Tag Archives: planned improv

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I have finished and submitted to my first SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibition. The Northern California/Northern Nevada region issued a call last summer for a juried regional exhibition entitled Prism Play. From the start I loved the vision for this exhibition. The quilts are all required to be 15" wide by 45" long and monochromatic, following one of the color cards from Joen Wolfrom's Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool. The selected quilts will hang in multiple full color spectrum groupings during the exhibition.

In phase one we each signed up for a color (or colors) and were assigned one or more colors with the related cards of the color tool shipped to us. I learned really quickly that even though the majority of my fabrics are blenders and read as a single color, most of them have a little bit of white in the print. Black and white are not allowed since they fall outside of the monochromatic spectrum of the color card. I pivoted to using solids, and found that I had a reasonable variety of purple solids in my stash that matched the color card, including a variety of values. I later supplemented with a small fabric order.

Inspired by the recent bee "block" I made for Elizabeth, I decided to work in sash strips for the overall composition of my Prism Play quilt and set to work creating numerous two-fabric blocks exploring a variety of planned improv piecing and value contrast. I settled on a gradient placement of the block for the overall composition and enjoyed finding ways for neighboring blocks to interact or connect with one another.

I finished my quilt with irregular matchstick quilting, starting with walking foot quilting with even spacing and then adding irregular spacing with my lines on the second pass. The quilt was finished with a faced binding.

Submissions were due last week and we'll hear next month which quilts have been juried into the exhibition. Having seen some of the other work that was created for this call, I am looking forward to seeing this amazing exhibition hanging in a gallery! Congratulations to everyone who participated in creating a piece to submit.

Artist Statement

I enjoyed the parameters of working within a strictly defined monochromatic palette. This means everything is about the value, so I played with higher and lower value contrast in the components of my piece. Working in the time of a global pandemic, it is hard not to think about connections… how connecting to individuals has ebbed and flowed, and how those connections that are happening look different at this time. As I constructed the overall composition of the piece, I looked for ways to make connections between each section. The columns illustrate how a community is dependent upon each other, each member contributing the building blocks of the whole.

 

Edited to add: Read about the Prism Play catalog that I created.

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This summer I started co-hosting the Quilts Unscripted Bee with a group of 10 quilters. It is an improv quilt bee and every month the host for the month gives us a prompt. These can vary greatly. There might be a limited palette. The prompt might be about a feeling, or a style, or creating something representational.

Sarah Ruiz kicked off our first month in June with a really fun one. She gave us a limited color palette and asked us to use solids. Then she had a sign up for each person to pick some letters of the alphabet so she would end up with one of every letter to make an improv alphabet quilt, with a bit of a ransom note feel. Sarah also provided us with a Pinterest board with many alphabet styles to inspire us. She asked that our letters each have a different style.

I wasn't fast enough to get Q in the signup and ended up picking G, U and Y.

I made my U first, making a couple improv Drunkard's Path blocks to use as the curves.

I implemented my Scrappy Slab technique in building my Y.

And I saved the G for last, probably because I found it most intimidating. I'd been thinking about the ransom note style and knew I wanted to make one letter that looked like it was cut out of a piece of paper, hence the border around the G. I opted for a lower case G so there would be fewer curves to deal with and chose a Drunkard's Path unit for the top of the G. In fact, it was the inner piece remnant from the U above.

You can see more of our bee's blocks on Instagram at #quiltsunscriptedbee. I recently shared my hammock and book blocks. And I have one more month of blocks to catch up on that I'll write about soon.

Thanks for visiting!

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My passion is planned improv piecing. I enjoy giving myself a set of rules to follow (or break!) as create.

While demoing my technique in my All About Angles classes, I always cut up some fabric to show how I create my starting pieces. Sometimes these are part of a work in progress, but sometimes I just start with a new pile of fabric I'm excited to work with. In this case it was the latter. I started with five Alison Glass Kaleidoscope solids: Tomato, Sunflower, Raisin, Cherry, Goldenrod.

I was drawn to this autumn palette. As I put together my improv piecing, I was reminded of the changing colors of the Fall season. I find labeling the selvage edge of my solid fabrics with a sharpie to be a helpful way to remember which color is which. In this case "AG" is for Alison Glass.

I opted for a variety of weights and colors of thread for walking foot quilting echoing my piecing lines, Aurifil 12wt Paprika (#2270), 40wt Brass (#2975), 50wt Yellow (#2135), and 12wt Burgundy (#1103).

I finished the quilt with a faced binding and a mini sleeve. (Label coming soon!)

Fractured is 12" x 12". It is my first SAQA donation piece, for this year's SAQA Benefit Auction, which will take place September 10 through October 3. Be sure you are subscribed to my newsletter if you'd like to be reminded of the auction in September. If you'd like to have me visit your guild or group to teach my All About Angles piecing technique (or one of my other workshops), please send your program chair to my Teaching page.

Thanks for visiting!