Measured Improv: “Up In the Air” Quilt

Latifah Fabric, Finished Projects, Measured Improv, Quilts, Solid Quilts 15 Comments

So, I’m still exploring what I call Measured Improv. If you’ve read some of my earlier blog entries, you will remember that this is what I termed my approach to Improvisational Piecing.

I now introduce you to “Up In the Air”, my most current exploration:

The inspiration for this quilt was a block created by Kelli for my month in the Bricolage and Butter Bee. I am in love with all of the blocks that I received for this bee, they are all BEAUTIFUL! I challenged the group to make blocks out of a interesting assortment of solid fabrics and received some of the most awesome, unusual blocks back. (Hopefully, I’ll share them all with you soon.)   But, on one of Kelli’s blocks, there was something about her use of the two greens with a pop of the pink and a smidgen of grey that inspired me to create this quilt. Actually, it was just the left two-thirds of the block that inspired me! Here it is:

This kind of Improv Piecing for me was very tedious. The piecing itself wasn’t difficult but, it was the “pause and make a decision” step that made it tedious. In an attempt to add dimension and interest in the quilt I tried not to make any two “blocks” alike. (I use the term block loosely. I think of this quilt in term of panels instead of blocks. There are six panels in this quilt. But, each panel was pieced in sections which I’m now referring to as blocks.) In any case, it became increasingly difficult to create interest and variety in each of the blocks. So each subsequent block seemed to take a bit longer mainly in just deciding what to do next.

The name “Up In The Air” came to me after hearing several people who saw this quilt say that it reminded them of looking down at fields from up in an airplane. (Plus, I think I had just seen the movie “Up In The Air” so I think the phrase was in my head. Haha!) I wavered between this name and “Window Seat” but, “Up In The Air” won out!

This quilt is 48x 67 in. The Kona Cotton colors used were: Ash, Medium Grey, Charcoal, Coal, Grass Green, Chartreuse, and Pomegranate.

Here is a detail view of the top of the quilt front:

The back was pieced with leftover fabric from the front – large big blocks of color all taken from the front. I love how the scale of color really affects the look and feel of a piece. Larger chunks of color look so much brighter or darker than little slivers of that same color. It almost doesn’t look like the same colors as the front.

I almost didn’t want to quilt this for fear that it would detract from the design of the quilt. So, I decided to quilt it lightly. The quilting lines are random semi-straight horizontal lines.

Here’s another detail view of the back of the quilt:

And another that shows a more complete view of the back:

I loved working on this quilt, and I love the final effect but, after being buried in greys I was so ready to dive into using a lot of color for my next project! Let me know what you think about it. I know it’s a little different but, I guess this is what happens when you challenge yourself outside of your norm!

Comments 15

  1. Teresa

    Oh! I love this quilt. I just found your site and this quilt just kind of slammed me right between the eyes. It’s exactly what I would have created if I had talent. Just magnificent.

    First, green is my favorite color. Next I love the unexpected pop of pomegranate and the abstract grays. I retire to contemplate it some more.

  2. Rhonda Ludwico

    I love this quilt. It reminds me of rulers, pencils, and sketches laid out on a drafting table. I think “engineer” when I see it. And at the same time, the green on green makes it soft and inviting. I want to curl up in it. Beautiful. I can really relate to how hard it is to plan and implement something so that it all looks accidental. Great piece of art!

  3. Lynne

    Unbelievably fabulous and amazing and stunning and different – I hopped over here from flickr and really have to add you into my bloglist because your things never cease to amaze me – you seem to work completely differently from the rest of us – are you an artist by training?

  4. adnohr

    I think for me, improv goes against my frugal nature (scottish roots!) because if something needs to get a chunk trimmed off to make it fit I would have a hard time doing it. But I will try something like this one day, I really love the way it turned out, and the name is perfect.

  5. britt

    I love this! Your design shows such restraint. The green tone-on-tone work is really nice… this quilt really inspires me to dig into my stash of solids!

  6. kylydia

    I have a lot of trouble just making wonky blocks. I know that improvisationaly piecing would be very challenging and tedious to me, too. I’m a planner, by nature.

    I think this is SO fantastic, though. I love it. At first, I thought “minimalist” but I looked again and saw that it is very complex in areas. The colors you chose are just great.

    1. Latifah Post

      Thanks for the comment! I too am a planner by nature and Improv has been very difficult for me. You should try it though – it’s been quite the experience. It’s nothing like stretching yourself in a direction quite different from the norm.

      I’m glad you like it though. I’m always a little hesitant to share when I make things so different from everything that’s out there!

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