Facing Your Fears of Improv Quilting

encouragement improv Mar 23, 2021

The biggest challenge you will face in improv is starting. That is, overcoming any anxiety or picking a place to start.

Would you cross a high wire without a net? What about scaling a mountain face without a helmet and safety harness? Not likely. For many quilters, improvisational piecing feels about the same. It is scary stuff, making a quilt without a plan or pattern. But it doesn’t have to be.

The fear of improvisational piecing, or improv, comes from a couple of places. Some quilters like the order and structure of clear directions, some need to know what the outcome will be before they even start. Other quilters doubt their skills or believe that improv requires a brand of creativity that they don’t possess.

People want to know every single step it takes to go from a pile of fabric to a quilt top. I could photograph each step and describe them in detail, but that isn’t the point. Improv for each quilter is as unique as your handwriting. We each develop a rhythm and a style that is all our own.

What I, and any improv teacher can do, is teach you the general idea and give you the confidence to do your own thing. I can take on that anxiety, quell your fears, AND give you the skills to try new things. You don't need a safety net, you need a good teacher and a willingness to play.