Puddling Quilt Completed

Amy FriendComplete Quilts, improvisational quilting23 Comments

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

I’ve just finished up my Puddling Quilt. I had a great time making it. I have been asked if I have a hard time working improvisationally since I normally share precise paper piecing here on my blog.  The answer is no. I love working both ways. In fact, when I paper piece, I rarely precut. I just hand cut my pieces as I go. I also rarely use a ruler to cut my seam allowances. I hand cut.  I can just hear people gasping now.  But I can cut a straight line and eyeball a 1/4″ pretty well and I find it so much more fun to simply grab my scissors–it’s more liberating than a ruler and rotary cutter! Improv also lets me grab my scissors and go.

Puddling by Amy Friend

Also, I studied art all through highschool and college. I think that if you have a background in studio art, you have to learn to let go of a certain degree of expectation at the beginning of any creative process.  Really, the process of creating a painting or drawing is always improv with intent, isn’t it?  You have an idea or plan of where you are going when you start but so many things can effect the final outcome; it might be your skill level, it might be the series of choices you make along the way, it might be the watercolor that spread a bit farther then you intended, the light changing, or your model moving, etc.

I can clearly remember my figure drawing class in college.  We would have a set and limited time to sketch from the model after which we would have to hang our drawings up for criticism from the class and the professor.  The stress!  Not only was there the pressure of a ticking clock but also of what others would say. I think it made me realize the wide range of reactions to one single piece of art and how everyone’s opinions are really their own.  It helped me accept the fact that others might not always like my end product and I am ok with that as long as I do!

Here is a view of the completed quilt. I decided not to square up the edges. I would have lost the cute little kick out to the side on the lower left and the wave of the bottom edge.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I had to share this picture of the quilt caught in the breeze too. I always love to capture a quilt in motion.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I used the Windham wide text print for my backing. I thought it was perfect for this quilt and I loved not having to piece it!  It was a recent purchase from Massdrop.  While it is not a current drop, you can request that they offer it again and they might (see the link on my sidebar).

Puddling Detail by Amy Friend

I decided to go with fairly dense organic straight line quilting. I tried to let the degree of straightness in my piecing dictate the quilting.  Where the piecing waves, so do the quilted lines.  I stitched grey lines spaced about 1/2″ apart and then went in and added three shades of Aurifil in pink, gold and jade fairly randomly.  The colors were a great match for the solids that I used. These are all Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids except for the Putting Green by RJR.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilting in the arcs was more challenging. In order to work with the curve of the piecing, it meant varying the spacing between the lines. Often, the lines started out spaced 3/4-1″ apart and then got as close as 1/4″ where there width of the arc was narrow.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilt has fantastic texture and I do love the subtle interest added by the thread color.  It isn’t noticeable if you are standing back or looking at an image of the whole quilt so it is a discovery you make upon closer examination.

The finished quilt measures approximately 46″ x 70.”

It would be remiss of me to not credit Sherri Lynn Wood for her inspiration.  Working on my Scrambled quilt for her book last year reminded me of how much I like improvisational quilting.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!