I just wanted to do some improv

I know it isn’t the same for all people, but I find improv means I can switch off areas of my brain and reduce the number of things I have to think about when sewing. Recently I’ve made a top, a dress I didn’t like, I’ve put together a top of another Paint By Numbers quilt, I’ve been working on 2 block of the week series simultaneously and also I have a project halfway through for another issue of Make Modern. Almost all of these things required accuracy, patience, and a lot of pressing.

When I found out my friend was going on maternity leave from work earlier than anticipated, I knew I had to hurry up with making a baby quilt. I decided upon an Elizabeth Hartman pattern I had bought, but sitting down at 5am this morning, I realised I was biting off more than I could chew. Sure, I could make this baby quilt, but it would be stressful with the number of pieces that would need to be labeled and kept track of, and pieced nicely. The whole thing needs to be done by the start of July. 

So I scratched that idea, I needed something that would be quick, contemporary, gender neutral and something I would enjoy sewing. So I got some charm squares out and started cutting.

I’ve had some Carolyn Friedlander squares for a while, and I will need to add some more to the mix – probably different designers looking at my scraps – to make it large enough, but I am making these blocks (top), which unfinished like this measure 4 1/2″ wide and 7″ tall. Once I have around 80 I’ll start arranging them how I want them and settle on a finished size. I’m thinking 11 blocks wide by 8 tall.

Krista Hennebury taught this technique in her Speed Date with Improv class at the Calgary MQG last summer, and it’s also used in her block to the Summer Sampler this year, which is my next block to make, so I really hope I don’t get bored of doing it! More on the Summer Sampler (and the Paint By Numbers quilt) later.

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