Kelly's Beach Retreat uses a beautiful and calm palette of light blues and light browns which makes me think of sea glass and sandy beaches. I wanted to go in the opposite direction and create a color palette that is energetic. I debated a bunch of color combos before deciding on 2 of my favorite colors in a complementary setting: blue and orange.
I created the "raw" fabric by using one of Kelly's methods of improv piecing. It is both liberating and kind of scary to just start sewing instead of cutting them into precise shapes. In fact, I ditched the rotary cutter completely until the very end when I squared the blocks up. I definitely felt more confident as I made more blocks, though!
But once the improv fabric is done, the blocks were super easy and very enjoyable. I love how the improv blocks set in a traditional fashion gives this quilt a perfect combination of order and chaos!
When I was trying to decide what to quilt, I saw these pinwheel patterns show up in the negative space between the blocks, and I wanted to do something fun with it. I used a lot of straight lines, a lot of swirls, and a lot of pebbles. To me, background fillers are critical to the final look of the quilt.
In the foreground area, I thought that it sort of looked like butterflies. I didn't want to actually quilt it to make it resemble a butterfly as it was still a bit of a stretch, but with the butterfly motif in mind, I added some feathers and ferns.
I really enjoy this approach to improv, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results! The quilting was like one big happy gathering of all my favorite designs.
Thanks for visiting! Here is my kickoff post with the full schedule. Be sure to visit the other stops in the hop. There are a lot of improv goodness around, and because all our fabrics are different, no two quilts are alike!