Friday, 7 August 2015

Want to improv?

Back at the beginning of the year I posted my first ever bee block and commented in passing that I wished there was a bee for improv quilters.  This prompted Ann of Fret Not Yourself to suggest to me that we should consider starting something together.  

 Now of course it's not quite that simple: you can't really say to a load of other people "make me an improv block this way, using these colours and finishing at that size".  After all, if they get all of that right they're not improvising.  But we couldn't quite let go of the idea and so we've come up with something a bit different.


Starting in September we will be running a monthly linky party specifically for all improv quilting projects (our definition of improv is a broad one, but more of that nearer the time).  However we also want to offer a place for discussion, encouragement and inspiration - potential starting points for anyone out there who wants to try improv but doesn't quite know where to begin - so each month we will put up posts on a different aspect of improv; discuss different approaches; review some great books ; look at sources of inspiration. 

I have noticed recently that improv projects seem to be popping up all over the place. Of course some people work like that all the time but I think maybe some of the recent books on the subject (Sujata Shah's Cultural Fusion Quilts for example, and Sherri Lynn Wood's Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters ) have sparked an extra interest, precisely because they offer great starting points.  




We are calling this project AHIQ (Ad Hoc Improv Quilting) so keep an eye out for future posts. Whether you are happy to leap right into a pile of fabric with your rotary cutter or are someone who finds that idea terrifying (or ridiculous) we hope to have something for you.


21 comments:

  1. Very neat; what a great niche to help cultivate! I'll definitely be watching for more details. :)

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  2. Is there any other way to work?? LOL. Go for it - before you know it, you'll have a whole group. I assume you have my book, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts, where everything is improv. And by the way, your quilts are exuberant and wonderful!!

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  3. Have only done improv twice, once to form the fabric out of which I cut a doll vest, and the second time just recently, making the Scrap Vortex quilt (very slowly). It's rather freeing and fun!

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  4. What a great idea! I have so much I am itching to learn and several ideas in mind to play with. This would give me some motivation to continue!

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  5. What a great idea! I have so much I am itching to learn and several ideas in mind to play with. This would give me some motivation to continue!

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  6. Great minds think alike! I was wondering where all the improv quilters hang out, now I know where to come :)

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  7. I am in! I love improve piecing and yours is so exciting to me. This is a great idea and right down my alley! Yippee

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  8. Just seen the post from Ann and now yours here - great idea and would certainly love to be a part of this!

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  9. I struggle with different labels for quilts. Beyond 3 layers held together with some sort of quilting I'm never quite sure what kind of quilt I'm making. Add improv as a label and I'm lost. Improv to me means improvise...make do with what you have. So if I use used clothing in a quilt (like grandma did) because I can't afford fabric is that improv quilting? If I make crumb blocks (aka made fabric) but then use it in a traditional star block is that improv? If I use a tea towel as a center of a quilt and add traditional as well as free form blocks around it is that improv? If I sew scraps into blocks and then add beads, embroidery, etc. is that improv??????????????????? I just need to enjoy the journey...not ever sure what I call it in the end! So, I'll stay tuned and see what you and Ann have to say since I enjoy your blogs.

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  10. I struggle with different labels for quilts. Beyond 3 layers held together with some sort of quilting I'm never quite sure what kind of quilt I'm making. Add improv as a label and I'm lost. Improv to me means improvise...make do with what you have. So if I use used clothing in a quilt (like grandma did) because I can't afford fabric is that improv quilting? If I make crumb blocks (aka made fabric) but then use it in a traditional star block is that improv? If I use a tea towel as a center of a quilt and add traditional as well as free form blocks around it is that improv? If I sew scraps into blocks and then add beads, embroidery, etc. is that improv??????????????????? I just need to enjoy the journey...not ever sure what I call it in the end! So, I'll stay tuned and see what you and Ann have to say since I enjoy your blogs.

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  11. That sounds wonderful Kaja! Leave it to you and Ann to dream up something like that. I will be watching and following along of course, an maybe even sometimes participating. I bought the Improv Handbook and love it. It's just a matter of making time and getting brave. It will be wonderful to learn more from you and Ann!

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  12. I'm in, can't wait to follow your post.

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  13. I'm in, can't wait to follow your post.

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  14. I look forward to what everyone in the group does.

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  15. Crap. I guess I won't be finishing all those other projects this autumn after all...

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  16. I am all over this puppy! LOL. Yes!

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  17. There is also a Yahoo group called Liberated Quilters, but the list hasn't been very chatty of late. Maybe people are worried whether they are liberated enough.

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