Out came the last three blocks and asked to please be layered, cut, and pieced and added to their nine companions. How could I say, No? Once that was accomplished, I moved furniture so I could use my “design floor” and tinker with arrangements.
Although I knew I’d get a better idea once they were trimmed, I also knew I might find a block that needed more layering and cutting, and I didn’t want to lose more size than necessary, nor did I want to retrim all if I lost size. So I did a first approximation, and I did add one cut to one group of three. I toyed with keeping irregular edges as Sherri Lynn Wood suggests in her Improv Handbook, but I decided that this quilt needed square blocks.Maybe because of the once square blocks in the starter orange quilt.
I’d started with ~18 1/2-inch squares and made 3-4 cuts in each set. At half an inch per cut, I’d expected to end with 16 1/2-inch squares. One, however, had gotten quite misshapen and it could only be 15 inches in one direction. Add a piece or trim all? I opted for the latter thinking that the added piece would disrupt the lines of the design.
I had several design considerations as I moved the parts–in the order of priority, one being most important:
- Something meaningful with the curves and curved stripes
- Balancing the amounts of orange/blue
- Alternating the blues with the orange, pieced parts
- Not placing two from the same set of three side by side
- Alternating the medium and dark blue blocks
- Alternating the blue and brown of the original 36-square piece.
Obviously, I was not going to be able to accomplish all six, and that is why I prioritized. After a lot of rearranging (wherein I was too involved to think photo), I ended up with this:
I quickly abandoned #6 as impossible, but I actually accomplished all the rest except #3. I was surprised that by abandoning alternating blues and oranges I actually ended up with a better overall balance of the orange portions.
You can see from my arrangement considerations that I don’t consider planning an opposite of improv, nor do I consider randomness a synonym of improv. I don’t think Sherri does either. Apart from making the 12 blocks square, I did follow her suggestion of cutting without a ruler. I chose to use scissors because it was hard to go back and recut where I’d not cut through all three layers with the rotary cutter and no ruler. And as I moved pieces, I added her criterion of arranging so that colors/values “bleed” and create new shapes.
I’m thinking of naming it “Blurring the Boundaries” since it has elements of traditional, modern, and art quilting. Those “boundaries” are something I’ve given a lot of thought to, and recently was delighted to see Yvonne’s post on Quilting Jetgirl. Do you think it could be entered into an art quilt show as well as a modern one? Why or Why not? (Don’t worry, you won’t offend me if you say, No.)
Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall (Button in sidebar)
I had really thought to be on a new project by now, but since that one has been all mental quilting, here is this top, finally finished except for its blue borders. Linking to AHIQ (button in sidebar).