Improvising Triangle Mini Quilts

This month, I decided to enter the Curated Triangle Mini Quilt Challenge.  I decided to give myself some restrictions to further spur my approach to improvising one or more triangle mini quilts.

My restrictions were:

  • No curves! Straight lines only.
  • Improvising design and quilting
  • Machine quilting only (no hand quilting)
  • Stash fabrics and leftover batting (use it all up!)
  • Minimalism!  Limit color palette and pieced design [See this blog post for more on my thoughts on  minimalism.]
  • Time!  I started on Sunday March 25th and the due date is April 1, 2018.

This is the required palette:

 

I decided to limit my palette in each piece I made.  I wasn’t sure how many mini quilts I would make–I decided to just let it flow.

My fabric choices ended up being sort of close to the palette….. The fabric I chose as my lime green is really a chartreuse/yellow and I used a deep blue instead of a light pool blue.    Pools are a deeper blue here in Florida (LOL…).

I also decided to make the design of each piece quite minimalist.

I was determined to use some older stash so I sat by the pool (ahhh, yes…) and picked out fabrics.  My lime green/chartreuse is a hand dye with just a hint of reddish/purple in it. And, I didn’t like any of the light blues on hand, so I went with a dark clear blue.

Improvising Triangle Mini Quilt #1

To start, I decided to work with just 3 colors–I wanted to keep the palette minimalist.

I selected a blue and chartreuse 16 inch squares and placed them one on top of the other.  I then cut a triangle and switched the parts around to get this after sewing the pieces together to get these two pairs.

 

Then, I took one of the pairs and sliced it again to insert a 3/4″ purple strip. The purple strip ends up being 1/4″ finished and I starched it to keep it straight while I sewed it in.  Here’s an in-process photo with one side sewn on.  I used temporary glue to position the 2nd side before sewing it on because I wanted to align the intersection as closely as possible.  I also wanted the purple insert to stay parallel to the triangle angle on the right hand side.

Here’s the finished piece below.  I used a variegated thread for quilting.  I deliberately cut off the tip of the lime green area at the top.  I wanted an irregular effect–and let the viewer’s eye finish the triangle tip.  All quilting was with a walking foot, and marked with masking tape to keep the lines straight.  Finished size is 14″ square.

There are actually 5 triangles in this design but they sort of disappear because the large chartreuse triangle in the center is interrupted by the bottom blue triangle and the purple inserted line.

Minimal Triangle #1

Improvising Triangle Mini Quilt #2

For the second piece, more improvisation!  I took the other piece and sliced off the triangle tip and inserted it into the piece on an angle, offsetting the lines of the blue sections.I decided to make the color palette even more minimal and did not add the purple.

 

And, after quilting with the same variegated thread, here’s that piece finished.  It’s also 14″ square.  How many pieced triangles do you see in this piece?

Minimal Triangle #2

Detail of variegated thread quilting

Improvising Triangle Mini Quilt#3:  Triangles Dancing Together

I had an original idea to paper piece a complicated “chunk” block made completely from triangles.  Here’s the block printed out from EQ8 in grayscale.

My first thought…..

I designed the block in gray scale in EQ8 to test the design. I will be returning to this –it has sparked a whole new quilt idea!

Then, I decided that was waaaay too much work.    Yep…laziness can lead to improvising and creativity.

I printed the paper pieced templates on copy paper.  So, I cut all of the triangles apart and glued some (but not all) of them to paper backed fusible web.  [Pellon 805]   It felt like there were a million pieces!

Pile of triangles from the paper pieced block.

I randomly fused just a few of these triangles to plum purple, light pink and orange fabric.  After arranging and rearranging the triangles, I fused the triangles to the chartreuse background fabric.  As I decided on the final arrangement, I was paying attention to some design principles:

  • Odd numbers of triangles:  I used 3 orange, 3 purple and 1 pink.  Odd numbers worked best
  • Varying scale/randomizing shapes:  The purple and orange pieces are all different sizes and shapes
  • Limit the number of triangles to leave negative space.

I quilted the piece with three different  12 weight threads from Wonderfil — lime green, orange and raspberry. I switched to a larger eye needle so that the thread would feed smoothly. I used Superior 50 wt. in the bobbin.

Here’s the finished piece–14″ square.

Triangles Dancing Together

 

Detail of 12 wt thread quilting

Improvising Triangle Mini Quilts with Restrictions

So, how did I do staying in the restrictions?  Very well!  The one restriction (using the palette) I struggled with was the colors in the palette but there seemed to be a bit of wiggle room in the submission guidelines about that.

My biggest struggle was with my minimalist palette–I was so longing for more colors……..

I even beat my deadline–I finished all 3 on Wednesday March 28 at about 9 a.m.

My restrictions were:

  • No curves! Straight lines only.
  • Improvising design and quilting
  • Machine quilting only (no hand quilting)
  • Stash fabrics and leftover batting (use it all up!)
  • Minimalism!  Limit color palette and pieced design [See this blog post for more on my thoughts on  minimalism.]
  • Time!  I started on Sunday March 25th and the due date is April 1, 2018.

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6 Responses to Improvising Triangle Mini Quilts

  1. Virginia March 28, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    So cool!

    • Carole Lyles Shaw March 28, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

      Thanks–it was fun–in between doing 10 other things so far this week!

  2. pam March 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    excellent tutorial
    I’m amazed how many ideas this little challenge with its insipid pallet sparked

    • Carole Lyles Shaw March 28, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

      Challenges can spark so much creativity–having limitations really does work as any art teacher will tell you (smile). The palette was a bit too pastel for me so I hope they let me get away with deeper values. Al of the submissions are so very creative!

  3. Jen Strauser March 28, 2018 at 10:28 pm #

    I really like what you did with the last one. It is fun to see what you started with and where you ended up are so different. I still have to piece mine – maybe there will be more hours added to my day tomorrow.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw March 29, 2018 at 10:26 am #

      It’s funny how the original idea kind of morphed. It really took me back to my artquilting days when I fused everything!!

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