Sunday, January 18, 2009

Improvisational Quilting

Movements spread easily across the web, especially among a ring of connected bloggers. I'm noticing this more now than ever, as a result of Jacquie's (Tallgrass Praire Studio) new endeavor, Project Improv.

Of course, many quilters have already been inspired by the improvisational style of Denyse Schmidt (yours truly included), but the idea seems to currently be spreading like wildfire.

A bad thing?

Many quilters who read Jacquie's blog are stepping outside the block, so to speak, and trying something new.

Up to this point, what I usually see in the way of improvisational piecing is what's called a "wonky" log cabin block-- a cattywampus log cabin block. I first saw this in Denyse Schmidt's design Drunk Love in a Log Cabin quilt. (See what I mean about the internet being a petri dish of collective consciousness?)

I've been thinking about this a little bit. Jacquie asked specifically for quilters to create that style of block for the Project Improv charity quilts, and so that's what's getting made. I'm not participating, but I am challenging myself to do my own thing, if you get my drift.

I'm not a hater, but my own thing does not include wonky log cabin blocks. I do not like the messy look of free piecing. What appeals to me about quilting is the sense of geometry and symmetry, the sense of color and movement, and balance. I don't get a feeling of satisfaction from free pieced blocks.

Improvisation does not have to be the random sewing of fabrics together. There can be neatness and balance and symmetry.

So that's where I'm at. Producing a contemporary piece that follows my own pattern and appeals to my visual senses of space and geometry.

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