Journey into Curved Improv

In April, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend my first American Quilt Society’s Show in Paducah.  The event was packed full of inspiring quilts and quilt lovers of all kinds.  During the event, I attended a class called Stacks of Improvisation led by Brenda Gael Smith.  She is such a talented artist and patient teacher.  I really enjoyed the class with her. Take a look at an online gallery of her work here.

During the class, I tried my hand at a variety of techniques, but this project was my favorite.


I think I am going to turn this into a modern baby quilt and donate it to a regional children’s hospital.  Overall, the class and this project was a lot of fun.  We learned an amazing method for cutting curves and piecing them together without pins.  Brenda offers a variety of workshops around the world and even has some free tutorials online.  I especially like her non-binding finishing techniques.  My first quilt show was great fun and I can’t wait to go again next year!

As for improv and curved piecing – I really enjoyed the technique.  It was liberating to just cut, sew and see what kind of creation emerged, but it is very different.  With each project I had no idea what the end product would look like until I had it pieced and ironed.  I will definitely try it again, but I’m not eliminating more traditional piecing methods from my projects any time soon.

What about you?  How do you feel about improv piecing?  Is it a technique you enjoy or do you prefer to follow more traditional methods?


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