When Good Improv Goes Bad

I really love improvisational quilting and, in fact, have been doing it for about 15 years–since before I knew improvisational quilting was a “thing”. Most of the time it works out great.

improvisational quilt

Nothing Is Wasted, my first improvisational quilt, 2001-2002

This is my first improvisational quilt, made with scraps from an Amish style quilt with yellow added.  I made it for the friend who helped me select fabrics for the original quilt.

It wasn’t easy to get good solids back then, and I ended up going to an Amish-owned store.  When I got there, I found that there WERE a lot of solids, and MANY of them were polyester blends.  Well, duh, if you don’t have an electric iron, that makes a lot of sense. Anyway, I got the solids eventually, but NOT at my local quilt shop!

Once in a while, though, the improvisation requires revision.  Maybe more than once!

Take this attempt at an improvised log cabin block, made in 2012 to use up the little maple leaves at the center.

improvised quilt

“Bad Ronald”, a failed attempt to improvise a donation quilt for Ronald McDonald House

I added too many fabrics, and even though they were in the same color families, the design did NOT gel!  That stripe, in particular, really blew it!

It took a while, but in 2015 I cut the piece up and started over, coming up with something I liked better:

donation quilt

Maple Leaf donation quilt–I guess we could call this one “Good Ronald”

And then there was this attempt at Sherri Lynn Wood’s Score #1:

improvised quilt

This came from following one of Sherri Lynn Wood’s “scores”

Which I eventually re-made into this donation quilt:

improvised quilt

The “New! Improved!” quilt

And, just to end on a positive note, let me repeat that mostly the improvisations DO work out well, like this one:

Improvised slab quilt

I cut up the yellow-orange slabs and inserted blue

Have a good week!

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