Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Lucie Summers‘ book Quilt Improv from F & W Media. I ordered this book the moment it was published and I have been meaning to post about it, so I’m glad to finally sit down and tell you about it! I’ve been a big fan of Lu’s screenprinted fabric designs for years and I was thrilled when I discovered that we were both designing for Moda a few years ago. She’s hilarious in person and I love the work she’s been doing with quilt improvisation.
Quilt Improv first teaches various techniques that you can use in your improvisational quilts, with simple visual instructions as shown below. Above, you can see the mini-quilts that Lucie made using the techniques covered in the book. Once you have learned the techniques, you can move on to make the quilts.
For each of the twelve quilts in the book, Lucie talks about her inspiration, followed by the process from sketching and planning to execution. She loosely plans her work before she begins, but is free to make changes during the process; this freedom is the fundamental key to making improvisational quilts. It allows you the ability to be creative and spontaneous, add new colors or patterns, make changes to your layout or add a new design element to your quilt. Here’s her Bricks and Fences quilt below:
And a bit of the inspiration and process for the design:
You can make the quilts as she shows them in the book or you can use the book as a foundation for your own designs. For those of you who may not yet feel comfortable with improvisational style, you will get instructions to make the quilts as shown, but you can add your own fabrics and color palette to create something wholly unique. The photography in the book is beautiful and the instructions are clear and simple.
So step outside your quilt box and make something interesting! Get Quilt Improv here, head over to Lucie’s blog for a chance to win a book and a mini-quilt, and take a look at her Etsy shop. See the other stops on the blog tour here.
Head over to Chronicle Books’ facebook page to see the free pattern for my Rail Fence Tote, excerpted from 1, 2, 3 Quilt. A super-quick and easy bag to make as a gift or for yourself! The rail fence pattern is a good introduction to quilting.
Now that I’m finished with Quilt Market, it’s been so good to just get in my sewing room and make something.
This is what I worked on over the weekend and I think my work might be getting a lot smaller! This piece is 9″ x 9 1/2″. I have no idea what I’ll do with this — maybe just frame it. But I think I’m going to be making many more tiny textured quilts, as I really love the improvisational process and small-scale. And I love monochromatic white, but it’s very difficult to photograph.
Here’s a quick Quilt Market wrap-up with photos. If you are familiar with the fabric world, you know that Quilt Market is a wholesale market for shops around the world to select fabric and supplies.
Here are some photos of my booth with Kokka. I made patchwork and quilted samples from 1, 2, 3 Quilt and Kokka made some amazing bags and pillows. This was my first time meeting the people from Kokka in person and they were incredibly gracious and accommodating. I also met many of you that I’ve only known online and it was so great to finally put a twitter handle with a real face!
You can see in the photos below a Geranium Dress and Ruby Dress designed by Rae Hoekstra (made by her talented assistant Jessica) and a Staple Dress designed and made by April Rhodes. I made some fluffy fabric ball flowers (fabric circles poked into a styrofoam ball, inspired by my friend Erin). I had the embroidery that I made for the cover of 1, 2, 3 Quilt on display, butterfly buttons, Dresden flowers, embroidery hoops and paper butterflies, along with bags and cute little snap pouches made by Kokka.
Here were some highlights from the show. Of course I loved the other Japanese fabrics (top below) in the Kokka booth, including the Fujiyoshi Brothers (print with the panda) and Echino (other two photos below).
Then there were many other amazing booths. Below are a few (clockwise from top left): Monaluna organic fabrics, the Botanics collection from Carolyn Friedlander, three of the designers from the new division of RJR, Cotton + Steel, Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics, and Cloud 9 Fabrics.
You can see more of my photos over on Instagram, including the bizarre animals of Quilt Market, which I found to be very entertaining when I got bored of sitting in my booth at the back of the convention floor. If you talked with me at Quilt Market, I’m sure I shared my enthusiasm about doing some new things with my next collection! So I left feeling inspired (and tired).
More of my Garden collection for Kokka. If you’re in Houston this weekend for Quilt Market, please stop by booth #1062! These are a couple of pillows I made from patterns in 1, 2, 3 Quilt.