Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making.
So I’ve been doing a search on the internet and have discovered a real lack of conversation about the nature of improvisational quilting.
In 2009 Tallgrass Prairie Studio started Project Improv:
The purpose of ‘project improv’, to support each other in our goal to quilt improvisationally, to quilt outside the lines and to find our own voice as quilters.
I applaud the effort, but with what results? If you participated in ‘project improv’ have you found your voice? Two years later I’m mostly seeing posts on ‘wonky’ log cabins.
Improv is not random, or off the cuff quilting. There is more to it than just grabbing pieces blindly and sewing them willy-nilly. It’s a practice of being present.
Others talk about an ‘improv style’. Improv isn’t a style of quilting. I believe improv is a process of discovery. More specifically self discovery.
Are there quilters out there who are discovering themselves through their craft? Or are you simply making pretty things for your home and following the crowd? If the latter is the case then making a wonky log cabin is a lovely, and perhaps fashionable thing to do. AND that’s ok.
But if quilt making is about finding your voice, discovering who you are and expressing it through your craft, then I encourage you to join me in considering what improv quilt making is really about. Let’s take ‘project improv’ to the next level.
So what IS improvisation? It can be lots of things! Let’s start by brainstorming the definition and see if we can move the conversation a little further.