Liberating, yes but also a bit unnerving and with a lot of potential for frustration. When I went to Quilt Con I was particularly interested in the Gee's Bend quilts and their improv style. It just appeals to me and whenever I google Gee's Bend quilts I never tier of looking at them. Yet I find it strange that this burning desire doesn't lead me to obsessive improv piecing.
So when I attended the workshop with the lovely Gee's Bend Ladies I knew I was forced for 3 hours to improv piece. It was a strange 3 hours to say the least. All they said was "Sew!" and that was it. I was fine with that given that I have a little bit of experience with it but it lead to some frantic piecing by all participants. Hardly anybody looked right of left and I had the impression that everybody put their head down to produce as much as possible. In a way that was also creative as we worked against the clock.
I took some old denim, cotton from my father's work trousers (he is a baker and still baking at 73 in our bakery) and a whole bunch of Oakshott I had lying around plus some old linen and some text fabric. The outcome was this:
Please excuse the bad image quality as it was taken with my phone. I was ok with it but not thrilled. I liked the yellow small squares intersected with my checkered work trousers fabric best but the rest was just...well....
After that I went home and put it all away for a few weeks. I took it out the other day and started looking at it and then decided to undo most of it and cut some of the larger pieces up again only to sew them back together in a different way. If you don't like it, just cut it up ! That is the beauty of improv.
The outcome is this:
And this I like very much now. I love the dark petrol strips in between as I feel they combine the individual parts. It needs more denim for sure and I have other pieces that I created since and those that are left from the cutting up that should go into it.
It's a piece in progress that I will put away again for a few weeks and see then where it leads me to.