I chose to review Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela because I decided it is time I push my envelope as a quilter! After twenty-six years of quilting, I feel pretty comfortable with a wide variety of traditional quilting techniques and know I prefer my quilts scrappy. What I have not yet tried is improvisational quilting. After all the time practicing precise piecing and trying to perfect my skills, it is somehow intimidating to let loose and just sew and see what happens.
After perusing Artful Improv, with its sections on color recipes, building blocks, and free-motion quilting, I thought “I can do this!” My favorite section was Building Blocks of Improv Design because it broke down the design process into manageable units – like blocks in a more traditional quilt. These units include angled stripes, improv circles, improv blocks, curved strips, and inset strips. Also helpful was the Learning to Love Negative Space section. By the time I got to Putting it all Together and Quilt as Desired, I was feeling confident enough to try. Even the assortment of the author's favorite free-motion designs seemed doable.
I have gathered my solid fabrics in what I hope is a “modern palette” and am eager to get started. If you are thinking about trying out or improving your improvisational quilting skills, Artful Improv will be a helpful and inspiring resource for you too!