And we’re off with Week 1 focused on quilt play with improv stripes!
I’m so excited to see so many of you joining the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along again this year 😊
Diving into improv quilting, especially if it’s your first time, can feel a little daunting. Which is why Amanda from Broadcloth Studio and I are thrilled that you signed up and are receiving the weekly emails (sign-ups are now closed. Sign up here to be notified of next year’s QAL). These are meant to help guide you through your improv exploration.
The important bit to remember is that there’s no right or wrong with improv. Amanda and I have pulled together a framework as a jumping-off point. You don’t have to follow it verbatim. In fact, I’d say don’t!
This is your journey. Feel free to pick and choose the elements that speak to you and leave those that don’t. At the end of the day, you need to do what feels right to you and your creative exploration.
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
SHAPE OF THE WEEK – STRIPES
You know my absolute love for stripes! Not only do they sneak their way into my quilt compositions, but I love wearing them too – ha!
What I love most about improv quilting stripes is the linear graphic detail they add to your quilts.
Whether you go for skinny, thick or multiple stripes, there’s so many ways you can sneak them into your improv.
After making a bunch of strip sets, I decided to slice them up and only pull out a few of those trimmings to play with in my first block. Adding in some larger pieces keeps the block feeling balanced.
My fav bit? The tiny strip set that draws your eye in.
Zooming in on the details today and going in for the itty-bitty bits by combining some skinny strips.
My compilation of small stripey bits were not only fun to plan and stitch, but then slicing them up into new smaller shapes got me super excited.
I still incorporated several larger bits to balance out the details and allow the eye to be drawn to the small piecing.
The skinny strip set I made yesterday already incorporated quite a bit of wonk.
Today is after all about embracing the wonk 😉 and allowing those wavy stripes to be the focus. This one makes me think of a flag!
I started off with a plan of doing a log cabin style using joined strips. Normally we do this with single strips, but I was curious to see what adding stacked strip sets would have on the composition.
To keep it from being too overwhelming, I added in a solid strip too. This helps give the eye a moment to rest amongst the detailed piecing. The dark final strip adds some grounding elements to the block too, which completed it perfectly!
This one definitely embraces the wonk!
Today’s prompt was to play with the negative.
I kicked the piecing session off with a small trimming from earlier this week. And soon after that I decided I wanted to keep the feeling of this block light and airy.
It’s a combination of negative space and a study in asymmetry. Thinking about your composition and not keeping things too symmetrical is such a fun thing to think about and explore in your quilting.
Here’s a list of the materials and notions I used to make my 30 Days of Improv QAL quilt blocks:
- AGF Pure Solids in Blueberry Zest*
- AGF Pure Solids in Field of Lavender*
- AGF Pure Solids in Peach Sherbet*
- AGF Pure Solids in Apricot Crepe*
- AGF Pure Solids in Sweet Macadamia*
- LDH Scissors*
- Sewing Machine*
- 50wt Thread for piecing*
- Cutting mat*
- Pressing table
Learning a new technique can take time to find your groove. I know finding my own improv quilting groove took me a minute to discover what approach worked best for me. Allow your mind and body to adapt to this new way of thinking. Go easy on yourself and remember that the more you show up and practice the easier it will get!
Haven’t joined the improv summer fun yet?
You can sign up for the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along here. Sign-ups are now closed. Sign up here to be notified of next years’ QAL.
Until next week!
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