Improvisational Piecing: What’s Hiding in Your Stash?
Improvisational piecing is putting together a quilt top without a preconceived plan for exactly how it will look. It’s a way of working from intuition, with a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore unknown territory. It’s probably the most fun you will ever have.
Yesterday, on the morning of my website launch, I had an idea. What if I spent the day sewing improvisational units and then posted them on social media thoughout the day, as the quilt progressed? I decided to go for it.
The night before, I’d been smitten with a picture of Mistwraith by Rossie Hutchinson in a magazine article.
Her quilt was made in a round robin bee comprised of members of the Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. Rossie’s work inspired my Launch Party quilt.
As I worked and posted the images you see here, I was reminded of some Scrap Quilt Truths. If there was a Scrap Quilt Bible, these would be in it.
- There is great stuff hiding in your stash. Use the fabric you already own—like a Stash Bandit.
- You can’t make decisions from just a few inches away. You must stand back, way back, across the room.
- When you make a scrap quilt, it will be ugly at first. Just keep sewing.
- You need only a general idea of where you are going. My guidelines for this work were “navy/teal/orange,” go for a graphic look and don’t think too much.
When I started stressing about how it looked, I forced myself to walk to the fabric stash, take the first thing that was remotely okay and use it.
This was exciting to me! I could see that this could really be something special. It didn’t yet look great but I had confidence that it would get there. I just kept sewing.
Can you see how that is starting to pay off? I am so excited about this quilt. I haven’t done any fussing over the arrangement, I haven’t tweaked or trimmed or fixed yet. But I like where it’s going, and the most amazing part is that this happened with no plan and no fabric store run.
So, what’s hiding in your stash?
Stash Bandit on Facebook
Stash Bandit on Instagram
Does your quilt group need a speaker? Visit Trunk Shows to see what’s available. Call today!
Thank you for this “lesson”, this is something I have trouble doing!
Going to pull fabrics and random cut and sew.
That sounds like fun, Judy! I hope you’ll send me a photo of your blocks as you progress. firstname.lastname@example.org
Looks really fun! Going to try it.
Gorgeous! when you say navy teal orange, do you mean that each block had to have at least one of those colors but they could have other colors