Friday, April 12, 2024

Let's Talk Improvisational Piecing on Off the Wall Friday


Curves II,  Nina-Marie Sayre
Improved pieced to a planned pattern

Improv Surface Design with a little bit 
of Improv Piecing, 

Taking a class in improvisational piecing, got me thinking of how many uses there are for the technique.  For that matter, how much a non-technique, improvisational piecing actually is.  The reason I say that is improvisational piecing's only rule is that there are NO RULES.  So, it can basically do whatever you want, whenever you want, letting your fabric, your vision or even your intuition be in
the driver seat. 

That can be very freeing or a little scary for a quilter whose modus operandi is to plan out a quilt before making it.  It's even scarier if they are used to following patterns and the fabric choices.  I never thought of it that way until I watched my class of traditional quilters take the plunge.  By the end of the week though, they all definitely got the hang of it for sure.  

So, want to dip your toe into the pool of improvisational quilting?  Here are some suggestions...

Improv pieced background....Give the background of your applique a little extra interest with making an improv background.  It's also a great way to play with the value of the background to give emphasis on your subject.

Notice in Praise Ladies II, I used an improv background gradate diagonally across the piece to give emphasis and movement to the subjects.

Abstract Improv piecing...In this quilt by Janet Windsor, she uses improv piecing for the whole composition.  She plays with both value and hue to get her point across.  I love how she improvs the strips but then pieces them into columns to give it added structure. 

Unnamed, Janet Windsor

Improv Traditional Blocks....whose says traditional blocks need to be made with a pattern?  The one I tend to see the most is the log cabin block.  BUT I ran across this challenge by Sarah Goer and found it super interesting.  She asked her group to improv the Sawtooth Star and they came up with these.  Traditional + Improv = VERY Interesting!

Sawtooth Star Challenge on Sarah Goer Quilts

Improv to Abstract the Representational...and that was where I'm going with this piece.  Now don't ask me EXACTLY where I'm going but it's at least the beginning of an idea.  To take something everyone recognizes and then to use improv piecing to give it a little twist!

WIP, Houses

See what I mean?  You can take this simple idea of just piecing stuff willy-nilly (or not so willy-nilly) and come up with endless ideas.  Remember the only rule is that there is NO RULES. Remember you are the queen of your quilt.

Speaking of queens...

My classmate, Marsha G. sent me a project she did upon arriving home.  She took all her orphan blocks (left over blocks from other projects), improved them together and added a panel in the middle to get a totally new piece.  Didn't it turn out great?  I was so blessed to meet Marsha and her husband the first night we were there.  Plus, then we got to sit together all week in class.  Let me just tell ya, she literally sewed me under the table.  Nothing better than having a partner in class that will work as hard as you! 

Bring the Orphans Home, Marsha Gordon

So, I hope I gave you some ideas to start experimenting with piecing.  I mean we all have stashes to use right? 

And on that note...

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

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1 comment:

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Nina Marie, thanks so much for sharing these many different ways of using improv piecing. I'm glad that you had a good week.