Sunday, June 9, 2013

Free your mind

I have started improv piecing more and more lately and I'm finding it completely freeing.

It's like with improv piecing I'm allowed to be a crap quilter. Which, if you've been around here long enough, you'll know I have always embraced the wonk that happens when I quilt. But now the wonk is legit because I'm improv piecing. It all started with this quilt from last year (which is still in pieces).

Stitch and flip HSTs - on the design wall

Then moved onto a class with Victoria Findlay-Wolfe a couple of months ago.

15 minutes of play quilt workshop

Then another quilt which I can't really show you because I'm being a secretive git and it's for the exhibition and I'm also a little paranoid because HOLY CARP it's amazeballs (in my own mind, anyway). But here's the back of a block (it's pretty).

Back - improv

Jenny and I decided that I would demo some improv piecing at modern quilt group this week. I'm currently having an off-the-grid (no-Instagram or phone or email) lazy long weekend but that's just given me heaps of time in the sewing room. Here's what I made by way of samples this afternoon.

Improv blocks for class

These two 10 inch blocks have 1.75 inch strips inserted in a cross formation. I really like the thicker strips - I've been working with 1 inch strips and it's a nice change. I know some people like to have those strips match up at the intersection, but it doesn't worry me. If you're one of those people who do, you'll need to get over it when looking at these photos. Sorry.

Improv blocks for class

I've gone back to 1 inch strips for these blocks (which end up at about 10.5 inches). I like the big blocks - you can pack a lot of "sticks" on there without getting into too much strife with intersecting pieces. Yes, I have plans for a pick-up sticks quilt down the track.

Improv blocks for class

And this is a smaller block (7 inches I think) with different strip thicknesses.  I could imagine a whole scrappy quilt made like this - just three strips each block, all prints.

I'm still not finished with the samples. Just a square of fabric and some scrap strips and you can do so much and in such little time and most importantly have SO MUCH FUN. And I reckon if it's not fun it's not worth nuthin'.

But now I'm back to my off-the-grid weekend.  See you sometime soon!


  1. How clever is this concept! What a pity we can't apply the 'improv' aspect to more parts of our lives. Enjoy your weekend - it's a long one up this way...

  2. Oh! Those feathers! Love, love, love.

  3. I LOVE the wonk - bring it on that's what I say. Patterns scare me!

  4. Love that improv stuff! and it's not CRAP.

  5. Very brave of you. I'm not sure my OCD could cope with this, but it looks great.


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