TMQG Improv & Color Challenge

We are excited to share the entries for our guild challenge! Members were asked to create an improv quilt where color placement plays a role in the design, or just create an improv quilt, or just create a block based modern quilt where color placement plays a role in the design. Play with color, play with improv, play with both – but most importantly, have fun! (Read more about the challenge.)

Our challenge entries were shared in our October guild meeting. We now encourage members to review all the quilts, read through the artists statement and then choose their Viewer’s Choice favorite! (Scroll to bottom to find link for member voting.)


Beyond the Fence by Amy Allen @AmyAllenSoulArt

12″ x 16″

I usually use bright tropical colors, and I’m especially drawn to a cool palette. I challenged myself with color choices on this by using more warm colors and red! It was interesting and fun to play with these. Another new challenge was deciding how to quilt the center blocks that have some much movement and busyness going on.


Fallen Boundaries by Ariana Nester @sewdarnscrappy

34″ x 21.5″

Throughout the process of creating “fallen boundaries” I felt as though I was setting up rules to work within, and then allowing myself to break those rules. Beyond being a challenge with improvisation and color placement, I used this quilt to push my own skill limitations by working with organic curves and circles, which I had not explored previously. When it came to quilting this project a combination of stitching in the ditch, walking foot, and free-motion were utilized. Once again free-motion was a new challenge and has opened up new creative possibilities for my craft. The initial design was a variation on a project presented in the book “Inspiring Improv” by Nicholas Ball but quickly took on a life of its own. The resulting quilt is delightfully playful with seductive texture and life.


Feeling the Blues by Michelle Wilke @Ml_wilkie

23″ x 21″

Mental health is important and realizing when you need a break from your day to day can sometimes difficult. This quilt “Feeling the blues” was created when taking such a break. It helped me spur creativity and feel less melancholy.

Inspiration for this improvisational piece was paper collage. I used all scraps from selvedges to solids to flour sacks. I used a quilt-as-you go method to make this improv styled quilt.


Fractured Circles by Pat Cummins @peacockcreekdesigns

22″ x 26″

Starting from our quilt challenge: to use improv and/or color in a small quilt, I decided to include improv piecing of chartreuse fabric scraps against a contrast of solid black fabric. My original plan to use circles in the design morphed into breaking the circles apart into interesting shapes. I used hand quilting with pearle cotton in two colors to define and complete the partial circle shapes, as well as to add additional circles to the overall design.


Green by Gretchen Kemmer

33.5″ x 34.5″

I wanted to use up my green scraps.


Hot and Cold Scraps by Collette Kinane

12″ x 12″

I had a vision of intersecting hot and cold colors with an interesting black and white background. I limited myself to my scrap pile, which worked well for my hot and cold focus, but may have been too limiting for the background I had envisioned (would have been much better if I had a solid black). I specifically wanted to use this challenge to force myself to practice working with points since I always find myself cutting them off. By the end I think I figured out the trick of it.


I Believe in Dragons by Patty Dudek @elmstreetquilts

17″ x 17″

My intent when starting my improv project was to only use scraps of blue solid fabric. I really loved the first two all blue blocks but found the rest of the blocks too boring. So I started cutting them apart and adding bits of orange. When it came time to arrange the blocks into one larger block, the quilt felt too busy with no place for the eye to rest. The resulting layout suggests movement and (at least to me) looks a bit like a dragon flying through the air.

As I reflect on my quilt, it represents the sameness of my days (especially because I’m staying home so much during this pandemic) and the bits of orange are the small differences to sameness of my days that make me happy – be that a picnic lunch, a wonderful swim, or meeting a friend for tea.


Modern Landscapes by Jane Herlihy @herlihyjane

26″ x 33″

I’ve always enjoyed the rhythm of bargello patterns. Here I alternated strips from two bargello-type strip sets. If you really use your imagination, you might see sky, mountains, flowers, greenery and a lake.


Not Nature’s Colors by Gretchen Kemmer

17″ x 24″

I wanted to make a small quilt using my favorite Triadic combination of yellow, turquoise and magenta. I found this pattern called “Nature’s Colors” by Yvonne Porcella with colors I did not like at all. I think the colors I chose make it look very contemporary. It was a fun little puzzle to put together.


Pods by Vicki Price @piecetymes

22″ x 27″

It can feel very safe living inside a pod, but at some point it’s natural to want to emerge and explore. In this quilt, the limited color scheme and the quilting take the eye around and upwards, up and away.

This is my first improvisational quilt. Working without a plan, breaking the rules, spontaneously adding and subtracting are all very liberating. I broke out of my restrictive pod, stopped worrying about fixed grids and patterns or traditional color schemes. There is a flow that evolved as I stitched away, ripped and restitched, laughed, frowned, auditioned a dozen alternatives. So many ideas left over. I must do this again.


Rolling by Erin Bell

34.5″ x 36″

My design was driven by a desire to try piecing full circles, and by the three coordinating fabrics that I featured in the circles. The “ground” was my first effort at improvisational piecing.


Starburst by Robin Thomas @Rct_quilts

24″ x 33″

What does it look like when a star burst? I decided it looked like a rainbow where the colors rotated around the center. I quilted in a shadow because all that light has to cast a shadow in the heavens.


Aren’t these wonderful?

Ready to make your Viewer’s Choice?

Members, check your inbox for an email sent Sunday, October 10. It contains your unique member number which you will need to submit your vote. Voting closes Sunday, October 24. (Please email trianglemqg@gmail.com if you need us to resend your unique member number email.)

(Why do you have a unique number?  We want the voting to be anonymous – the person tallying up the results won’t know which unique number belongs to which member.  We also want to make sure someone doesn’t inadvertently vote twice!)

Ready? Click here to select your Viewer’s Choice!