Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Floating Squares (with Pinwheels)

Don't measure, just cut ... and then cut again.

That's how I mis-remembered something Melissa Averinos posted on Facebook. What she actually posted was:

Measure TWICE rarely
Cut ONCE as many times as you feel like.

Nonetheless, it was the push I needed to move forward with an idea that involved cutting with scissors, without measuring.

It started like this.

Colors chosen, ready to go

The book is The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, A Guide to Creating, Quilting and Living Courageously.  It has sat on my bookshelf for almost a year, waiting, for me to find an opportunity to play.

The link is an Amazon affiliate link, so if you follow it and buy the book, I may benefit in a (very) small way.

When I put together those tiny 1 1/2-inch pinwheels from the bonus triangles squares I blogged about on Monday, I asked one of those dangerous What If? questions. What if I used the floating squares score in Sherri Lynn Wood's book as a setting for those tiny pinwheel blocks?

Starting squaresI pulled pink, purple and black and white fabrics from my scraps for my fabrics and cut my squares, with scissors without measuring. I treated the pinwheels as one of my sets of fabric squares.

Then I sewed them into "chunks" (without pressing!) until all the squares had been used.

The light fabrics that had been used in my pinwheel blocks was used as filler.

My intention was to make a small doll-sized quilt. But honestly, this was so much fun and I couldn't help but think how much more fun it would be to use this technique to make a big quilt.  I ended up with eight chunks.  I roughly trimmed them (with the scissors--still no measuring!) and plugged in the iron and pressed them.

I put them on the design wall and moved them around a bit to get a rough idea how I thought I'd put them together ... then just kept sewing until they were all attached to one another.

Chunks on the design wall  Chunks on the design wall
All together

The result felt a little too narrow, so I cut a few more squares and made it a little wider.

This little quilt came together so quickly and easily, I kept going ... and layered it and quilted it with a spiral.

The finished quilt is 15 inches wide and 22 1/2 inches tall. I stitched down the binding while re-watching the Downton Abbey finale.  I already miss that show ...

Floating Squares with Pinwheels

I thought this little exercise would be great way to try a new process with a small commitment and I am satisfied with the result. I like the inclusion of the pinwheels and the idea of using an improv technique as a setting for traditional blocks.

Making this small quilt (from a limited number of squares), made me want more.  Although I often work improvisationally, putting away the rotary cutter was surprisingly freeing.

Often for me, little projects like this one are a way to get back to quilting when I fall into a rut.

Thanks to Sherri Lynn Wood for the great ideas in her book and to Melissa Averinos for the Facebook push.

I'm joining the lists for Scraptastic TuesdayWOW (WIPs on Wednesday), Mid-week Makers and Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Fabric Frenzy Friday.


Rhonda said...

Love your mini. Thanks for sharing the process.

Carol F. said...

I love this quilt! I'd like to pin it to my modern quilts board on Pinterest. Do you mind?

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I am so far behind for some reason. i don't know why I am not seeing your posts in my sidebar anymore. time for some research I guess!

Love love love your violets and snail trails. I have some light batiks and purples that might need to be made into those.

I guess you figured I just can't handle the OMM right now. After I unearthed a million quilts in my corner I am overwhelmed with getting some of those out of the way before I start anything new........mostly.


Nicky said...

It looks fabulous - tiny beginnings with so much promise! Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

Sewing Up A Storm said...

Wow! Just love how that turned out and your swirl quilting is just perfect and really makes your eye move around the design.

joe tulips said...

This is fantastic! I long for some time to play like this. The things I really need and want to get done are getting my attention first. I can go without measuring, but I love mt straight edge fot cutting!

Glenda said...

Oh Sohpie this looked like so much fun, and you are right some times we get buried in convention and what others are creating and try to follow, we for get that patchwork really is just pieces of fabric sewn together from scraps to make some thing warm and beautiful if we have the fabrics. Love your end results it is a gorouse wee wall quilt. Cheers Glenda

Karen's Quilts from Cape Town said...

I love it!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Is that another wonderful new header that I see? Your improv piece is delightful-good for you for understanding yourself and what you need to get back into things.

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful, Sophie! I really like the product AND the process.

audrey said...

Wow! This is a really fun quilt! Wonderful.:)

Wilma Lee said...

I love that!!! How are you doing Sophie?

Forks and Forest said...

I love this Improv! What a great idea for all those little pinwheels and HSts I've collected. I've marked this for future! Thank you, Sophie!

Corinne in Forks, WA

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