When Jeanie Wyatt taught an “Improvisational Quilting” class at the Fayetteville library, I signed up immediately! With her encouragement I selected scraps from the mountain of odds and ends of fabric she provided. After showing several examples of her own Improv quilts, Jeanie encouraged us to grab our scissors and to get started. An hour later we shared our small projects. Not finished, but most of us had made a good start. I spent several hours at home finishing my quilt. Yes, my previous experience was helpful, but the willingness to explore was the most important part.
What is Improvisation? One idea:
We are all improvisers. The most common form of improvisation is ordinary speech. As we talk and listen, we are drawing on a set of building blocks (vocabulary) and rules for combining them (grammar). These have been given to us by our culture. But the sentences we make with them may never have been said before and may never be said again. Every conversation is a form of jazz. The activity of instantaneous creation is as ordinary as breathing.
from Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Steven Nachmonovich
Playing with piecing curves is an easy way to start. This small quilt, Misty Morning will be auctioned at our quilt show in April:
Not all improv quilts have to be small or using curved lines. This quilt started with the bright ombre strips given to me as a sample. Go play with your own odds and ends–there is a certain freedom in thinking about “What if….”