Wonky improv is finished!

Ode to OrangeMy improv quilt is finally finished.  I decided to call it “Ode to Orange”. It’s only the 2nd quilt I will keep for myself.

On the shrubsAfter initial reservations about how it would look when I pieced all the improv blocks together, I’ve decided that I really like it. I think of each block as a little work of art – some of them have more than 20 individual pieces.Pink and orange block I fell in love with some of them all over again when I was hand stitching the binding.


You may remember the original concept was based on 3 key ideas:

  • predominant use of one colour in a warm palette
  • improv in style
  • log cabin(ish) blocks

I ended up straying from the concept a little along the way, but the overall quilt still contains those elements.


I like the way that the piecing has created a 3D effect in some blocks. I also used different types of fabrics, including some linen, in the border of each block to create a textured effect.Yello circles block

The fabrics I used are too numerous too mention (and I don’t know the name of some of them). My team at work gave me many of them as a gift last Christmas.Quarter view






Given the front is so “busy” I went for a minimally pieced back, although I kept the improv concept going and added some inserts to the sides.

Centre panel Ode to Orange




The centre panel on the back is an Alexander Henry fabric called Fairyland.

I’m not into fairies, but I just loved the colours when I saw this fabric and bought it not knowing what I would use it for.  I think it works well as the back.Back ode to OrangeI quilted it by stitching in the ditch for the big 12″ blocks, and then again around some of the individual pieces in each block.  This has created abstract patterns on the back of the quilt.  I must admit quilting is my least favourite of the process and I’m not very good at it.

I’m going to send a photo to Gwen Marston as she inspired me to do more improv when I attended one of her workshops.  It’s nowhere near her standards, but I hope she won’t mind!On the bench


4 thoughts on “Wonky improv is finished!

  1. !!! I bought the fairies, too, just 2 weeks ago while in New Mexico! When I saw them I thought, “I’m not into fairies, but …” I only bought a half yard but should get two nice cuts from it. I plan to use them as centers of medallion quilts. You used it very well and the colors framing it are perfect. Thanks for the inspiration.

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