Finally Beginning the City Quilt

You may remember my dilemma on how to use the city fabric that I liked so much. I’ve been doing a lot of mental quilting on that project these last couple of weeks. And now I have three plans, and possibly enough fabric to make all three. Since I’ve not sketched them, there are no photos.  In due course . . .

I began by starting to make Sherri Lynn Wood’s Score #1, Floating Squares for background.

Floating Squares 1

I hadn’t worked long till I decided that the very light and the very dark (relatively speaking) contrasted too much for the idea I had in mind, so I cut more squares of the two medium value (again relative) and added another of almost the same value. I stitched some, but didn’t get a photo. As I thought about the long curving quilting I was planning, it seemed the squares would clash too much, even with the near values.(I know, sometimes the contrast of curves and squares is a good thing, but I couldn’t picture it here.) So these pieces will return later for one of the three planned tops that is more rectangular.

Moving from background to figure, I pondered Score #8, Bias Strip Petals, and #9, Get Your Curve On, where the latter involves these instructions: each curve requires varying widths cut from pieces of the same length. I want varied lengths as well in my finished curve, so I cut 8 1/2 x 5 inch rectangles of colors and attached a piece of background to each. That way I can work with fabric of the same length while getting my variety.

city pieces

I oversized the pieces so I could move them around and decide as I went just how much background to keep. Before stitching two together, I’d trim to the 8 1/2 length. (I’ll admit, I did use the ruler for that part–but I cut the wedge shapes freehand when that time came.)

I laid out a first approximation to see how I liked the color spread and whether I had enough pieces to make a large enough curve to show a big enough piece of the focus fabric. The top curve will use Score #9, the bottom #8.

city first approximation

Next I began cutting and stitching wedges, deciding on the width of each piece, the amount of slant, and the length of each color one by one. It made for a lot of jumping up from the sewing machine to lay out sewn portions and ponder the next. (I don’t think it would have taken much more  time to make and use templates. But I have long gotten over expecting improv to be a short cut.)

And here is where I am now.

city curve 1 stitched

I have remedied one seam with a tuck to get the arc to lie flat–I think the bumps are from folded background fabric under the arc. Next move is to decide just where I want it on the focus fabric, then to cut and sew the big curve. Then to make the half petal bottom.  I plan to make two of these partial petals, this one on the right and one for the left. Once that is done I’ll lay it out and decide if it needs more than two–there is a design consideration to use odd numbers. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll follow it.

Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday, button in the sidebar. (I think I’ll have more to show by the time the new AHIQ (Ad Hoc Improv Quilters) rolls around, but that improv linky button is also in the sidebar so you can check this month’s entries out.






Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Finally Beginning the City Quilt

  1. Oooh I look forward to seeing how this comes out! I love that Improv book!

  2. That feature fabric is gorgeous, and I really like how your solids work with it. I wouldn’t be brave enough to improv a curve, so bravo on that! I do hope there may be sketches at some stage so I can see what you have in mind for the suite of three pieces?

  3. dezertsuz

    Very interesting process, Claire, and product, too. Thanks for sharing what you are doing.

  4. Thanks for sharing your process! I’ll be looking forward to seeing it take shape.

  5. Oh! That is sooooo cute! Love all the lovely solid fabrics you’ve picked. Can’t wait to see more. Good luck. ;^)

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