Monday, May 18, 2015

Aerial Grove Quilt, Modern Improv Applique

I've been smitten with the Aerial Grove Quilt from Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander since I first saw it in person when she spoke to my guild. The quilt is just beautiful. So, when Pat Sloan asked me what quilt I most wanted to make in 2015, I had an easy answer. There's nothing like committing on live radio for motivation.
I knew I loved the quilt, but I didn't expect to love making the quilt as much as I have. I don't make quilts from a pattern very often because I don't enjoy prescriptive sewing as much as improv. This project is the perfect marriage of the two.

Each "squircle" is cut freehand, from a folded piece of fabric, making each shape unique. I love that the applique shapes are improvised rather than cut from a template.  Because the shapes are irregular, there is no need to stress about making them identical as you sew them to the background strips using a needle turn applique method. The shapes are organic, coming from the inspiration of a grove of trees, as seen from above in an airplane.
Creating columns of shapes encourages color and value play. You can create color gradations or rhythms with the value of the fabrics you choose. The more fabrics, the more play; scraps welcome. There's a lot of room for adding your own voice to the quilt. Search the hashtag #aerialgrovequilt to see lots of version on Instagram (Not on Instagram? Get on! There is a treasure trove of quilting inspiration to be found.).
The project is also great because it is very portable. I worked on the applique panels during my sons' practices, and it was finished inside of a month! I was surprised how quickly it came together.
I'm working on the improv background this week. I chose to make the quilt throw size, but the book has options for several sizes, from table runner to queen size.
I'm a huge fan of Carolyn Friedlander's patterns and aesthetic. I think it takes a unique mind and sense of style to create applique that modern, fresh, and compatible with an improv approach. Frankly, she's a genius. I've loved the process of this quilt every step of the way.

11 comments:

elnorac said...

Thanks for telling some details about making this quilt. I'm looking forward to seeing your finish on Instagram. The little glimpses you've shared look lovely!

Leanne said...

I keep coming back to this quilt too, your version is looking beautiful. Maybe I'll make one too one day.

Katsmith said...

I love Carolyn Friedlander as well she spoke at my guild and this was one of my favorite Quilt of hers. I spotted some Cotton + Steel and Pearl Bracelet in your mix those are two of my all time favorite fabric lines. Csn't wait to see the finished product

Katsmith said...

I love Carolyn Friedlander as well she spoke at my guild and this was one of my favorite Quilt of hers. I spotted some Cotton + Steel and Pearl Bracelet in your mix those are two of my all time favorite fabric lines. Csn't wait to see the finished product

Debbie said...

I enjoyed reading about your affinity for this quilt. My daughter made a runner with this pattern and I was surprised how taken I was with it when I saw it in person. I look forward to seeing more of yours...

pennydog said...

This is so beautiful and you make it seem so accessible. I've always been put off by the faff involved in needle turn by hand, but you've made it seem much easier than that, maybe I'll give it a go soon!

♥Duff said...

Thanks for posting-I love your quilt! Your fabrics alone make me feel happy! I checked out IG, and it just floors me to see so many creative renditions of this pattern. Rossie's (rOssie_fmq) mixture of size and fabric choices is a fav.

Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty said...

I've been following your work on this quilt on IG, but it wasn't until I read your thoughts here that I thought I might need to make one, too (which is saying a lot b/c I avoid handwork at all costs!). I can't wait to see how you wrathis one up. How will you quilt it?!

FlourishingPalms said...

After hearing about your Aerial Grove, it's so good to see it! Your color choices are perfect, and I can understand how this - and all of Carolyn's designs - appeal to you. I love handwork, and whenever I see what you're doing, I want to do it too! (This is a serious problem.) Keep up the good work, and keep sharing. (I will deal with my own issues. LOL)

amandajean said...

I loved reading this post! after making my first squircle today, I can see starting an entire quilt of them. I love the versions I've seen, but I think I might make mine one patch at a time, just to be different! I need (ahem!) a new summer project.

Karee said...

You are very insightful about the design process. Fluidity of design is a huge element of quilting's appeal for me. Color, value, shape may all start with a Plan A and you hit gold with Plan E or F.
Squircle. It is calling my name.