Thursday, June 21, 2012

Improv!

I've long admired the improvised or liberated quilts and have always wanted to give them a go. I guess my first try was on my wonky star quilt, but I still felt that it was pretty structured overall.

This time I cut a two different size strips from 10 fabrics only using my rotary cutter (strips were roughly 1 1/2 and 5 inches). But the next part was the real challenge to myself....to take these strips to my sewing machine and using scissors only, to create a small improv piece.


Ok, so I wouldn't say it was a huge success, it took me a while to realise I was chopping off most of the triangle tops, but WOW, I had so much fun making a small piece in this way. So much fun I decided to make a second one. They are both 18 x 15 inches.


Sitting at my machine, chopping bits of fabric off my strips with scissors to turn them into triangles, log cabins, flying geese, square in a square, etc, was such a freeing experience. I also had my mini iron sitting next to me to keep all my seams nice and flat as I sewed each new piece.


These two pieces are going to be made into a bag. I have pinned each piece to a piece of cotton wadding and used organic straight line quilting to give a beautiful textural feel.


I'm hoping that with practise I may even be able to create something that looks good, but for now, I will definitely be trying this again. Have you tried improv or liberated quilting? Did you enjoy it? (If you have made one and blogged/flickrd it, put a link to it in a comment, I would love to see it)! xo


25 comments:

Jackie said...

You look like you are pro!! It is fun isn't it? I have done several and you can find them in my flickr or blog. I think you have the links... but if you would like them again, send me an e-mail... ;) Great job!!

Dan R said...

The text prints are so great in these pieces. They give the impression of torn-paper collages. Well done!

Annie said...

I've done a little improv mixed with a bit of paper piecing. Not with just scissors tho! Your true improv is pretty cool! I'm anxious to see your bag.

Jenny M said...

Wow, for a first go, they look great. Improv/liberated is a style that is on my to do list.

fiberchick said...

LOVE!!!

Nifty Quilts said...

These are both so spirited. You can sense the fun you had making them. My favorite kind of quilt!

Susie said...

With all those different shapes it seems so textured. Just want to run my hands over it. I love the colour combination too. Well done.

Cardygirl said...

Lots of fun!

meli B said...

I actually think they turned out really well. The pinks and greys are gorgeous together. I've played around with it a bit and sometimes it works and sometimes its awful but I prefer using the rotary cutter to even up edges before I sew the next bit on.

Jo @ a life in lists said...

They look great! I am awful at letting go of precision and doing things like this, but your finished pieces look so great maybe I'll make myself try it one day :)

Sarah Pings said...

Oh this is just gorgeous!! I improv-ed (or improved?? Who knew??) a quilt for ME using Melody Miller's fabrics ... finished version here

I think I learned that you just have to be brave and that if you don't like how something is going put it to one side and start another bit - with any luck the piece you didn't like will miraculously look fab next to something new ...

I hope you keep experimenting, your eye for colour and shape is just perfick!

Leanne said...

It looks fab !!! I improv all the time...

Rafael's Mum said...

That looks great Cathy! I have tried improv, but end up going 'straight' anyhow and it never looks as good as structured... maybe I must learn to 'let go' :-)

Oops-Lah said...

Both look great Cathy! No one would think it was your first try; you are definitely a natural at this. I especially love the colours you've used. Pink and grey is just gorgeous.

Michelle said...

I really like them....
Something to try oneday !

Pinkadot Quilts said...

Cathy I love the colors you chose and the cut off points of your triangles really make it fun.
I love improv quilting and want to do more. Here is one I recently made using the scraps of some other blocks. http://pinkadotquilts.blogspot.com/2012/05/12-x-12.html

Lisa said...

Looks just great! Isn't it fun? You don't have to worry about seams lining up and the unexpectedness of it all is so whimsical. Just love it!

Venus de Hilo said...

Improv-piecing is addictively liberating! Our round robin improv group is just now wrapping up Season 1, pics on flickr here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/improvi-robin/

(BTW: Improvi-Robin Season 2 will start up in September, anyone who wants to play along is welcome.)

Teje said...

Hi Cathy! You made really beautiful pieces and they will make amazing bag! I want to make one, too! Pink and grey are great match! x Teje

Janet said...

It turned out great, I love it and the colours! It's so freeing and fun, we shouild all just chop fabric and go with the flow, it's like being a kid again.
I have made on like that a-la-Freddy Moran. The post is on my blog, April 28 2009

mieke said...

They are looking great, Cathy, your liberated little quilts!!! That is just what this is about: just go with the flow and enjoy the process! x

CraftyMummy said...

Hi Cathy, Just wanted to let you know that I featured your blog in my blog post today: http://thecraftymummy.com/2012/06/another-10-quilting-blogs-i-love/

Marie-Laure said...

Very beautiful

Holli said...

Wow! I'm definitely inspired to give this a try! Your blocks are beautiful! I've never tried improv. It's on "the list"!

Rachel said...

They look great! I did a baby quilt with some improv log cabin style blocks and found it great fun. I posted about it here: http://mymessings.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/having-fun-with-improvisational-piecing.html http://mymessings.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/quilt-top.html and http://mymessings.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/baby-girl-quilt.html