Lucie's use of color, solids, prints and her bold designs speak to the very heart of me.
I was immediately impressed with her explanations on how to piece in an improv fashion. I love that there is a decided omission of exact measurements (she gives suggestions or approx measurements) for the most part. Which in turns frees up to the reader to be creative.
The arrangement of the book is genius, techniques and blocks listed in the front and then loads of quilt ideas/diagrams towards the back.
So let's get on with it. Here are a few questions I asked Lucie and then a quick project I made using one of the techniques she describes and teaches in her book.
Q:what sorts of things catch your eye as far as color and design? A:absolutely anything and everything! whenever we go somewhere as a family, i'm always being left behind because i'm taking photos of interesting things like old tiles and doors and graffiti and weeds and gutters! if i lost my phone and someone scrolled through my photos, they'd think i was awfully strange!
Q:what is your sewing process like? for example if you're sewing a block and you don't like the fabrics you used, do you go with it or start over? A:oh yes, if i don't like something it goes on a pile and i start again. i'm often experimenting, so if things don't go right, i don't mind because the 'mistake' has taught me something. and sometimes when i haven't seen a 'failed' block for a while, i've forgotten why i didn't like it and end up using it anyway. i reckon it has something to do with mood. lately, i've wanted to work in much calmer, quieter colours because that's the mood i'm in - perhaps linked to seasons? come the late spring/summer, i'll want to break out all the crazy colours and prints again!
Q:what inspires you the most?
A:i am like a magpie when it comes to colour, so sometimes the object itself isn't so interesting, but the way it's juxtaposed against another colour is what excites me.
Q:does anyone else in your family sew?
A:yes, i come from a line of women who sew in my family on my mother's side, but as i've got boys who don't seem interested in sewing, it looks like i might be the last! my nan (grandmother) made her own clothes and soft furnishings and was an amazing knitter. my aunts are both very creative sewers and my mum is a longarm quilter. she quilted many of the quilts in the book (although they're all just straight lines, which mum found quite hard, her work is usually much more flowy!)
(photo from Quilt Improv)
Q:I thought it was particularly intriguing that you've sketched out your improv quilts in your book. Can you tell me a bit about this since I always considered improv to be design as you go this is a new concept for me! Also, do you always sketch out your improv quilts before you start sewing?A:i don't always sketch out my designs before stitching, because yes, i totally agree that it kind of goes against the whole concept of improv. however, depending on my mood, i can sit and start a quilt with no idea what i am making which is wonderful and freeing. but more often the ideas are harder to come forth while i'm sitting staring at the sewing machine and i need a stroke of inspiration to get me in the mood so to speak! if this is the case, i like to play with doodles - really really simple stuff - that's sparked by exactly the kind of things i show in the book - a washing line coiled in a heap on the lawn, a stack of colourful boxes against a white background or the view out of my window. then i can just get on and stitch. sometimes the designs can move away from the original ideas and i think that it's really important not to be too rigid in sticking to them - to just let yourself go and see where the improv takes you. the second part of the answer is also this: writing a 'how-to' book about improv meant that i had to write instructions that were not daunting for readers to try and recreate - which meant showing workings for each of the quilts in the book, and yes, in this case i did draw out the designs before starting to make them.
I'm enamored by Lucie's portholes.
(photo from Quilt Improv)
So I decided to try them for myself.
I didn't use a template although she suggested one, but drew my portholes freehand and her technique worked like a charm!
So I made a porthole potholder.
If you're interested in reading more about Lucie's book, you can find more info at the Stitch Craft Create site, and here are the other blog hop participants and the dates of their posts!
Mon 16th – Summersville
Wed 18th – The Long Thread
Thur 19th – A Stitch In Dye
Fri 20th – Fresh Modern Quilts
Sun 29th – Quiltville’s Quips & Snips
Mon 6th – Diary of a Quilter
Wed 8th – Blueberry Park
Thur 9th – Sew Take a Hike
Fri 10th – Very Kerry Berry
Mon 13th – Sew Justine Sew
Wed 15th – Lily’s Quilts
Thur 16th – Cut To Pieces
Fri 17th – Happy Zombie
Mon 20th – Freshly Pieced
Tue 21st – Fresh Lemons Quilts
Wed 22nd – Crazy Mom Quilts
Thur 23rd – Gen X Quilters
Fri 24th – Handmade by Alissa
Mon 27th – Don’t Call Me Betsy
Tue 28th – I’m a Ginger Monkey
Wed 29th – Sew Mama Sew
TBC – Ryan Walsh Quilts