11 January 2019

The Last Adhoc. Projects from 2018

It feels good to know that I've wrapped up the last two open-ended Adhoc. Improv. projects. One was a follow-up of our Playing With Scale challenge. You can read lots more about the quilt over at my last post as I rambled forever.
Lots of improv. piecing!
I can see that this concept is one that I'll continue to revisit through the years. Simple, repeating elements mixed with changes in proportion are a fun way to show off fabric or play with color. This quilt was a tough slog at times though, and in the end, I took advantage of my son being gone for the weekend in order to bring the quilt top to completion. I desperately needed that time to ponder and tinker and play with the pieces. His bedroom joins with my quilting area and so I essentially co-opted his bedroom floor for the duration in order to have plenty of  'design floor' time. Once I got the rows figured out--where they joined up with each other {side by side}, how much to chop off or add to the ends, overall color flow and balance--then all I had to do was make sure the components stayed in the proper order. The rest I could accomplish from the tiny floor in my quilting room!
Playing With Scale #2
I also wanted to post a picture here of my results to the Maps Challenge. As most of you know, it has been named, 'Directions From a Local'. When I posted about it the other day {over at my blog}, I completely forgot to make sure it was over here as well! This challenge was really hard for me to get started on. And in fact, I never really did. What happened was that I eventually attempted to recreate a Roderick Kiracofe 'Unconventional & Unexpected' quilt, which, as per usual, took a few detours.  Along the way, it unexpectedly blossomed into my answer to the maps challenge.  First when I added the 'turn right' arrow in the center and then later when I allowed the unmeasured, free cut strips to make a huge, wonky mess of the quilt.
Directions From a Local
I think some people were appalled when I subsequently cut into the quilt and straightened it up by easing out the wobbles. Oh it definitely lays fairly flat and straight now, contrary to what it looks like in the above picture. Believe me, it's just a bit rumpled from being folded and put into a zip-bag for several days! Something about hacking into my quilt and basically 'letting the chips fall where it may', actually felt very cathartic though. That was after I got over the initial trepidation of course.

Regardless, it definitely made it easier to add a 'road' to the quilt , which for some reason felt so silly when I was only 'thinking' about it. Then it all just sort of fell into place without the fussiness or detailed piecework that I had somehow imagined would be needed. The lettering was the most time consuming part of the entire project. It so easily said everything the quilt needed to say without having to wrap wording around the quilt on every side. That's what my brain was trying to insist had to happen in order for the message to read properly. Can you tell that I had really built this challenge up into something to be dreaded? lol 

So glad I went with that seed of the initial idea {the right turn arrow} and gently, slowly, let the quilt tell me what to do next. On another note, all the fabric was sourced directly from my stash with the exception of one piece of black fabric when I ran low and didn't want to substitute another color. There is also one piece of mixed cotton/poly fabric included {the brown/white gingham}--a definitely departure for me. It was not fun at all to mix in with the cottons, but really helped give the quilt more of that utility look that I love and adore. This quilt has a lovely, subtle glow to it, a nice feeling of old fashioned charm and also a whimsical message. What more could I ask for? Now the slate is cleared and I'm ready for the next challenge coming up! #unconventionalandunexpected


Quiltdivajulie said...

I'm glad you stayed with your original idea too - despite however much wandering about it took to reach the destination. And I so agree with what you said about your head building the challenge up to be something to be dreaded / something intimidating. I have that problem, too. Cutting into your quilt to make it suit you was brave and necessary and I agree with your description of cathartic. Too many times I think we worry about what others will think/say instead of listening to and acting upon our own instincts. Good for you!!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I think it's especially interesting that were so many turns and misdirection to accomplish the challenge. I'd have tried to force the words all around the quilt, but you're right, this works better and gives the whole quilt a caption to ponder--which I love! Going around the quilt might have made reading it more difficult and distracting.

A lesson for quilters, and makers in general:
We don't have to make things complicated. We just have to make things.

O'Quilts said...

very nice

audrey said...

Thank you--It really was a lesson, for me most of all. Just to continue with the seed on an idea and not force anything that wasn't feeling right. I love being able to post on the Internet and share my progress with other quilters. It can result in us being more concerned about what others might say though!