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Improv Patchwork


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Table of Contents

Contents Start Where You Are My Journey as a Quiltmaker Your Journey To Developing a Quiltmaking Practice How to Use this Book The Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Being a Maker Tips on Being a Fearless Quiltmaker Space and Tools Quality Tools Sewing Machines A Short Discussion about Space Finding the Perfect Iron Color, Pattern, and Repetition Color Basic Color Theory Color from a Quilter's Perspective Four Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Color Sense Value Building a Color Palette Print, Pattern, and Repetition Finding Quality Solid Fabrics Search Garage Sales, Thrift Stores, and Ebay Buy Commercial Quilter's Cottons Dye Your Own Tips on Being Fearless with Color Ruler-Made Stripes The Simple Stripe Fabric Prep Cutting Stripes Stitching Stripes Designer StripesCreating Recipes for Ruler-Made Stripes Working with a Ruler-Made Stripe Piecing off the Grid Press Like a Professional Mat-Made Stripes Preparing and Cutting Mat-Made Stripes Controlling Wonkiness in Mat-Made Stripes Ruler-Made Stripes versus Mat-Made Stripes Short Row StripesAnother Fun Stripe to Make Tips for Cutting and Sewing without Rulers Mat-Made Stripes Quilt Ideas Polka Dots Classic Polka Dot Multi-Colored Polka Dots Polka Dot Stripes Polka Dot Quilt Ideas Triangles Triangles Made with Lines Isosceles Triangles Made from Shapes Half-Square Triangles / Right Angle Triangle Rulers Perfect Pinning Triangle Quilt Ideas Chevrons, Herringbones, and Zigzags Chevrons Herringbones Zigzags Chevron, Herringbone, and Zigzag Quilt Ideas Checks, Tracks, and PlaidsThe Ultimate Linear Print Checks, Ginghams, Plaids, and Tartans Defined Checks Lattice Checks Regular Checks Tracks Plaids Resources About the Author

About the Author

While Maria Shell's work is firmly grounded in the craft of quiltmaking, she uses her years of experience to create surprising combinations of pattern, repetition, and color. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Maria lives in Anchorage, Alaska.


Contemporary quiltmaker Shell specializes in prints made from combining solid fabrics into stripes, polka dots, plaids, and other common patterns. Her first book walks quilters through the various techniques used for creating these prints, many of which involve freehand fabric cutting and improv-style -assembly. Each chapter explores the creation and use of a different print type, beginning with simple ruler-made and mat-made -(freehand) stripes, and proceeding through polka dots (small, repetitive prints), triangles and other triangle-based prints such as chevrons and herringbones, and linear prints such as checks, tracks, and plaids. Samples from Shell's work are included throughout, demonstrating the vibrant designs that can be made from each of the component prints. VERDICT Shell's work echoes traditional American improvisational folk quilting and will appeal to quilters interested in exploring color and pattern via one-of-a-kind patchwork.--Library Journal, 11/15/2017
We've been waiting for this gorgeous book. Maria Shell lets the reader into her process and creative mind in the confines of a colorful read. She writes, 'With your heart, you bring the essence of yourself into your work.' Maria definitely embodies this in her artwork. Her method comes alive as she reveals first her journey, her favorite tools, and how she arranges her studio. She explains how she chooses color for her quilts--and offers tips to get the contrast and complements just right. Lessons for making prints out of solids follow with well-illustrated, step-by-step instructions, This book allows the reader to dive into the vibrant world of Maria's improvisationally pieced artwork, see art quilts through her eyes, and provides encouragement to adapt her techniques to your own vision.--Quilting Arts, December 2017/January 2018
Maria demonstrates an exceptionally well thought out approach to improvisational piecing and use of color. Through study and practice she developed a system for creating what she calls 'prints made from solid fabrics.' Even a beginning quilter could follow her lead and successfully create uniquely personal pieced designs. Quilters wishing to create or improve their own improvisational designs will be well served by Maria's clear instructions and uplifting approach.--Machine Quilting Unlimited, January/February 2018
There's a lot of talk about improv quilting but not all of us are confident enough to achieve the improv look. This book shows you how to cut and combine solid-colour fabrics to create your own 'prints', including stripes, polka dots, chevrons, checks, and more. Maria Shell encourages us to forget the rules (and even your ruler) as you piece colourful solids into compelling quilt designs.--Today's Quilter, 31

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