a crafty life: quilt improv by Lucie Summers

Whenever I’ve made quilts in the past I’ve never been satisfied with my efforts. The corners didn’t match or my squares weren’t all the same size. This is all down to my inability to measure and cut accurately and because I am definitely not a perfectionist. I had decided quilting wasn’t really for me.

Quilt Improv has just changed my mind. It doesn’t call for perfection. Block not the right size? Just add another strip or trim it down. All your squares can be different sizes, your points don’t have to match. Run out of fabric? Use something else. Improvise. But improv doesn’t mean sloppy. As the author, Lucie Summers, points out, you still produce a carefully stitched and beautifully made quilt.

quilt improv by lucie summers
At the beginning of the book Lucie describes how to make the different blocks (including her award-winning porthole design) used in the book. Then she takes us through several finished quilts (which are stunning) where she describes her inspiration and thought-process behind each one as well as the piecing map. However the idea isn’t that you perfectly replicate each quilt but use them as a jumping off point for your own designs, using your favourite fabrics and gathering inspiration from around you. The last section of the book covers the all important techniques such as how to quilt and bind the finished piece.The text is clear and easy to read (even after a day wrangling a toddler when my shortsighted eyes have gone to bed without me) and the instructions very easy to follow with plenty of diagrams and photos.

I’ve been thinking that it’s about time I made Emily a quilt in time for the chillier weather that comes with fall and winter and this is all the inspiration I need. If you’re interested in quilting but have been intimidated by all the “rules” then this is the book for you. Experienced quilters will find oodles of inspiration too. I’m desperate to get started. Now if only Emily would take a nap…

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