A Little Improv Is Good For The Soul

Most of the projects I am working on right now are older ideas moving towards a finish.  And large.  Some days it feels like I just keep sewing but nothing is happening.  Have you ever felt that way?  I don’t really want to start a new BIG project, because it would just feel like more of the same.


So, when Young Son brought home this mug, spoils from helping a nearby family  move, it sparked my interest.  It looked like a mug in need of a rug, or a potential snack in need of a mat.  “Can I borrow that for a while?” I asked, “It looks like it needs a quilt.” Good boy (young man) that he is, he handed over the mug and didn’t ask too many questions.


I knew right away what the back would be, this scrap of fish fabric.

But, what to do with the front?


I had Sparkle Jane, who is doing very well but still largely confined to the couch, sort out some likely scraps.  Perhaps just because I was in a creative funk I decided to try some improv piecing.  Very out of my normal.


So, I stripped together a rough rectangle, then sliced three angles and filled them with 1″ blue fabric, then created this sort of wave at the bottom and attached a brown piece.  Sort of sun shine through a landscape.  Maybe. I am trying not to over-think it. Finished size is approximately 6-1/2″ x 10-1/2″.


I still consider myself a traditional quilter, mostly using geometric, precise (or trying to be) blocks, though people have classified some of my quilts as modern.  But, this small improv piece was fun and freeing.  No worry about perfection or matching or creating some great thing.  Just a little gift for my son.


He seems to like it.  But claims that it definitely needs a snack to go with it.  Better go take care of that part.

14 thoughts on “A Little Improv Is Good For The Soul

  1. You make me smile. Yes, sometimes I feel that way. I just keep sewing and it feels like I will never get to the end. I wonder though how in the world do you find the time to do all the projects that you post! How many hours a day do you put in on average? All so a check will be coming for the seam ripper. Smiles, from Me

  2. Very cute! I like shifting between traditional and modern. And add my “yes” to the never-ending project feeling. Even worse that big projects are “small” ones that also take 1-10 times longer than allotted to them.

  3. how clever!!! I love the non traditional look of it and it matches the mug perfectly—like you planned it!!! I have an awful time getting myself to try something like that but once in awhile I do..it doesn’t usually turn out to please me though..but I do like that..methinks a chocolate chip cookie would be perfect beside it—to match the spots on the fish of course!!!!

  4. Sooo Cute!! I find it is ALWAYS best to give way and allow those “funky moments” to come alive. You will always get something good out of them. As for your projects in progress I know all too well what you mean. I’m on a self imposed ban from starting any new project that is not absolutely necessay because when I did an honest inventory I found I had 27 things started in various techniques! When I get to less than 10 I can treat myself to 1 new project. sometimes i seem like such a tough taskmaster…..

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