Thursday, February 11, 2016

Baker's Dozen

Just finished quilting a small quilt top I made last summer. Time can get away from me! In a departure from my usually more scripted work, this top was pieced improvisationally from strips and squares. I don't have solids in my stash, but I had a bag of solid scraps (and added one fabric to make 13 colors, but used the back side to hide the print!) With a few parameters in place, the blocks came together quickly and went up on the design wall. Pieced sashing helped blur the block edges and brought the composition together.

I enjoyed the improv piecing so much I started on another one right away! I made the second one from shirting fabrics and quilted it in Friendship last summer, in an all-over clothes hanger pattern. A friend snapped it up, but here's a photo.

Recently I pulled out the solid pieced top and decided it was time to quilt it. In keeping with the improvisational spirit, I  chose to let the quilting develop organically as well. The first decision I made was to overlay the quilting, rather than follow any of the lines in the quilt, but I wanted something more than an all-over pattern. I grabbed a dinner plate and a salad plate and a piece of chalk and drew large, concentric circles. Stitched those. Filled the space between the circles with smaller circles and curlicues. Added straight lines, like ladders. Decision by decision, the quilting filled the top.

Now that it's done, I want to share the fun of making these quick, no stress pieces. My friend Linda and I will be teaching a beginner friendly class, Baker's Dozen Improvisational Piecing on May 14 at the new class space at The Sewing Machine Exchange in Falmouth, Come if you can!