Linda (Flourishing Palms), formerly from Des Moines and a founding member of our Modern Quilt Group, commented on my previous Bee post. "How nice to see that you're working on improv... well, a sort of improv. It's what I'm most interested in these days, and what I don't do well. I've learned that it's more difficult to learn improv after dozens of years making planned patterns."
Thank you Linda (and I think you are too hard on yourself!), now I am thinking about improv and what it means to me. This Kelp block starts with designated strip sets described in the Rossiecrafts tutorial. The cuts and arrangements are up to the quilter. So maybe we could call this one improvisation with defined constraints.
Improvisation, for me, means designing intuitively, according to my own aesthetic. The end product can't be visualized from the beginning.
In The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters Sherri Lynn Woods says "improv is about exploring, not explaining. It's about finding your own way and making your own decisions through noticing your own preferences and patterns of mind."
Quilt pattern writing has filled Modern Quilt Relish's time for the past six years. It has been about designing beautiful projects that can be sewn step by step, by other quilters. Our patterns and books lead to design exploration, such as the use of value and color in fabric choices, but with the necessary framework provided for completing a particular quilt.
So this tiny bit of improv is refreshing. Intuitive decision making is liberating. I hope to expand on the bits I've done in the past.
|The completed Kelp block is longer than the 65" requested. |
There is extra background sewn to either end.
This way Eva Marie can shift the block a bit to give her some design leeway!
|The block was so long I was curious what a panorama photo would yield. |
In spite of the typical curved distortion, I really kind of like
the possibilities for future pictures.
|My favorite portion of the block.|