Monday, June 18, 2018

Lovin Improv!

It's very freeing to make quilts using improv methods. No pattern. No end product in mind. You have no idea where the journey is going to take you. Art imitating life.
pile of leftover blocks and scraps
You look at your supplies and ask yourself what do I like about this collection? You just start taking action and see what happens.
You have to park your fears at the door of the quilt studio. You cannot entertain thoughts like "what if it's a total disaster"? You have to give up all your expectations of creating something wonderful. It might be terrible and you might have to do a "walk by drop off" at the guild meeting to dump the whole mess in the scrap bank!


first collection of strips and squares
All your worries about "wasting fabric" have to be put aside so you just focus on the next step of creating and enjoy the process!
Hmmmm...what would I like to sew more of? There has been some deconstruction of leftover blocks and lots of putting things on the design wall and asking myself "what do I like about this" and "how can I fix/change what I don't like". 


10" sections interspersed with Kate Spain squares
I started off this project knowing that the Kate Spain squares from Sarah are 10", so I decided to create blocks that measure 10" and maybe sew them into rows. The Kate Spain squares are pinned on the wall in various widths to create rows. I can see from this photo that some of those squares are not going to make it into this quilt, especially the ones that look too pink or too pale. They will have to be part of the backing. Looking at the photo I'm wondering if I need some horizontal lines to go with all that vertical movement. I'll try some and see if I like it. 

There is no "right" answer in improv... we're just making it up as we go along! The only thing I know for sure is that I am having fun and can't remember what I was working on before this!
Linking up to Small Quilts and Oh Scrap!

17 comments:

  1. "walk by drop off"...love it!!!

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  2. Neat!! Your choice of colors makes all the improv work together nicely!

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  3. I love all the open spaces on this one--so light and airy--great colors, too...you are doing a super job on this improv...hugs, Julierose

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  4. Thanks for the essay about improv. For many quilters it takes a few years to get comfortable letting go. One of the important things for me to remember is that improv is not an excuse for sloppy. I like your cool, summery palette.

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  5. Last year our quilt group challenge was a project that used wonky log cabin blocks. I'd start out with the wonky center, but I almost always reverted to squared off blocks as I added strips. Improv can be a challenge and it really takes me my time than a standard block, but it is fun.
    Pat

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  6. Love your improv tutorial; especially the need to let go. For some of us, channeling that inner child and giving ourselves permission to play is a difficult thing to do. Love the walk by and drop off, too!

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  7. Your blocks are looking great. It is fun to hear you are enjoying the process so much. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

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  8. I do most of my quilt backings using this method. I use up leftover fabric from the top and sometimes some other fabric scraps. I call it relaxing sewing.

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  9. I do love improv!! and I love what you are doing!!

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  10. I loved reading through your description of parking our fears and giving up expectations! Very well worded. It's such a rush to get in the groove, but sometimes it's a rough process getting there. So worth it when the results end up being MORE than we ever expected though! Instinctual quilting at its best. I'm afraid that it's addictive though!

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  11. Wow! You left the traditional quilter in you sitting all alone on the front porch. I love what you are doing. Enjoy! ;^)

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  12. Love these colors and how the little squares scurry between the longer rectangles. It reminds me of old school video games, or computer punch cards (remember those?) :)
    louise dot hornor at gmail

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  13. Looks like you are having lots of fun with this :)

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  14. You've got some very pretty colors to play with in those blocks. Have fun!

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  15. This is a fun design! It reminds me a little of my son's genetic map. He has Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), so we have a copy of his map. :)

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