About Those Improv Blocks…

Back in 2019 I made up my own improvisational block challenge. When the blocks were done, though, I decided it was going to be difficult to put them all together in one quilt. I had chosen coordinated fabrics but used all the colors from the collection, among other problems.  Of course it was intended as a learning experience, and I learned that I should restrict my color options when I experiment with just a few blocks!

Here are all the blocks together:

And just for comparison, here is a more recent series of improvisational blocks in which I did limit the colors:

So I learned, which is good, but then those 2019 blocks have been sitting around for a while. OK, almost 4 years.

I’ve decided to use the 2019 blocks in a series of small pieces that I quilt by hand. This not only gives the blocks something to do but also gives me something to do with my hands during meetings.

Here’s the first piece so far.

The funny thing is that many people at meetings have asked, “What is it? A table runner?” And when I say, “Art” they just look puzzled.

And a lot of times art is puzzling, so I’m good with that 😀

I do need to find a local art quilt group to join, though. Any suggestions?

11 thoughts on “About Those Improv Blocks…

  1. I sure understand the challenge of putting together improv blocks that are all the same size! Of course it’s easy to just join them together, or sash them together, but to get a “look” that matches the improv-ness of the blocks, more thought is required. I took a class a half-dozen years ago with Lee Heinrich, who taught precisely about that – Alternate Gridwork. It’s a method for coming up with a block layout that’s non-traditional because of asymmetry, and/or differences in the scale of blocks. I learned so much! It’s definitely do-able to make a layout apropos to your blocks. And, as you’ve shown, another method for using them is as small works of art. Some people even mount those small pieces onto canvas. I hope you find an art group as you desire.

  2. My attempt at improv didn’t work out because I also used too many colors that were distractive when pieced together. I do love your improv quilt with curves and straight lines. I still shy away from piecing curves.
    As for art blocks, I am all for this form of art. I find the stitching to be a calming activity. I have a box (es) of stitched blocks. I, too, am looking for a fabric art group. Maybe we should start our own… 😉

  3. Before I scrolled down to see your solution, I asked myself what I would do with those blocks. I thought I would make more blocks, with different color combinations — like putting the maroon and orange together with small strips of navy, slicing up the turquoise and blue stripe and adding in the khaki, etc.

    Not saying that would be THE solution, but it would have been the one that first popped into my head. And then I would still have had to face the issue of how to put them all together.

    I think they will look good as art pieces. I love hand stitching!

    • I like your idea. If the blocks hadn’t been packed away through 2 moves…which is to say if I hadn’t procrastinated! Ha! Thanks for taking the time to consider another option 🙂

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