Lu Summers’ Quilt Improv

I was excited when I was asked to be part of the blog hop for Lu Summer’ new book Quilt Improv.  It’s a delightfully colorful and playful book that focuses on Improvisational piecing of all types.  And it’s extra fun to offer a copy of Lu’s Book to one lucky winner.

I’m not going to lie…Improv piecing is difficult for me.  I know, I know…it should be easier because there is no stress about matching points.  It is freeing.  But for a type A personality like me, I find myself a bit at sea sometimes.  So a book like this is a perfect guiding point for me.  It is full of plenty of eye candy and ideas.

So I decided to tackle a project inspired by one of Lu’s Quilts, Farm Building.

I was really drawn to the use of mixed solids improv pieced in particular.  Lu has a helpful sketch too that was a good jumping point for me to design my own quilt.

I started with purples…all solids (I set my beloved prints aside) and worked with tiny strips of fabric cut with very slight angles.

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

I am probably the most rigid improv quilter out there, so I couldn’t let go of all control and just throw together the fabrics.  I wanted balance with lights and darks, and that takes some thought for me.

Then I moved onto oranges…

 Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

and then realized I had a beautiful Heather Bailey fabric that tied together my current colors and needed some more.

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

So then greens came in and lastly creams.  I deviated from Lu’s design by only using heavily pieced sections and not dividing it up with solids.  It was just a personal preference of mine and how I felt my piece had the most balance.

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

Quilting was a big decision for me, but with the help of pals on IG I got some ideas percolating.  I ultimately decided on straight line improv quilting that was “perpendicular”  to the piecing of each section.  I quilted each section separately with a matching top thread.

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

I didn’t want to lose the detail and interest of the piecing, and I think that this quilting is true to the nature of the piecing.  Although admittedly once again, I was pretty planned in my “improv” quilting.  Hey, you can’t change overnight!

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

I bound it in the perfectly matching random polka dot which I love for adding a new shape (circles) to the visual of the quilt while also keeping all the colors pulled together.

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

It’s a small quilt for me at around 36″ x 45″, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the piecing with too many sections.  This way I can focus on each color and the subcolors. It will either be a wall hanging or a baby quilt.  I haven’t decided where this one should end up.  Suggestions?!

Lu Summers' Quilt Improv

162 thoughts on “Lu Summers’ Quilt Improv”

  1. Your improv quilt is gorgeous! I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who has to plan and control everything 🙂 I guess the book would be a great help to me, too! Thanks for a chance to win.

  2. It sounds like it should be easy and fun to break the rules and do what you want, but improv does not come easy to me. I like the look of other quilters' improv work, but am struggling to find my own way to accomplish it.

  3. You did a great job on your quilt. How about making it a table topper or wall hanging? Quilting Improv sounds intriguing. Might be just the thing to get me out of my "box".

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  5. I completely identify with you on your quilting and hard to be open to improv. I see it and love it, but I don't imagine myself doing it. And look what you did! Inspiring. I love it. Great great job.

  6. I totally understand you being at sea sometimes with improv quilting. I'm totally with you and haven't even attempted it myself – YET! This would be a perfect book for me to give it a try. Thank you for having the courage to not only it a whirl but also to blog about it. You are a champ. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, too.