Basic improv tips…

Improv piecing is totally fun to do and there are no rules. For me, using a design wall is an essential part of the process. You just play and make all kinds of crazy blocks and don’t get concerned about what might fit together and then throw them up on the design wall.

Red mod 2

However, at some point, you have to start putting the pieces together.

Sometimes you move blocks around to get a certain color arrangement. Sometimes you want to make crazy blocks look more uniform. On this piece I had the thought that I wanted several distinct areas with red, surrounded by large areas of the off-white fabrics.

It’s easiest to begin in one area and start making things fit together. Trim blocks if they are too big, add fabric if they are too small…pretty much give yourself some straight edges to sew together.

Red mod 4

When I work with curves, there are usually a couple of places where my priority is to match the curve and add fabrics around that match point to make the blocks fit together.

Red mod 3

I try to avoid having partial seams, but sometimes it helps to get some of the pieces trimmed and lined up before you decide on the next section. In this piece, I also would rather have a connecting piece be too large and trim it than to keep trimming my blocks.

Eventually your plan starts to come together. You think you know exactly how you are going to assemble your sections. Then you step back and take a look and throw your hands up in disgust. There is usually a point where you hate everything you have done and think you’ve just wasted half a day!

Red mod 5

That’s when it’s time to take a break–walk away–do something decadent, like a nap! Come back to it later…….you’ll be very surprised at how much better it looks than when you walked away!

Finish it up. The piecing and the designing are fun, but the most enjoyable part for me is the quilting! Can’t wait to get to that part of the job!

Linking this to Off the Wall Friday!


4 thoughts on “Basic improv tips…

  1. Months? Try years. I finally got the one from the class you taught all pieced together a few months ago. I had to actually put it away in order to stop obsessing about it. I love it. Now for the obsessing about the quilting and embellishing…


    • Yes–you either have to just get an arrangement that you like and go for it or it could take you forever fussing with it!

      On Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 10:38 PM, Quirks Ltd. wrote:



Comments are closed.