F2F January

January’s blocks have made it across the pond, so now I can post; though it is the second post on quilts from Sherri Lynn Wood’s book, it is the first attempt.

The January request is for greens.  That and a preference for modern. Perfect timing since I am ready to play from the “scores” in Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

My limits. Color green (as requested); 12 1/2-inch blocks (Footsquare–the second F is for Free style, any block we choose). My plan was to start with Score 2, strings, then use the string set in Score 7, Layered Curves. (Combining Scores is part of Score 10, Showing up, so you could say I am starting at the end. The book is well enough cross referenced that this is possible.)

Green block 1

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

Wood invites reflection after each piece.

What surprised? I was surprised by how little the blocks shrunk I’d started with 9-inch “squares”  and ended with 8 1/2-inch squares so had to trim off 2 inches. (She does say to expect to lose 1/2 inch with each cut; however, I’d missed that on the first read.)

What was satisfying? I liked the couple places where I could make use of “bleeding,” blending two shapes into one. I liked the flow of the outer lines that created an irregular square in a square; I liked the piece in the lower left leading into it, but what was dissatisfying was the big light (it really is a light green, not white) piece in the lower left. It drew too much attention to itself. But to trim it more would have eliminated other colors I liked and needed.

What to do about it?  Maybe not use #7 when I have a set size and a need to trim (or start smaller and add rather than trim). The main problem was the predetermined size. Still I don’t think it is totally  impossible to combine defined with improv.

Where go from here?  On to the next block.

Block 2

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

This one was made from two light squares and two strip-set squares. I’d started out thinking some Drunkard’s Path arrangement so cut the curve and stitched. (#2 and #7 again). On a whim instead of following through, I cut the half square triangles (HSTs) and assembled.

I was quite surprised that I couldn’t arrange the squares in BOTH a pinwheel and an interrupted circle. (Geometry was never my strongpoint.) Once I realized that, I played till I got this setting and was quite satisfied.The design has a coherent rhythm; it was actually helped by having to be trimmed though I lost some color repetition.

Finally, what to do with the Sunny Lanes traditional block that I have been making for each month?

block 3

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

At first I considered cutting it all out irregularly, and I might have followed through on that if I didn’t have the size restriction. I decided to make the HSTs regular and play with what would be 4-patch blocks in the traditional version. I used the last of my strip set in the center and learned that if I want to alternate the direction of subcuts from a strip set, I really need an even number of strips to get a checkerboard effect;however, the center “stripe” doesn’t look too bad (successful “bleeding”?).

Ideally I’d have had some strip set left for the corner “4-patch” block substitute. Since I didn’t, I made do with left over bits. I did have to cut a strip of the bright green because I wanted it in each corner.

This was my first venture with Wood’s book. Other experiments have been blogged (Diluting Orange posts) about before you see this. Check there for my “What next?”

I’ll link up with AHIQ when the time is right (button in the sidebar).



Filed under design, Portland OR, quilting

15 responses to “F2F January

  1. Your blocks are wonderful Claire! I still have to sew my green blocks and hope I will get it done at the weekend. Emmely wil surely like the wonky and improvised look of your blocks!

  2. dezertsuz

    The blocks are quite interesting. I see the book is leading you in ways that will probably affect other quilting habits. I especially like the last one, but all of them are great for her, since she likes modern quilting!

  3. I am really impressed! Those blocks are just perfect!
    I am having trouble with mine. Never did much improv quilting, so this is a bit out if my comfort zone. I will investigate the book, it sounds very helpful!

    • Hi Esther, I will also be happy with more traditional blocks. I’ve received three sets of blocks so far and they’re a mix of modern and traditional. I’ve put them up on my design wall and it works very well! The green in the blocks is more important for the look I am going for than modern.

  4. The second block is my favourite. I think I’m going to have a look at this book, it seems right up my street and I like browsing through books when I’m a bit low on inspiration. It might be a good way to spend some of the book tokens I have.

  5. I love these blocks, especially as I am so entirely devoid of ability in the improv department! It’s totally out of my comfort zone, and I can’t seem to drum up enthusiasm to keep trying and improve my skills, or actually do some research… There’s an elegance and rhythm about the blocks – even Sunny Lanes has a new lease of life. The block in the centre reminds me of sound modulation waves!

  6. My experiments so far with Woods’ book have been more successful when I planned more. Go figure.

  7. I have read this awesome book and was planning a future post on it – I love this book! I love these blocks, your quilt art/piecing is so wonderful!

  8. I am so happy to see your post about the Wood scores method as I’m taking her class next month at QuiltCon. You give me hope, for I read her book and thought–is this for me? I like how you combined the improv with the traditionall–a eureka moment for me!
    As always, your fan,

  9. How interesting! I’ll have to look into this book. Sounds very inspiring.

  10. I’m familiar with that Sunny Lanes block because I swapped some last year in CW fabrics. I have to say that I love your version. It’s a lot more fun.

  11. Ann

    What an interesting post. Great experiments combining scores and techniques. I was especially intrigued by your combinations of free and ruler cut. It is too bad you had to trim anything from these blocks.
    Since geometry is my strong suit, I’ll add. You made mirror images when you cut and sewed your four blocks. If you’d make two sets (eight blocks) you could rearrange them into two pinwheel/quarter circle blocks. Just a thought if you want to try.
    Thanks for linking this insightful post with AHIQ.

  12. Beautiful rhythms in your pieces!

  13. audrey

    So interesting to you you work through this process. I want to experiment a little bit more with the more complicated scores in the book myself. Love the colors you’re working with!

  14. I have got to pick up a copy of that book! I’m thinking that since I love modern and odd improv, the ideas in her book will work for me. I really like your first block. I clicked on the picture in AHIQ so I could figure it out a bit. Love the post since it explains so much!

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