Friday, January 4, 2008


Is there anything better than taking a few days off from the day job to focus on the work I really love? And, my timing couldn't have been better to finally pick up a copy of Vikki Pignatelli's Quilting by Improvisation. I love this book!

Vikki's technique involves drawing patterns onto freezer paper, cutting out one piece at a time, and assembling the pieces onto stabilizer. Then, everything is topstitched together, quilted, and finished. I really do feel like I can create my own original designs without worrying about piecing problems.

The first project I completed from the book was a copy of Vikki's design, "My Star Dances." I haven't added the hanging sleeve yet, so it all looks a little crooked, but it's not.

The second project I completed from the book was a poppy piece. I had a little problem at one of the curves--I thought I could straighten this little pucker out with the iron, but was mistaken. Lesson learned: make sure every curve is clipped correctly and fully! I sewed washers to the back to hang the piece, which worked well.

I was a little intimidated by this book at first, because there's a lot of text that has to be carefully read. My tech writer training often leads me to skip directly to the numbered instructions, but that's not a good idea with this book. Much of the important information is buried in the text, so I recommend taking the time to read everything thoroughly before starting a project. You'll probably feel completely overwhelmed as I did, but once I started actually working on the pieces I was amazed not only by easy the techniques really were, but by how fast these pieces went together!

What really inspires me is that I've been able to so quickly take the ideas in the book and apply them to a project that I was stuck on. A few months ago, I printed a photo of one of our back-yard baby birds onto fabric and hung it on my design board. It's been staring reproachfully at me ever since, but I had no idea what to do with it. Once I completed these projects, I knew exactly what to do with it! I've finished the quilt top and need to quilt and finish it. Stay tuned: the finished piece may be the topic of my next post!


Quilt Pixie said...

The poppy piece is wonderful -- I love the curves of the leaves and the petals... and the texture of the centre is to die for :-)

Eve said...

Love the spontaneous feel of these projects!

I'm not one for reading all the instructions...until I get stuck :)