an experiment turns out so beautifully! Yay!

THE ISAZAS said...

you're my hero! This is awesome!

Alissa said...

Oh it looks so good! Love all that green.

amylouwho said...

Seriously, every time I read what you've written it's like you took it straight out of my brain!! That includes your green quilt! It reminds me of the colors I used in mine!! In short, I. LOVE. IT. I actually have that pebble fabric and almost used it with my greens too. I really think you are a kindred spirit.

Dana said...

I saw this on Flickr before I came here. LOVE it!

another amy said...

This quilt is fabulous! I saw it on Flickr too. I just tracked down some of those Amy Butler green dots - I may have to put them to similar use.

Melissa said...

This is so beautiful...the improved pattern, the color...just stunning. If I had a few spare dollars, I'd be offering them to you for this quilt in a HEARTBEAT.

Darci said...

This is gorgeous! I am a green girl so this quilt totally speaks to me.

Ashley said...

Oooh, beautiful! I love the greens you've chosen, as well as the quilting. Wonderful job!

Karen said...

Beautiful! I can imagine it would be very liberating. I don't know if I have the guts to try it...maybe someday. You are inspiring me.

Ann-Marie said...

Again, incredible, beautiful work, Sarah. I love the combination of the greens. Gorgeous!

msergent said...

Sarah, this is just gorgeous! I wouldn't expect anything less from you. Great job on the improv too! You are very brave.

Sara said...

I totally love the greens and the improv, it is so beautiful and just calls to me! I love it! Great job on it!

Barb Hungerford said...

Sarah, I love the "skewed squares" pattern. I've wanted to make something in that look. Love green... love your quilt!

Erika said...

Like everyone else, I think this quilt is gorgeous. I love it! I want to do an improv quilt, but I don't think I have it in me. :)

Pikku- Kettu said...

It's so beautiful! I'm loving the green.

Baba said...

Since green is my favorite color I can't help but love this one! OOOO nice.

carol said...

oh sarah, i love it!! and i'm so happy for the green and the hopes of spring!

Always Inspire said...

Thanks for the kind post in my blog! You have GOT to get your items onto Etsy, oh my, they would sell in a flash! Seriously, they would! I can't wait to see what you're going be listing!!!!!!
Cheers,
Julie

Swedish Colombian said...

Sarah, the colors are nice, the blending of fabrics wonderful, but what makes the quilt, totally makes the quilt is the way you pieced it and quilted it. The geometric designs, freely uneven, yet coming together to fit perfectly, are absolutely beautiful. You are MY hero!
Thanks also for the goose to blog again. I've been busy, yes, and a mixture of overwhelmed and tired, rather than uninspired. I appreciate the nudge. :)

Miss Behave said...

Love, love, love the quilt! I'm such a sucker for greens and I think I should try some improv too after seeing this beauty

metrosupialdesigns said...

I will be thinking of this quilt all day! I just love the green.

beewitchinstitchin said...

This is a great quilt. Green isn't usually my color but this turned out awesome. I love it. Really nice job!

Anonymous said...

Love it! THe fabrics are amazing and the improv works for you, girl! I have been dreaming of quilting again, but since it will be a while for me yet, I will live vicariously through you!
Valerie

Lee-Anne Gilbert said...

Wow... just came across your blog... I love your work!! The improv quilt is great... very similar to my Blue Squares top I pieced awhile back.. I'll be back!! Keep up the good work. Lx

Sheri said...

I remember your miracle. I'm glad that I was there to see it happen. :)

nikkifilosa said...

What a gorgeous quilt! I just LOVE the greens...so rich! I have visited your blog many a time, after seeing your beautiful work on flickr. I too will be back :)
Nikki

Kerri said...

this is so lovely!!

Mal* said...

Congrats on the mention over on Sew Mama Sew, and thanks for sharing these thoughts. Really great stuff.

going kiwi said...

Wow! This is a gorgeous quilt. I love green and I love your improv style. I am making my first quilt and I am totally going to use your idea to improv. That is more my style too. I do not like patterns which is hard when you sew :) Love your work.

Maggie said...

That quilt is gorgeous. It just screams 'Spring'!

Carolyn said...

I love this quilt! It is funky and fun. Good for you!

jacquie said...

i was at quiltology on wednesday...my hubby works in chicago (we're from kansas city) and I was up visiting him. what a lovely store and great folks too. beautiful quilt!!

Kerri said...

oh wow. WOW! i love to improv but am not a good quilter; you inspire me. this is stunningly fresh & beautiful! found you via sewmamasew.com this quilt is the best i've seen in forever. thanks!

Tara @ Feels like home said...

Wow! I think that quilt is gorgeous! I have only made one quilt, so I don't have the skills to attempt something so tricky. But wow!

Amanda said...

This is beautiful! I love the greens.

Mermaids Purse said...

I love this quilt - it works beautifully!

KateKwiltz said...

It's beautiful! Very springy -- unlike our Chicago weather!

edeenut said...

I love the square quilting. It is just perfect!

RosaMarĂ­a said...

love it!

(Megan) said...

I heart Quiltology.

And I love this quilt!

Julie Isa said...

I absolutely LOVE this quilt! Would you mind letting me know what pattern you used? Take care!

Kathy said...

Great job on a beautiful quilt! I found your site just by a search for improvisational quilting, since I just wrote a book (Rule-Breaking Quilts) all about daring to go non-traditional. You have already started that journey and doing a wonderful job of it. Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Schmidt
quirksltd.wordpress.com

Alexa said...

Followed the link from Stash, you are a smash. This is great design, you are good and I will be following you to see more. Kiss kiss

Anonymous said...

What a stunning quilt! I have always wanted to try quilting, but have felt intimidated. This non-traditional style has inspired me to finally try!