Saturday, December 28, 2013

Improv quilting

The sun is shining, yesterday's snow on the trees is melting and the ice on the trees looks like flowers made of diamonds! But today it has warmed up and the ice is disappearing.

Yesterday my Mom watched her first ever Craftsy class, Improvisational Piecing, Modern Design with instructor Jacquie Gering. I had already watched the class and I enjoyed it so much that I asked for Jacquie's book for Christmas.

I've been itching to read the book but when the power went out last week all of the Christmas gifts were left behind. I finally got the book and had a quick look. So many exciting ideas and techniques. I really like learning new techniques that I can add to my skills set!

I have done a couple of improvisational, art quilts. My very first was Darlington in 2012. I made it in a workshop with Pat Pauley. I really should take a picture of the finished quilt. It was finished with a facing (first time I tried it) and I really liked the look. The workshop was very "free wheeling" in the design phase but the pattern drafting and construction was much more structured. Those Home Ec lessons came in handy. Darlington is a nuclear power plant and was reminded of it while making the quilt.

Darlington, 2012

I then discovered Rayna Gillman and Jean Wells. Their methods are definitely more improvisational and after reading books by both I dipped my toes in the improv quilting pool! This piece is called Jack and I made it to pay homage to Canadian artist Jack Bush.
Jack, 2012

The third piece is large and was definitely more challenging. I called it Green Beans Several Ways. All of the little green strips reminded me of green beans; they can be prepared in so many delicious ways! I really enjoyed making this one but it was more challenging figuring out how to assemble all of the little bits together.

Green Beans Several Ways, 2012

The construction of these quilts was certainly a great deal of fun but I think what I enjoyed most is the quilting. It is very loose and organic. Lines don't have to be perfect or straight. In fact I think that the waviness of the lines really adds depth and character to Jack.

I enjoy these tiny bits of improve piecing but I want bigger blocks so I can make a functional quilt and play around with some more organic quilting and that's where Jacquie Gering's class and book comes in. So my goal for 2014 is to try to make a more structured improv quilts with loose, organic quilting!

How about you? Do you have any quilting plans or goals? I hope one of them is to join in on my 2014 Quilt Along (QAL). I am hoping to set up a Flickr group (I think I've got it figured out) so that you can post pictures of your progress should you chose to join in on the fun! This is the fabric that was the jumping off point for my QAL quilt. If you are going to work along take a look through your stash for some large prints that you be your jumping off point!

I've also signed up for a Grow Your Blog hop on January 25, 2014 and I plan to have a give away. What will it be? You'll just have to mark the date on your calendar to find out what it is and enter to win!

Time to get back to the QAL pattern so until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. Your quilts intrigue me, I am reminded of a class I did last year, here is a link to the tutors quilted maps
    Off to rummage through my stash now....

  2. Glad the ice is beginning to melt off for you. Has your Mom gotton the power back on-hope so. I love your modern quilts-my favorite is Jack love that shade of green. so glad you are joining in on the Grow Your Blog party-that is so much fun.

  3. LOVE your improvisational quilts - spectacular!