Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Inspiration: Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers

Lucie Summers - Garden Wall quilt

Yesterday was spent polishing up my article for Popular Patchwork on Lucie Summers.  Lucie is the author of the new-ish book ‘Quilt Improv’ and I just love the way her book looks.

Reading through it, I had a revelation.  There is a name for the style of patchwork I most like to make.  All this time I’ve been striving to be a perfect corners type of quilter has been wasted.  I’m not that type of quilter.  I’m actually a quilt improviser and that is totally acceptable.  As Lucie listed out in her book what makes a quilt improv, I found myself nodding in agreement.  I’ve always hated instructions which state ‘First cut 336 2x4in blue rectangles’.  I think that is why I’ve never really made a quilt from a book – it just puts me off.  At least if I design it, I can try and fool myself that I’m not really cutting 336 identical units by not cutting them all in one go and having blocks at varying stages of production. 

Lucie Summers - sample blocks
So what is quilt improv?  Using the fabric you have; not worrying about matching points or corners; working intuitively rather than slavishly following your pattern or initial design idea.  This sounds exactly like what I do!  Of course as Lucie states, this is not an excuse for shoddy workmanship; the quality of workmanship still needs to be high.

After this fantastic revelation, the rest of the book was a joy to read.  Lucie shares her own style of improv techniques and then walks you through the process of making a number of quilts this way.  Some reviews of this book on Amazon have missed the point and said the instructions for copying the quilts were not good enough.  The whole point is to show the process, not to exactly copy her quilts.  I love that the book shows her original inspiration and first sketches as well as the final quilt.  It really helps explain the process.
Quilt Improv by Lucie Summers, published by F&W Media

If you are looking for a gorgeously photographed book to take you away from creating traditional quilts, without being scary, I would definitely recommend this book. You can find out more about the book at





Frieda Oxenham said...

I loved it too!

Margaret Cooter said...

Brilliant - sensible - exciting - inspiring!

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