The questions are rolling in about how you can participate and get ready for the 3rd annual 30 Days of Improv QAL.
Amanda and I are so thrilled to see your excitement for joining the quilt along. Improv quilting is a technique we both love, and we can’t wait for you to explore it too!
If you’re just hearing about this sew-along now,
sign up for the 30 Days of Improv QAL Newsletter. Sign-ups are now closed for the 2023 QAL. You can sign up for my weekly newsletter to be the first to be notified of the next 30 Days of Improv QAL. That’s where all the key details about the 2023 challenge will be shared. If you signed up in previous years, you’ll still need to sign up this year as it’s a fresh new list!
Today’s post is to answer some of the top questions you have about participating, including:
- What is the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along
- How the information is shared
- How you participate
- Where you post your blocks (optional)
- How to share on Instagram (step-by-step guide)
- How to incorporate sustainability in your improv play
- See stripes in action
- Go behind the scenes of improv play
Let’s dive in 😊
What is the 30 Days of Improv Quilt Along
It all started a couple of summers ago when two quilty friends wanted to have some summer improv fun and, on a whim, we decided to invite you to join along.
Our goal was simple – to spread quilty joy through improv play.
We know that it can be difficult to know where to start when staring at a stack of fabric, which is why we developed a series of prompts to help guide you through your own exploration.
See what I made during the previous QALs:
Where are the QAL details shared?
All the details about the specific weekly challenges and additional tips are shared in the weekly newsletter. We wanted you to have a place where you could store the emails to create a syllabus you could refer to time and time again.
Sign up for the 30 Days of Improv QAL here. Sign-ups for the 2023 QAL are now closed. You can sign up for my weekly newsletter to be notified of the next 30 Days of Improv QAL.
Where you post your blocks (optional)
We get a lot of questions about why the 30 Days of Improv block sharing is hosted on Instagram, and that comes back to needing to find a communal spot we could all gather and share our makes.
If you haven’t already joined, we encourage you to come join the quilty fun on there!
Great news – posting on Instagram is optional!
While we love seeing your blocks, we also fully understand that being on social media is not for everyone. This is why we share the details of the challenge via the newsletter and let you decide if you want to post your photos or not.
If you do share your progress shots, be sure to tag them with the #30DaysofImprovQAL hashtag, so we can all see one another’s work.
Feel free to peruse all the previous year’s posts to get inspired for the upcoming challenge!
When is posting on Instagram required?
The only time posting your improv blocks on Instagram is required is to be entered into the weekly giveaways.
Specific giveaway details are shared in the weekly newsletter (sign up here).
How to share on Instagram
Wondering how exactly you go about posting a photo on Instagram?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you!
Step 1 – Take a photo
Before even thinking about posting on Instagram, you need to have a photo to upload.
So, go ahead and snap a shot with your cell phone.
Step 2 – Open Instagram and hit the + button
Open the Instagram app on your cell phone and locate the ‘+’ button.
The ‘+’ signals that you want to add content to your Instagram feed.
Below is a screenshot of my cellphone with the ‘+’ button located at the bottom of the screen. Yours might appear at the top of the screen (in the center, left or right) depending on the type of phone you have.
Step 3 – Select photo
Once you’ve clicked the ‘+’ button, a new window will open and you’ll have the chance to select a photo to upload from your camera roll.
Select the photo you want to share and click next at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4 – Edit your photo (optional)
The next step will give you the chance to edit your photo. If you feel the lighting is off, you can play around with the settings to see if you can correct that. A little goes a long way!
Step 5 – Add a caption
With your photo added and edited (or not) the final screen is where you add a caption.
This part is important as what you enter in the description will help us locate your photo.
In the caption area, be sure to include the #30DaysofImprovQAL hashtag along with @broadclothstudio and @shannonfraserdesigns so that both Amanda and I can see your progress and encourage you along the way. Plus, by adding the custom hashtag, anyone who’s participating in the quilt along will be able to see your post too. That’s where the real fun is – seeing one another’s interpretations of the daily prompts 😉
If you’re participating in the weekly giveaway, this is also where you’ll tag the sponsor.
Step 6 – Post
Once you’re happy with your photo and caption, all that’s left to do is hit share and your photo will get posted to your feed.
That’s it! That’s all there’s to posting on Instagram.
Isn’t improv wasteful?
A common misconception about improv quilting is that it’s wasteful. I’ve found this to be the opposite case when it comes to my own improv practice.
In fact, my improv adventures started with a pile of scraps that I’d volunteered to take home. The Montreal MQG had a bunch left over after making the QuiltCon Charity quilt and didn’t want to see them go to waste. Neither did I! Up to that point, I’d never done improv, and it was a fun challenge to see the Mondrian Quilt come to life.
Last year, I shared the Improv Triangle Sewing Bag as an example of how you can use scraps leftover from your improv play.
Go with a sustainable fabric selection
One of the easiest ways to keep improv from being wasteful is to use what you already have on hand. No doubt you already have some pretty fabric tucked away 😉
We’ll be sharing lots of fabric selection tips in the 30 Days of Improv QAL newsletter, but our friends Kim and Tom over at FeelGood Fibers have a wealth of resources to help you bring sustainability into your creative practice (improv or not).
You can shop the just-for-30-days-improv curated up-cycled bundles. These meet the fabric requirements we recommend starting with for the QAL.
You could take the opportunity to detash some of your own fabric and give someone else a chance to explore their possibilities! Check out their Destash 101 to help guide you.
There’re plenty of good reasons to go with an upcycled option and Kim shares more in Why Secondhand Fabric is Ideal for Improv Quilting.
If you tend to be a visual learner, then seeing improv in action might be super helpful.
Amanda has this fun course on Domestika that focuses on Patchwork with Stripes. The class walks you through making a quilt featuring that shape from start to finish. A great option if you want some technical aspects.
I’m pulling back the curtain on my own improv play in Improv Behind the Scenes. If you’ve wondered what’s going through a maker’s mind as they work through a composition, then this is your chance to find out! Get your access here!
I hope these tips have given you some guidance on how to get ready for the 30 Days of Improv QAL. I can’t wait to see the inspiring projects you create either through the 30 Days of Improv QAL or after seeing improv in action!
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