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.
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?
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