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January 9, 2009

Project Improv - First Block

I've joined Tallgrass Prairie Studio's Project Improv group (you can read about it here). I actually had the time to work on my first block today! This will be my first "real" quilt. I'm working on some doll quilts for the girls, using them to practice quilting, etc. But this will be the first larger quilt I make (I haven't decided a size yet, but will probably do a lap quilt size so I don't get overwhelmed!) I'm very excited to do an improvisational quilt as my first because I've always been worried about the frustration in not lining up seams correctly or cutting accurately. Also, I prefer guidelines over rules so this will be perfect for me!

I decided to use Tallgrass Prairie Studio's Wonky Log Cabin block tutorial to design my block. I'm using only fabric from my "stash", which is mostly vintage and thrifted. (Except for the charity block, I'm looking forward to buying some fabulous fabric for that!) I first sifted through it to find a color combination I wanted to work with. Oddly enough, I ended up with red and blue (odd because I never use those colors in anything - decorating, clothing, gardening...) but the colors felt right. Since this quilt is 100% improvisational I felt it was important to pick fabrics based on emotion rather than logic (logic would say, pick colors that match your home, right?)

I was surprised to learn that most of the time involved in making this block was in picking the right fabric for the right spot. I challenged myself to make the block look modern and fresh even though I was using vintage fabrics. I cut a lot more strips than I used because I kept changing my mind! I made some mistakes in the piecing, but since this block is improvisational and I like the final look, that means they're not actually mistakes, right? Anyway, I couldn't be more pleased with the final block! I took the picture after dark, so maybe I'll post another one tomorrow if the sun comes out! EDITOR'S NOTE: Still no sun, but I took (somewhat) better pictures on a bright, snowy day. If the sun ever shines on Wisconsin again, I'll get some better pix!


jacquie said...

great job, melanie! i absolutely LOVE the fabrics in your block. can't wait to see your quilt come together!

Kerri said...

i love your first block!! how exciting to have one done!! i want to start on mine this week :)

Philigry said...

i love your block!