Monday, August 1, 2011

Thoughts on improvisational piecing

I am loving the improvisational piecing in this quilt, which is "Nate's Quilt" from Malka Dubrawski's Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration.

Things I am learning:
  1. The look might be random, but there's a ton of planning that goes into that look.
  2. The build might be wonky, but there's a lot of skill that goes into building the wonkiness.  (I need to work on this part.)
  3. There are many degrees of randomness and wonkiness, between quilters and within quilts.  (Take a look at Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejniek's Block Party--The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects for examples.)
Questions I'm considering:
  1. Can there be too much wonk?  (I think the answer is, sometimes, but it can be balanced with similar wonk elsewhere in the same quilt.  I had help with this question from a more experienced quilter.)
  2. Where can I find fabric that is not quilting cotton to quilt and sew with?  Linen, silk, good corduroy, wool suiting?  (I am not impressed with what I find at the chain stores.)  There is one store in our town that carries some of these things, but are there other sources?  I am not against ordering online, but I prefer to see and touch what I am buying.
  3. Where can I find other quilters who are interested in modern quilting?  One answer would be to take a class, but I not had good experiences in knitting classes I have taken and worry that a quilting class would be similar.  I would rather spend my money on good fabric and books.