The material we use when we start sewing improv, can have a consequence on the resulting work.

For example, I’ve noticed that the size of the fabric I group on my sewing table as a fresh start, occasionally influences the piecing mesh I will finally execute.
Do I have available large yard stash?
Do I prefer to handle medium pre-cut strips?
Do I recover all tiny-piece leftovers having the same colour of the planned palette?
For me, the initial input sometimes happens to remain embedded in the coming composition, such as: in the tessellation scale, in the shapes elongation… even if at the beginning there was no intention for it.

May small gestures subtly create recurrence?

Recurrence easily translates into repetitions.
Repeated gestures are a very natural element for improv quilting.
The act of piecing and sewing has its own rhythm that is reflected in the resulting image; the more repetition is effortless, the better uniformity is achieved, so that the flow of composition stays mirrored in the fabric without hiccups.

Sometimes I ask myself if I can keep repetitions regular for a long time.

If unity of time, space and subject is adopted during piecing (as in Aristotle’s drama rules!), my resulting texture remains uniform. If, on the contrary, my top piecing is interrupted by other projects, and re-started after some mind changes, then fabric may play unexpected tricks. Some extra-feature slips in, changing the mark-making act…
For example, it took me one year to complete “Dam”. When I started, I allowed sewing line to follow scrap border irregularity. Months later, I introduced a straightening cut to each block. Only later I understood that, from that moment on, all the composition took a turn.

How will I deal with #blueimprovrepetition challenge? I still need to start, but I can already look at the examples from quilters who joined us, and have shown their progress. I can peek on sewing gestures taking place in sites upper than Northern Polar Circle, in Australia, in Chile, in Russia, USA and so on…
I can’t wait to be with them!

2 thoughts on “Connected gestures

  1. MariaPaz Avalos says:

    I agree with you, Paola. I like to consider small pieces of fabric and others a bit bigger from my stash for an improv project. I will interrupt my project because of other responsabilities and I hope I will keep the ideas in mind. I haven’t felt the flow this time. Sometimes, I look at it and think I’m not being too improvisational. Let’s see what happens when I’m back into it. Good sewing 🧵

    • Paola Machetta says:

      Hello Maria Paz, thank you for your comment! Using repetitions sometimes looks more modern than improv, we’re aware that this game can take such direction, no problem for that. I agree with your wish to be guided by what you like! Good sewing to you, too.

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