Last year I was lucky enough to participate in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I had just barely started this blog and I learned so much from the other participants. I also got the chance to join my first bee. I started worrying about what block I would have others make for me months in advance. I had Gwen Marston's Minimal Quiltmaking book on my nightstand and was inspired by her beautiful tree on the cover. I referred my bee mates to the Free Pieced Tree Tutorial on Pinkadot Quilts. For some of my bee mates, this was their first attempt at improvisational quilting.
I received blocks of many different sizes, so my first challenge was to set them. I used graph paper to help me. I set my outer boundaries for the quilt to finish at 96" x 96" and roughly drew in outlines of where I wanted the trees, birds and sparkly stars to appear. As I constructed the quilt, I chose trees that were similar in size to my sketched boundaries and either trimmed or added more to arrive at the size I had made on my scaled piecing map. I made the background in slabs using my piecing map as a guide for dimensions. I marked off sections that I had completed with a highlighter as I went, or I would show a picture of my map. The good news is that it helped me end up with a queen size improv quilt that is square.
Here is the link to my original post on The Lovely Woods. I talk a little bit more about the story behind the quilt and the way I set it. Also, I had a lot of feedback about the little birds from this quilt. I didn't feel quite finished with them either, so I made another bird quilt, Red Letter Day and also wrote an Improv Bird Tutorial.
My bee mates:
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
Pam at Sewing Wilde
Lin at Lin's Quilts
Debbie at Quilting Makes My Heart Sing
Christina at Wips and Tuts
Kate at Thread Everywhere
Afton at Quilting Mod
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter
There is another round coming up for the New Quilt Bloggers. If you have been blogging for less than two years, please consider joining. The information I received was invaluable. I also will be lurking along this year because I feel like I still have so much more to learn! Signups start on May 18th.
Linking up to Amy's Creative Side.