Entering the world of Improv
I have always been intrigued by improv quilts, but due to my very square engineer brain I haven't been allowing myself to experiment with improv… until now! I made a mini quilt using improv paper piecing techniques and I LOVE it!
Remember my very square engineer brain, I needed a book to really walk me through some improv thought process rather than a pattern instruction. I picked up Create Your Own Improv Quilts: Modern Quilting with No Rules & No Rulers by Rayna Gillman. This is NOT a pattern book at all, she steps you through the process of making an improv book. Pick up your copy on Amazon here(affiliate link).
One of the techniques I read in the book used square papers for improv paper piecing and I thought to myself, I can do that! Just enough structure to get a very unstructured result. I picked green as my main element of color for this mini and dumped out my scrap bin. I picked up all the strip pieces in the bin and started to make some blocks!
Improv paper piecing was liberating to not have to sew following a line. Did you go a bit crooked? That's okay, just keep going! If you want some traditional paper piecing instructions, check out my tutorial here.
I decided that I only wanted about half of my square a solid color. I made 5 squares with a charcoal half and 4 squares with a white half.
After the square is made, I trimmed them to 6.5" square and there wasn't any need to really keep with the paper exactly. The paper was only for reference to make sure the fabric strips were going to be long enough. As you can see here, I made my square at a much different angle than the original paper square.
Now that I had all 9 squares completed, I tested out different layouts to see which one I liked best.
I selected the last one. Because I picked the semi-spiral, I decided that a straight walking foot spiral in green thread would make the movement pop.
I finished off the binding yesterday on the plane and my improv mini is complete!
Have you tried improv before? What's your favorite part/What is stopping you from trying?
Join me again on Friday for Friday Foto Fun and on Sunday for the #365DayOfArtPBQChallenge! Link up and share your progress on your own projects!