Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Improv piecing

Just realized it's been a year since my first sewing project. I have sewn a lot of different things along the way and the journey has been incredible. What better way to celebrate a year full of sewing than with improv piecing. I was totally out of my comfort zone in the beginning but by the end I realized it works for me only if I extract the creative from the technical.

I had a bag of scraps which were randomly picked from a collective bin at the quilt guild. What I pulled out of the bag was a total surprise which made it both exciting as well as challenging. Started with a clean slate and let the creative process take over. The first few blocks were quite color coordinated. I had a lot more fabric choices to play with and predominantly resorted to lights. I found that looking at a picture of the block helped with the color distribution and balance. Put my phone to good use.


As I progressed I pulled a bunch of bright red fabrics (very unlike me) and was running out of neutrals and lights. I had pretty much exhausted my color options. At this point I switched gears and began to concentrate more on the block construction than fabric colors. The next few blocks were the result of trying different block formations.

The last block was created with whatever was left of the scraps. This was the utilitarian block.

Ultimately I came up with these individual blocks.

Now I set about creating three blocks that were at least 12.5" in one dimension which was a requirement for our improv blocks. Put the pieces together and squared them up. (Apparently I did not know when to stop as they were the much larger than the other blocks at the swap, I guess they can be cut down again. Isn't this improv after all. :))

Since one block is for a swap, one for charity and one for me, now need to decide which block I like best. Decisions decisions......

Overall I enjoyed the improv process but would adopt it with a few modifications. I would rather stage the scrap bag with similar color tones and equal distribution of color which will help the final blocks look more coordinated. The process was quite liberating as there are no mistakes and each block is unique like a fingerprint.


  1. You make that look so easy. I've tried the improv and it doesnt fit into my brain. Those blocks remind me of Siddi Quilts.

    1. Siddi quilts have an interesting history, I didn't know about them.


Thanks for visiting!