Monday, April 2, 2012

{sew} modern monday.


i struggle with wonk-y, do you? don't get me wrong, i *love* the look of wonk-y+improv quilting but i struggle with actually doing it myself. i'm not sure if it's my type A personality or the fact that i was taught+brought up in more of a "traditional" quilting world. but either way, it's really not something that comes easy to me. any attempt at wonk-y and i usually find myself in a ball of nerves trying to get stitches to line up -- it almost gives me anxiety! so stinking silly!

improv2

so, i challenged myself to "get a little wonk-y" -- a little mini quilt wonk-y that is. i just sat down at my sewing machine, grabbed some scraps, and started sewing. improv style. um...scary! here's where i ended up -- not too bad, eh? it seemed only natural to carry that wonk-y over into the quilting and a freestyle grid pattern was just the ticket. but to be honest, i actually found more of a challenge than the improv piecing itself! 

improv1
 quilt stats.
name: improv mini quilt. 
size: 22" x 22"
designed by: me, improv piecing!
quilted by: me.

in the end, i love it! every ounce of nerves and anxiety i experienced with this mini quilt was totally worth it. but...i'm not sure i'm ready to tackle any wonk-y sewing bigger than this mini quilt. baby steps. :) 

do you struggle with wonk-y? do you enjoy improv quilting? if you have any tips for someone who struggles with wonk-y i would love to hear!

xo, megan. 

now it's time for your {sew} modern monday link-ups! you know the drill -- as long as it's sewn it's game. pillows, quilts, bags, everything is welcome! just please link back to CRC somewhere in your blog post.

26 comments:

  1. love your label in there! :)

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  2. I like organic quilting! The natural world does not have straight lines. My problem is I can go too wonky!

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  3. I like wonky and love improv piecing- letting the design evolve. Sometimes it is maddening and other times extremely rewarding. The attraction to the style hasn't really carried over to my quilting yet but I'm still trying to embrace that step in general.

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  4. Oh Megan Oh Megan thank you so much for this post! I love the look of wonky, but darn it, I have the hardest time doing it. I made my very first wonky star at the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild retreat and THEY LAUGHED AT ME because I asked for a pattern. I keep TRYING to be spontaneous! Maybe a nice gin and tonic would help?

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  5. I haven't done the wonky piecing, but I have done the improve curved piecing. FUN! I love the results! If you haven't tried it and need a tutorial check out Diane Bohn's blog at from blank pages. here is the link to her video tutorialhttp://fromblankpages.blogspot.com/2012/01/video-tutorial-improv-piecing-and.html It taught me and now I have no fear!

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  6. I DO struggle with wonky - almost as much with the fabric as with the piecing. I like it though & will definitely keep trying it. Sweet project you made - good going!

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  7. I have a hard time with the wonky sewing too. For me it is the wonky piecing, rather than the quilting.

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  8. I took a workshop from Malka Dubrawsky last year and two bits of advice I took away were 1) cut without a ruler and 2) don't over edit your decisions, go with your first instinct.

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  9. I can't do wonky either! Can't cut off the points. Can't have one point low, one point high. Can't have seams not match up. I guess it is because for 20 years I have been teaching myself NOT how to do this, that I can't un-teach myself. So I just don't do wonky. String blocks is as close to wonky as I can get, and I do not enjoy doing those either.

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  10. I love wonky but haven't gone there yet. Well, part of my brain does, however the other part screams NOOOOO! Hopefully, I'll be brave and actually try one day. Yours looks great!

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  11. I really love wonky! I haven't done any improv for ages, and I'm really craving some wonky improv piecing... but I'm self taught, so I don't have a background of precision to worry about :o)

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  12. I struggle with wonky, too - it feels better when everything lines up straight to me!
    But I love your attempt at wonky - good work!

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  13. It looks great! I think you hit the nail on the head - whenever nervous about trying something new, just dive in. I've been nervous about making yeast breads and my friend had the greatest advice (because I am afraid of failure...) "It's not a failure if you learn from the process". I took it to heart, and in your case, I bet you learned AND it was a major success!

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  14. I enjoy the wonky too but have yet to even attempt it as I am a relatively new quilter - still like working with directions. Your improv mini quilt looks great! Thank you so much for the link up today. :)

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  15. I'm thinking you and Debbie are way too neat for full on wonky!! ;)
    This looks wonderful though!

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  16. I'm with you here - love the look wonky, but I'm terrible at it! It seems like I always wonk either too much or not enough - it's never just right. : ) Yours looks great though.

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  17. I love wonky and improv piecing, but have trouble with scrappy. Great mini, Megan! It's fun to try new techniques in smaller projects, isn't it?

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  18. I find making wonky or improv blocks challenging because I am very drawn to structure and order and straight lines and flow between colors...BUT...I also find making wonky or improv blocks very liberating, too! I am a hard-core perfectionist, and love that I am actually allowed to and encouraged to make something that looks imperfect. :)
    My trouble with wonky is that I hate the waste it seems to leave. Not that I don't have bins and bins of scraps, but it still feels so wasteful! :)

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  19. No finishes for me this weekend... sigh! But I'm loving your little labels. Where did you get them?

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  20. I struggle with wonky, improv and really need to lighten up on this. I'll be reading the comments for tips.

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  21. Your mini looks great :o)

    I've come to the conclusion that utterly precise piecing of points etc stresses me out too much if I try to do them en masse because my anal retentive nature says that if there's a point, it must be a point, and things must join precisely, so I've decided that random, wonky and improv are definitely the way to go for me now lol It's probably not the attitude I should have to these things, but the whole sewing thing is meant to be making me happy :oD

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  22. I have a really hard time with wonky or improv or random. My brain prefers symmetry. I love the geometry of quilting. I admire and enjoy seeing other people's wonky and improv quilts, but I don't do much of it myself.

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  23. I love improv! It really requires you to let go and that's not always easy. When I find myself over thinking something, I tell myself to trust my gut and go with it. Usually it works out just fine. It is so much fun to just sew without having to match seams or worry about measurements and see what comes to life. I'm always pleasantly surprised with the result. Kudos to you for challenging yourself!

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  24. I love improv, but I still struggle when trying to make things wonky! I am Type A like you and much prefer things to line up perfectly :)

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  25. I love how your quilt turned out! Your post is quite timely for me, as I did my first improv/wonky piecing last week for my modern quilt guild group challenge project. I was always told I had to follow a pattern when sewing as a kid, and I learned quilting before there was such a thing as "modern quilting." All that combined with my perfectionist tendencies does not make for a easy improv/wonky experience even though I love the look. I figured since my project was something small (a snack mat), and using scraps I'd just sew and see what happened. I ended up deciding it was really fun to not worry about everything being perfect, and now I can't wait to do more. Maybe since you're new at it, if you just use scraps (so it's not really much of a loss if you don't like how it turns out) it won't be so stressful? I think that made a difference for me.

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  26. I love your quilt! Yes, I was (and still am) surrounded by traditional quilting --and I do love it to, but at some point you want to evolve and try new things. Which is where I am at I think Wonky is fun but I doubt if I am doing "right" same with improve!! There is no right! I guess we just have to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks for the post it seems alot of people feel the same way.

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