April 26, 2023: Out of my comfort zone!; Hand work; Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! Last week I took an all day workshop with Cindy Grisdela on making and creating with improv curves (and strips) – totally out of my comfort zone! I believe strongly, though, that it’s good to periodically challenge ourselves to try new techniques and styles. And I am intrigued by some of the modern, improv quilts I see. The class was fun and, as always, I enjoyed sharing the experience with other quilters in my guild. Here’s Cindy with some of her quilts and her newest book:

We learned about color and shape and we cut our curves freehand, sewing without pins. We also learned how to FACE a quilt edge rather than add a binding. Cindy was a good and engaging teacher. I think I went home with 16 blocks and made 14 more at home the next day, so you know I enjoyed the process. Here’s what I have so far:

No one looking at this would think it’s mine, based on my past work! However, I like it enough to want to finish it! The blocks finish at 6 inches. It needs at least one more row of 6 blocks across the bottom. I’ll probably play some more with the block placement. Cindy showed us how to make long curved strips so I want to add a border of those and after it’s quilted I want to try the facing – have never done that before. Here are some closeups:

It’ll be a while till I can get the rest of the blocks done, because my sewing machine went in for its annual maintenance on Saturday. Since I only have one machine, I’m focusing on hand work until I get it back. No shortage of hand work to do here! I finished the 11th block of Sweet Journeys:

And I’m getting another chunk of the border quilted – it’s about 5/8 done. The finish line is in sight!🥳. I also brought the Hexagon Stars quilt out of its hibernation for more hand work this week:

10 rows are completely sewn together; there will be 15 rows. I’m sewing rows 11 and 12 together (it’s all entirely hand pieced):

I have all the stars for rows 13 and 14 made and most of row 15:

I made 3 more stars for row 15 (4 to go):

I needed to replenish my supply of “connector “ pieces- will need at least 80 more to connect all the stars of the last 3 rows – so have been making those:

Then I marked on each star of row 13 where the connector pieces need to be added, clipped them to the stars, and now have a baggie with those stars to work on whenever I need some hand work! I’ll eventually do the same for rows 14 and 15 and then sew all those rows together! I started this “long journey “ project in September of 2017 so am well into the 5th year, but it’s moving inexorably toward completion!😊

Before the machine went out, I finished all 4 vine and leaf borders for the donation quilt:

Thanks so much to the many readers who wrote to let me know you felt my tutorial was easy to understand and helpful! I thought of a couple things to add since then. The borders for this project are 48 inches long; if you want to do a vine for a border that is much longer, you will likely need to fold (or divide) your fabric into more than 8 sections or your curves may be too shallow. It’s still using the same basic principle, however, of dividing the strips into roughly equidistant sections and then fashioning the vines. Also, my borders are 5 inches wide. You may need to vary the distances of your sections based on how wide or narrow your borders are. Again, still the same basic principle. If you want to miter your corners and extend the vines into the corners, that would require another tutorial! 😊. For this quilt,I decided to use corner blocks and this is what I think I’m doing:

I like the way the flower petals echo the same stripe that the vines are made of and look forward to sewing the top together when the machine is back.

I am thoroughly enjoying my walks these days! The light, spring green color of the new leaves is almost as thrilling as the vibrant colors in the fall:

I love watching buds open and baby leaves unfurl:

The ferns are just popping out of the earth and seem to be coated with silky white strands:

I’m always on the lookout for wildlife. See the gray oval shape on the bank of the pond – a turtle:

Another turtle at the foot of this bush – do you see it?

It slipped into the water before I could get very close:

I hope you are all able to enjoy the awe inspiring wonder of nature whatever the season in your part of the globe!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

13 thoughts on “April 26, 2023: Out of my comfort zone!; Hand work; Earthly Delights

  1. Marsha April 26, 2023 / 2:58 pm

    Your a brave woman doing improv! I too think it’s important to take classes to learn new techniques and also to support our guild. We just had our first class since Covid and it was so exhilarating to be in a large group sewing together again. Sweet Journeys is just beautiful and love to see the hexi stars out again. I so enjoy the pictures of your walks. I’m out walking again now that it’s finally warming up but don’t get to see all the nature you do. What a blessing!

    • gladiporsche April 26, 2023 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you Marsha! I agree that it’s important to support guild sponsored classes and it’s great to take workshops with guild members and get to know them better.

  2. Nann April 26, 2023 / 3:25 pm

    Oh, I’d love to take a workshop with Cindy! It’s good to see other quiltmakers whose work encompasses many genres, from traditional to contemporary to modern. Love your springtime closeup photos.

    • gladiporsche April 26, 2023 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you Nann!

  3. Carol in Texas April 26, 2023 / 6:33 pm

    Gladi, will you remove the paper in the paper pieced pieces once the quilt is together?

    • gladiporsche April 26, 2023 / 8:27 pm

      Yes, definitely!! I’m currently leaving them in just to support the shape of the quilt and keep edges from fraying since it’s such a long term project.

  4. jean April 27, 2023 / 4:28 pm

    lots of beauties shared today, including the wildlife and critters.

  5. acityquilter April 28, 2023 / 10:44 am

    that workshop looked like a ton of fun…i love working in solids so right up my alley….during the pandemic the guild had a virtual one but didn’t get to take it…

  6. Kyle April 28, 2023 / 8:36 pm

    Taking a workshop is a perfect opportunity to get the creative juices flowing. Glad you had the opportunity. Spring green is my favorite shade of green. There are hints of it appearing in my neighborhood as well.

  7. Janet O. April 29, 2023 / 12:55 am

    That is definitely a class that would be out of my comfort zone, too. But you seemed to have made good use of the opportunity to try something new. I really like your color selections, and you made a great top, however out of your comfort zone it may have been.
    Your hand quilting is excellent, as always.
    And I enjoy the stars made with careful fussy-cuts.
    All the signs of spring in your neck of the woods are really beautiful. Maybe we will get there someday.

  8. marissthequilter April 30, 2023 / 9:10 am

    You have been busy (as usual). Your modern curved piece is a surprise and very striking! Lovely to see another side to you.

  9. Wendy Reed May 2, 2023 / 11:38 am

    Good for you! I need to travel out of my comfort zone. Thanks for the inspiration! I hope your Sweet Journey’s will be at the Cocheco show this year. My group is hosting a bus trip. I am devasted by the news of VT. I am not ready for changes like this! Have a super day.

  10. Jocelyn Thurston May 3, 2023 / 4:54 pm

    So happy to join you today and see something completely different from you, Gladi. Of course your foray into improv resulted in this beautiful piece, so colourful and unique. Such a treat to see those beautiful Hexagon stars again…

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