- Slashed "+" blocks
- with nine patches
- and green
- Very minimal
- Lots of negative space
My trusty clipboard and graph paper are never far away. I am good with computers, but I always design in pencil. I find that drawing is a more direct link with my creative side, and the ideas flow more naturally.
I started by drawing the outside edges of the quilt, and then worked my way in from there. Is it still improv if it's planned? I definitely think it can be. In this case, I already had the eight requirements listed above. On the design, I drew physical boundaries, and improvised inside them.
If you think about it, every improv quilt starts with some kind of limit or boundary -- colours, fabrics, size, technique or purpose. Usually a combination of those. I often think that people who are hesitant about trying improv are intimidated by the "blank page." So my point is that you get to decide how much improv to put in your quilt. Just make some space!
So, after all that, how does the quilt look?
|9+, 55" x 70" (140 x 178 cm)|
The idea for the grey pieced blocks, and the placement of the extra blocks across the bottom, both came while I was doodling with pencil and graph paper.
After the blocks were pieced, I laid them out to get the best flow of colours and shapes. On the graph paper I had a strip of solid grey between the green 9+ section and the grey one. But as soon as I had both sections finished I could see that they would be better sewn together. So that's what I did. And then I had to re-balance the borders, and I did that too.
Start to finish, about three weeks. It certainly is a welcome change to have everything flow together so quickly and smoothly! It is a big confidence builder. To me that has been the biggest benefit of incorporating improv into my quilting life -- I'm more willing to take risks, with the trust that I can fix any problems that arise. And, I'm no longer paralyzed by worry about the small details. Keep calm, and carry on!
And while you're doing that, check out all the other improv projects at AHIQ this month, right here.