Before the launch of the new Quilt Improv Studio game, we proposed a poll to quilters interested to participate, in order to decide whether one or more shapes will be used during blue improv repetition challenge. The result was:
Thus, each participant shall decide which shape to use within the quilt.
Since that day, I’m thinking about the meaning of “shape”.
The first understanding of shapes goes back to childhood memories. Primary shapes are squares, rectangles, triangles, circles; many baby toys are made with such shapes, aimed to be inserted within holes, or as fancy buttons that sing varied tunes, or combined with meaningful colors. Our experience returns to these cubic blocks when we, as adults, play with babies on the floor, allowing that cylinders, balls and stars gather on the carpet and roll happily around.
When learning geometry rules at school, we understand that the shapes may be of many more types. Shapes are classified by the number of sides, and their names acquire complexity… who remembers what’s an icosahedron or a dodecahedron? Maybe the gems of the Seven Dwarfs can give an idea? And the irregular rhombus of a kite? And the symbols, the letters and so on? #@&%$! We live in an universe of shapes!
After those scattered experiences, we arrive to the question of today: which shape to use for our quilt?
I’m still thinking of that: I’m searching for the magic shape, that allows me to express the idea floating in my mind. Blue palette is ready, and the fabric I’ve collected is suggesting me a theme. Maybe I will change my mind during the improvisation process, but in this starting phase, I visualize a deep ocean, soft waves, swimming fish… a tropical and calm sea, fat and slim marine creatures, splashing around, like in a day dream…
Which form can render this?
Can I call a fish “a shape”? How many sides, straight and curved, are required then… if I can manage to sew it at all?
My background as a Math teacher brings me back to practicality: piecing and engineering needs prevail. I’ve decided: I’ll use four sided shapes. One rule, many possibilities for repetition and deformation… perfect for improv!
My list is done: good fabric, simple rules, evocative vision… am I ready to start? How easy is to translate fantasy into something real? The improvisation path is open… A populated ocean is free to evolve, and possibly turn into a sky filled with flying kites!
Let’s join the participants of the #blueimprovrepetition game, and you will see how the story goes on.