Thursday, April 7, 2016

Freestyle Improv Blocks: Declaration for One Monthly Goal

Block Play

A few weekends ago I wrapped up my work for the day, and decided I had earned some play time. Playing with blocks is my favorite creative outlet as a quilter. Drawing things out on paper or the computer is good, but physically handling fabric is far more therapeutic and inspiring.

This freestyle block has been on my Quilter's Bucket List for some time. I've successfully sewn curves, but not curvy blocks. So, I pulled out my solid scrap strips and started. It wasn't far into the project before I realized their enormous potential. 

Up they went on the design wall, and out came fabric samples to pair with them. I favor slow design. I like to throw things together, and walk by them for a few days. I wait to see if I still get excited, or can think of a way to make it better.

I add and subtract. I fall in and out of love with it. If there's something I really like about it, I'll pull that element out entirely to see if it still holds up. In short, I'm ruthless. It's an amazing process to visualize how so many fabrics could work, but even more when you know you've found one better. At this point, I go to paper and colored pencils, and lay down the ground rules.

More experimentation with how I might produce blocks faster. I decided the stack and whack method made blocks too much alike.  

My most recent weekend of hand dyeing fabrics turned out this palette. While mixing and matching swatches, I had to throw down some blocks to see how they might work. 

Yes, I could see another possible 
quilt take shape in front of me!

The last few days of staring at the previous fabrics had me back in my stash digging again. I spotted my Moda Grunge, and would you believe I had stashed all the same shades as the above prints? (Hey, could this be my favorite color range?) The Grunge was a winner.

And, at last, I did some thread shopping yesterday while on a road trip. I laid them out this morning to snap a picture, and realized I'd repeated a lot of the colors once again. The missing ones, just so you know, are already in my thread stash. 

This piece is begging to be made, and it's only right I link it up with Red Letter Quilts 'One Monthly Goal'. I'll have it done by the end of April.

Remember to plan your project for #BraveQuilter, and link up here before Sunday, April 10th.

Linking up with~


  1. Your curvy blocks look promising indeed. I like how informal they look. And how informal is the process of making them.
    I can hardly believe that you dyed those fabrics yourself. The shades are beautiful. I particularly like the pinks and greens. And the grey and blues. :-)
    Thank you for participating to my Fabric, Thread and Yarn link party. Have a good day!

  2. Love the colors and the blocks and the thread too! Must be my colors too, lol!

  3. I really like the organic look of the curvy blocks. I found it really interesting how you are drawn to the same colors... and they are outstanding together! Grunge will always be one of my very favorite blenders, and this quilt is going to look fantastic with them! I always find your process so interesting and I am glad you like to share it with others!

  4. Love your freestyle blocks! They look great with any of the other background choices

  5. Your blocks look great. Have fun playing.

  6. the Grunge is a definite winner! These look amazing! have fun with your next steps!

  7. Great freestyle blocks with curves. Have fun!!


  8. Your freestyle blocks look wonderful, heaps of potential here! Enjoy!

  9. Love. Love, LOVE your blocks, from the colours to the style, so much potential. Enjoy the journey.

  10. The curvy free style blocks look great have fun playing.

  11. Color Blast! Those blocks are so gorgeous! Potential out the wazoo on this one! Love it Julie!

  12. Now you've done it again. lol I have so many new ideas to try! Love your creative adventuresome spirit!! Can't wait to see this one on your wall.

  13. Wow - these blocks are just gorgeous! I love how the freestyle blocks come together and think this will be on my to do list now!

  14. Great colour scheme! You are right: these blocks have loads of potential. Isn't it satisfying when a bit of play leads you to something you can get your teeth into?

  15. Hand-dyeing has been on my bucket list far too long, yours look sooo vibrant! Love how you are playing with them. Thank you for linking your goal with OMG!

  16. This is going to be a fun project to see come together. Love those blocks and the color palette you've selected.

  17. Beautiful - will be fun to see with completed!


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