Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rediscovering Improv

I took the 10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting class with Malka Dubrawsky on CreativeLive last week. It was free when it was live, though you have to buy it if you want to see the recording now - it's $79. It was the first time I've taken a class on CreativeLive. It was an experience, I decided on a whim. I had some free time, and needed something to pick up my mood and my sewing mojo.

Improv log cabins: warm, cool, & rainbow

I did find that the class was poorly explained in advance. I did know it was live, and that it would be running from 11am to 6pm my time. But I didn't realise at first that it was on for two days, thankfully I had both days to spare. They didn't provide a list of required materials ahead of time either so the first day was quite the scramble. I just pulled two black and white fabrics, a white fabric, and a collection of solids I bought over a year ago for a different project. I culled that project off my to do list at the end of the summer so they were looking for a new home :)

Pinwheels made with improv'd HSTs

Sewing along at home was ambitious, they really raced through the projects. True Malka had some pieces half prepared, and the people in the studio had baskets of materials provided, whereas I was dashing about, but Malka is a machine! I'd say I only attempted half the blocks Malka demonstrated. But it was so much fun!

Flying geese - I have a not great track record with
making these look nice, so we'll see!

I forgot, somehow, that the answer to how much I hate the cutting part of making quilts is improv quilting. It's so freeing! I had so much fun, I learned some new things, re-learned some stuff I'd done before but let flow out of my brain through lack of use. It is exhausting though, there are so many decisions to make all the way through. It's like when you go and do the groceries, and then they try and get you with sweets at the checkout because they know you're exhausted by making choices and you're weak now and will just buy random crap. After two days of improv, even with Malka leading the way for me, I was exhausted - thank god it was a Project Runway night!

I always sew these better super slowly and without pins.

I did some more sewing over the long weekend and added in some more blocks, including a giant HST star.

Really like this star that Malka suggested making with HSTs

I'm now thinking about trying to join all these up like a medallion quilt - ambitious! But I'm loving these colours and shapes so much, plus I want to see if I can do it ;)

Dodgy pic, but thinking a triangle border after this, then drunkard's paths,
then a final string/strip border.
Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!


  1. This looks amazing Aoife. I can't believe you kept up as well as you did. I have no doubt that you will be able to put this all together to make something beautiful.

  2. Looks like I lost the comment so I'll try again! You did GOOD! Love the medallion idea. It's really coming together beautifully.:)

  3. Oh, I think you should totally medallion it up. It looks great! :)

  4. These blocks look awesome! I've never tried improv...I'm a little scared of it to be honest. I like to be relatively sure I'll like what I end up with, and there are no guarantees with improv! I keep thinking I should try it though, if only to get over the fear.

  5. I love this project! Your use of color has so much zing to it!

  6. Hi!!!! These turned out really good!!!! I watched but still have not made any!!!! No way I could have kept up!!!! But that is what I am thinking about and how I found you!!! You have re inspired me!!!!! Thank You


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