Cheryl Arkison made this improv quilt and gave it the great name Your Parents Are Cool. The quilt keeps a great balance of looseness and structure with the different improvisation blocks put in the arrangement of a grid of blocks.
1. What is your favorite thing about improv piecing?
I often start a project without a finished product in mind. I grab a pile of fabric, attack it with an idea or concept (or not), then start sewing. Just to see where it goes. Improv is about process for me more than the final product or design. I believe in relishing and sharing the process, not just the final product. So, improv is perfect for a process oriented person like me.
Working your improv skills also means that you can handle the hiccups that come when you are a few blocks short of a planned design, when you run out of background fabric, or another colour begs to be included. If you’ve practiced improv piecing regularly you can handle these hiccups without hesitation.
What do you think makes this quilt modern?
2. This isn’t a traditional block design. When I first made it I hadn’t seen it anywhere before. Is it possible that I made something original? (Barring the inspiration, of course.)
Floating the graphic elements on the white background, with no extra sashing brings a modern element to the design. Bright colours and a spare setting add to that.
What inspired this quilt?
3. The quilt was completely inspired by the nursery decorations my BIL and SIL painted as they prepped for their first baby. I hadn’t found a good concept for this baby quilt, and felt lots of pressure to produce something very cool for them. When they sent photos of the paint job they did in the nursery the proverbial light bulb went off. I didn’t keep it precise like their graphic, but stuck with my favourite improv piecing to get it together.