Tag Archives: planned improv

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I've been teaching All About Angles workshops since 2019. This project is actually the first quilt top that I pieced for myself in this style, way back before that time. I had selected the color palette, because these sunset colors called out to me and the pile of fabric hung out together on my shelf for quite some time before I cut into it to create this small quilt top.

Like many quilters, I've been wanting to finish up some of my WIPs. I participated in a 100 Day Project January 30 - May 10, free motion quilting for at least fifteen minutes a day. I prioritized finishing up quilt tops, including this one. I spent 33 days quilting this 24" x 19" quilt, meaning I spent well over 8 hours quilting it. I really enjoyed the process since I worked a bit at a time and wasn't hurrying to meet a deadline. This is important for me, because I am generally a procrastinator who is super motivated by a deadline, which can really limit the possibilities for the late stages of making a quilt. Can anyone relate?

I started by extending the diagonal lines from the piecing as well as reflecting them, continuing until I had divided the quilt into many areas of a variety of sizes. This step could have been done with a walking foot though I chose to free motion these lines. I marked my lines with a chalk pencil or disappearing marker.

Then I really had fun, choosing a different motif for each section, I started by echo quilting within the section before filling it in with the chosen motif. These motifs came from my usual FMQ toolbox as well as inspiration from Step-by-Step Texture Quilting by Christina Cameli (my newest quilt book) and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christina Watson (affiliate links). Everything is quilted in 50wt Aurifil: Magenta (#2535), Red Orange (#2245), Bright Orange (#1133), and Medium Purple (#2545).

Pin for reference. Some of my motifs were very small patterns.

Sunset All About Angles was finished with a faced binding, which was a choice to further emphasize the quilting as the star.

My All About Angles class is available to guilds on Zoom. I teach a set of rules to create improv units that use the same angle, with no math or special tools. There are so many ways to utilize these units in a final composition. Please send your guild program chair to my teaching page for all the info. Thanks!

 

I've linked up to May's Favorite Finish linkup with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

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I've really been enjoying connecting with guilds on Zoom. I recently joined the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE to share my Rules and Options of Planned Improv Piecing lecture and teach All About Angles. This workshop is one of my Planned Improv workshops where I present a technique and set of rules to follow, with lots of options for students to make the composition their own. From fabric choices to color placement, sizes and angles of cutting, and other unique twists, I love that everyone's finished projects look unique in the end. Here are the progress or finished photos I've received from students in that workshop.


by Allison


by Linda Grigsby


by Dottie Vuono


by Kathy V.


by Trisha Moller


Quilt of Valor by Carol O.


It's hard to tell from the photos but these projects range from mini quilt to lap quilt, with a variety of sizes in between. One of the things I love about improv piecing is you can keep going until it's the size you want (or as long as you're still having fun). Students sometimes set a size parameter as part of their own initial rules, for example, planning for a placemat-sized finished quilt. The use of additional elements, borders, and strips of fabric really add to the variety of options with the All About Angles technique.

You can read about all my workshop and lecture offerings on my Teaching page. I'd love to visit your guild on Zoom.

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I use the descriptor "planned improv" loosely. Sometimes the improv comes in the piecing. Sometimes it comes in the design work before piecing starts. In this case, the improv had to do with having no idea where I was going when I started piecing scraps together. And the plan was that HSTs would be involved, and I was working with a limited amount of scraps (at the beginning) with a limited color palette (that I'd curated for the bag of scraps).

This quilt has been a long time coming. The scraps that were the start of it predate February 2016 when I took Jeni Baker's Creative HST workshop at QuiltCon in Pasadena. (We won't discuss how these are scraps from another project that is not yet finished.) This three-hour evening class was a chance to play. I finished my first four blocks for this quilt that night and eventually went on to create 140 more!

As with many of my quilt projects, I worked on this one intermittently over the years. It had no deadline or destination. The quilt top was finally finished at a quilt retreat in September 2018. I mailed it away to be quilted (by Jess Zeigler) in December 2019. No rush on this one. ;-)

I finished the quilt with a faced binding in order to submit to it PIQF in October for their Online Quilt Festival.

It's 59" x 59". I plan to hang it in my entryway.

 

Unrelatedly, check out the new short film, Canvas, on Netflix.