04 March 2016

Improv Beginings

I got the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood early this year, and I've just been dreaming about different ways to follow the scores. I find the concepts in the book so inspiring, yet I kept putting off starting a new quilt.

I have to finish the three I've got in progress...

I can't start a new one until I quilt these basted ones...

I've been telling my sister I'd finish her quilt for months...

The excuses just keep coming.

Even though I'm really excited and inspired by improv quilting, it is kind of intimidating. I tend to quilt with a rough idea of what I want to accomplish. General blocks I want to use, and a general layout for those blocks. I don't really write things down anymore, and I haven't sketched in while either. The compositions just come from my head. Following this method, my compositions have been getting looser, but still, I work from a plan. To start with some fabric selections and have no idea what will become of it - that's a little intimidating.

This week I took the plunge.

Floating Squares First Attempt
First attempt. 

I'm using Kona Ice Peach and Kona Black with some of the Alphabet Panels from First of Infinity by Kumiko Fujita. I didn't like how much peach there was, and then how big the black 'filler' sections were. That's the beauty of improv. I was able to change it in my next iteration. And now I like how they complement each other. I'm almost out of ice peach now. If I want that to be consistent throughout the quilt I'll need to order more, but maybe I will want to change it. I like being able to play around like this. I like it so much I had to share before I could get good lighting!

Floating Squares First Attempt
The bottom half was added after I modified my process. 

This is not to say I'm done with drafting patterns before I sew. I have a quilt that I'm itching to make - I just need the fabric for it. I'm so excited for just an idea that I can barely contain myself. Just as I'm very excited to see what comes of this quilt - because at this point it could go just about anywhere. 

Since I've finished my first panel, I'm going to share with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday


  1. The ice peach is a really great color to blend with the Alphabet Panels and black. I like the idea that the piecing can be a story of your progression - first panel, second panel... It will be fun to see how this continues to evolve for you. :)

  2. Although I admire it, personally, I am not an improv quilter. Like you, I prefer to have a plan. Your fabric choices are great and make for a very modern looking block. Nicely done! Looks like fun!

  3. Good to create when you feel it coming on. I like the ice peach too.

  4. I've been puttering around with improv here and there and have also purchased the book. I like what you have done so far.

  5. I love those color combinations, the text print adds such a unique layer visually. Great job so far.

  6. I can't wait to see how you continue with this, it's looking very good so far!

  7. Bravo for taking the plunge! I am intimidated by improv for all the reasons you gave- and so am extra impressed with your results!

  8. Very cool, I've bought the book but not yet gotten my head in the space to just go for it. Loving the look of your piece already


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