Intro to Improv Piecing

If you want to use scraps, like the challenge of thinking on your feet, and don't want to cut your scraps down to the Scrap User's System, then improv piecing might be just the ticket for you to bust your scrap stash. 

PS This post is part of the Summer Stash Busting Challenge-- Welcome! Be sure to check out the original post to see the full lineup of content here. 

(This post contains affiliate links) 

Intro to Improv Piecing with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

Most of my piecing is traditional patchwork, but I like to keep a few improv techniques in my back pocket for when I'm feeling grouchy or uninspired. Improv for me like the chiropractic adjustment of my creative practice-- when stuff starts feeling stiff or too difficult, I fool around a bit with color and scraps. Today, there are a few wonderful experts/ artists I want to introduce you to and recommend that you investigate their work and experiment with their techniques. 

Live Video

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 Minutes of Play brought a light mood to scrap busting with her visually dynamic made fabric inspired by her grandmother's crazy quilts. Made fabric is pieced together from scraps-- sometimes all of one color to create a new fabric and sometimes of lots of different fabrics for lots of punch. This made fabric is usually recut the same way a whole cut of cloth would be in preparation for using it for patchwork. 

Cindy Grisdela

Cindy is a wonderful art quilter who uses fabric and free motion quilting to "paint" her quilts. She uses primarily solid fabrics to create the composition and adds additional texture and movement with her free motion quilting. These one of a kind pieces are mounted as fine art and displayed and sold all over the country. Cindy is the author of the book  Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free Motion Quilting, and I invite you to learn more about her vision and process as an artist by reading my interview with her from Summer 2017.

Sherri Lynn Wood

Sherri Lynn is the quilting queen of "Use it up; Wear it out. Make do-- or do without." Her quilts encompass a variety of styles (called "scores" in her fabulous book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters), and she is passionate about using recycled or reclaimed textiles in many of her pieces. I had the delight of talking to Sherri in May 2017 about her work, and I encourage you to read the rich stories her work tells in my FriYAY Friends article about her. 

Intro to Improv Piecing with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Intro to Improv Piecing with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Intro to Improv Piecing with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

My Work

As you can see, I've dabbled in improv a bit. I think it is a beautiful and fascinating way to quilt, and I love seeing well done improv pieces like the ones from Victoria, Cindy, and Sherri. If you have never experimented with this style of piecing, I suggest you give it a go. Worst case scenario, you don't like it. Best case, you love it and create something stunningly beautiful!

Intro to Improv Piecing with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

PS Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!

This post is part of the Summer Stash Busting Challenge-- Welcome! Be sure to check out the original post to see the full lineup of content here.