Eryn Pinwheel improv

My friend, Malka Dubrawsky, is getting ready to film a class on Creative Live called "Ten Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting." Are you familiar with Creative Live? It's a great platform to learn so many new creative things. You can watch classes for free while they are streaming the live filming – this allows you to participate from the comfort of your own home. You can post questions that the instructors answer and, because the classes also have a live in studio audience, you get the benefit of listening in on some discussion, too. And if you can't make the class while it is streaming, you can purchase it to watch when you have the time to devote to it. Cool, huh?

Demo windows variation window pillow

Malka's class is next week (October 8 and 9) and I am so excited to watch it. I have been a long-time admirer of her work and find it to be incredibly inspiring. I know that this class will be a treasure trove of good tips and a great jumping off point for my own work. Malka has an amazing eye for color and pattern and her approach to quilting is fresh and modern. And I'm doubly excited because I love improvisational quilting. There are so many ways to approach this fun technique and I'm looking forward to how Malka approaches it in her own work and how I can take what I learn and apply it to my work.

Liberty improv pieceing

As a little warm up yesterday, I decided I would do an hour of improvisational piecing. Looking around the studio for some raw materials, I found a small pile of narrow (1") Liberty scraps. I sewed strips in sets of three and then chopped them apart. I pulled a fat quarter of pink crossweave cotton from my stash and cut some random strips and started adding them. The first block got two strips of pink on adjacent sides. I really liked the way that looked, so I kept doing the same thing. When the hour was up, I stopped. I'm not sure where this is going (mini quilt, maybe?), or even if I will continue to do anything with it, but I walked away very pleased with what I had done. I especially like the idea of taking small, almost unusable pieces and combining them to make something with greater substance.

There is nothing that recharges my creative batteries like improvisational quilting. The freedom, the spontaneity, the quick decisions, the play  – all those things that happen when I am sewing fabric together without over-planning and over-thinking – are so freeing. I am continuously looking at quilting in a new light when I improv. It's inspiring when it's good AND when it's bad so regardless of the actual, tangible results, I always walk away with something good – a possibility, an idea, or, heck, even a quilt. Win-win.

I hope you take the opportunity to learn from Malka. Creative Live is generously offering a copy of Malka's class to one of my readers. To enter, please comment on this post before Sunday, October 5 at 5pm EST. I'd love to hear if you improv quilt and, if so, why. You can also follow along on the rest of the blog tour to hear more about how other quilters are inspired by improvisational piecing and quilting. Good luck!

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