Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Planned and Unplanned Improv; AHIQ 27

The small group met and I finished my two improv pillows. Just as planned. They're small and portable, an excellent project when there's not a lot of room to spread out.

Thanks again to Chris English who posted many exciting pillows on Instagram. He inspired me to try my hand at this delightful technique. They look great in the living room and actually coordinate with the bow pillow I made a couple of years ago. {This one was my first sample. Mailed the second one after all the kinks were worked out. AND it looks so much better after I rinsed it again then ironed while it was damp.}

Improv pillows from vintage shirts and mattress ticking
Coordinating pillows for the living room

The backs have a hidden zipper closure so they can be washed easily. The directions came from Chris Dodsley.

Pillow backs with hidden zippers
Pillow backs with hidden zippers
  1. Cutting fabric for the improv pillows
  2. Sewing the front of the improv pillows
  3. Bow pillow with mattress ticking
Shh. I bought DH a new shirt for Christmas but also plan to return these former shirts to him. It sounds funny to me.

Traveling these days means loads of security checks. I spied a quilt shop when we went out for tacos in Dallas and was amused by their sign:

Dog treat sign at Bernina quilt shop, Plano TX
Dog treat warning sign, Bernina quilt shop, Plano TX

Search and seizure everywhere.

Unplanned Improv
As I was putting the leftover Marimekko binding away my body was suddenly co-opted. Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Cue scary music. Suddenly I found myself opening a box of old household fabric and pulling out:
  • One old sundress
  • Two vintage shirts from DH
  • One skirt
  • Three napkins
  • Two curtain cutoffs
Then I grabbed remnants from three blouses. {Tiny bits of these appear as petals in A Daisy a Day. Before I knew it everything was cut into narrow and wide coins along with some strings from the scrap bag.

Vintage and remnant fabrics cut into strings for a scrap quilt.
Coin strings cut from vintage and remnant fabrics

After looking at the pile I added a few smidge-bits from the stash. [You know. Not a string but much less than a fat quarter.] One fabric was purchased twenty-five years ago and last used in The Live Oak. Time to finish it off.

What have I done? Completely unplanned. I don't need to start another project right now! This quarter was supposed to be time to finish previous projects and Christmas gifts.

Those dang aliens.

Enjoy the day, Ann

InLinkz removed because it was hacked.


patty a. said...

Love your pillows! I may have to make a few myself. You are not the only one starting new projects instead of finishing the ones laying around. I have made four herringbone quilts and have three baby quilt tops in various stages this month. I did use up scraps or little gems as I am calling them with making these quilts and tops so I guess that is a good thing. I can't wait to see what you do with those lovely scraps!

Cathy said...

Cute pillows.
Aliens have invaded here too. Seems like I always have a flurry of new starts toward the end of the year. Thank goodness for alien invasions once in awhile.

In re your "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" quilt - that's how I started out making quilts back in the 70s. I never knew anyone actually bought fabric specifically to make a quilt. I think the mishmash of fabrics from old clothes, curtains, etc. is what gives a quilt the vintage look I so love.

And smidge-bits is a great word to describe those smidge-bits.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Oh that search and seizure graphic is TOO funny -- thanks for the chuckle. I love watching you work - the pillows are wonderful (and I'm determined to learn how to add zippers to my covers instead of the envelope closures I use now - a 2018 goal). I've added 2 links - one for the finish of my Words on Quilts (Words to Live By) from last month and another for the start of my next liberated improv quilt.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

Those pillows are so beautiful! The twenty-five year old fabric is really going to confuse the quilt historians when they try to date your quilt. The body snatchers have visited my body too. I've started two quilts this week! And I was supposed to be finishing too.

Janie said...

Very fun projects!
I can see you are enjoying yourself and that's
when the creativity really flows.
Nice work Ann.

Monica said...

Those dang aliens indeed! Can't wait to see what materializes...

Love the pillows! They make a great set. :D

audrey said...

Really, really great pillows! I need to make some more as our our looking very shabby.:) So fun to see you diving into something new and irresistible too! The more the merrier!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I haven’t started a Quilt in a month......I am dying here. I keep saying I need to finish some stuff first, but my resolve is weakening.

Kaja said...

I love the cushions and like how the back looks, very neat, which makes me think I should learn to do the zips. As for a new project, sometimes you just have to scratch that itch!

Ann said...

Check Chris E's link as he's been making these for several years. It was a great way to use some old shirts.
You have been busy. I've enjoyed watching your herringbone quilt come together and am very impressed with the baby quilts from the remnants. Yay you!

Ann said...

I can only stay away from new projects so long. All the beading is fun but I was having quilting withdrawal.
Like you, my first quilt was made from dresses my sisters' had outgrown. It lasted more than thirty years; my children remember it as our picnic quilt. This will be an interesting project for me. Back to my roots.

Ann said...

We did a double take when we saw the sign. You have been so prolific these past few months. The way you added words to your quilt is striking. I like the quilts using your husband's shirts; we're on similar wavelengths. Thanks for sharing both.
As to pillows: Chris E used the button front of a shirt as the back of one of his pillows. And darn it, I'd already deboned these shirts. It would make a super simple back although buttons aren't safe around babies.
Chris D's directions are very clear if you want to try zippers.

Ann said...

I think we can only hold off new projects for so long. I've been "nose to the grindstone" finishing presents and finally had to break out. But there's very little room to work. Two quilts; you have a severe case of bodysnatching.

Ann said...

Those pillows are a delight. First time I've ever had a coordinating set. And using these household fabrics has me so excited. Thanks, Janie. I'm amazed how productive you are while visiting. Does your daughter have a machine or did you bring yours?

Ann said...

Thanks, Monica. I'm so pleased with the pillows and the future joke with DH. Now the household fabric has me enthralled.

Ann said...

Mine were either shabby or mismatched. This is the first time I've had a coordinating set. Wow.
This new project was irresistible although it probably grew out of the memory quilts and the pillows.

Ann said...

We need to put wax in our ears and blinker our eyes. It's so hard to resist.

Ann said...

Well, I do like them and now they are safer than buttons with grandchildren but... did you see Chris E's recent ones? He used the button front of a shirt as the back. I wish I'd thought of that before deboning those shirts. It would have been even easier.
This is more like a case of poison ivy. I'm in deep and loving it.

Marly said...

Lovely pillows; making your own fabric gives such interesting results. Good luck with the new project.

Ann said...

Like your post, I'm working through someone else's improv idea. It's actually fun to figure out how they did it, how I changed it, and what worked/didn't work. I love Chris E's exuberant choices but this very restrained palette makes a great set of matching pillows and works where we need to use them.