Sunday, September 20, 2020

Replicating Improv

This was a lesson I needed to learn!  Replicating improv is no easy feat no matter how small or seemingly simple it appears!

I have been itching to do more improv for the past year.  With several larger projects finally finished and quilted (I'll share soon!), and a couple smaller ones for good measure what was one more to fit into the mix?!

When I was contacted through my Etsy Shop and asked if I could make a smaller version of a wall hanging I have listed, I decided it was a challenge I had to try.  Keep in mind the wall hanging was already pretty small at 10 1/4" square, but the request was for a smaller size measuring 6" square.  

6" x 6"

What I learned was you should never try to replicate an improv quilt!  For me, half the fun of improv is seeing where it takes me.  It's a feeling, a mood, a mindset that takes me on a journey.  I don't always know where it'll end up, but it's an adventure and I always love seeing the grand finale!

Inspiration plays a big role in improv.  Whether from your own idea or when you see someone else's.  It motivates me.  

All that being said, I finished that little mini quilt and I have to say it ended up being pretty close to the original.  As close as you can get with improv.  My customer wanted all the elements included and she got just that.  In the end, she was very happy and loved how it turned out!  Mission accomplished!

10 ¼" x 10 ¼"

This photo is the original quilt 'Don't Stop Me Now'.  I made it for the Black & White Mini Quilt Challenge by Curated Quilts last year.  It had all the elements I love...curves, triangles and I do love black and white!     

Like the original, I quilted this one with a lot of matchstick quilting.  I mean...a lot!  Hard to believe you can fit so much into a small mini!

The back always represents!  You can see the white thread detail much easier.  The black thread is a bit more difficult to see but I promise it's there!

It was a fun diversion, even though I ended up reaffirming my suspicion that I really am a bit crazy mad!  

Remember Jayne...Inspiration from Improv is the best approach!  Dare I say lesson learned?!  One never knows!


  1. Well done, Jayne! I do understand the quandary you were in. Sometimes there's a fine line between pleasing your client and satisfying your own personal creativity.

    1. It certainly was a challenge. Since it was a small quilt, I figured I could give it a go and see what happens! If my client didn’t like it she had the option of taking a hard pass on it!

  2. It does look very challenging to remake the exact same design in tiny version, but you did it! I would love to know the customer's story - why did she want it just like that, but so much smaller? She (or he?) must have the perfect spot for it!

  3. I am just amazed you can get such small pieces! My guild thinks I am the queen of small, but my pieces are never usually smaller than 12"x12". LOL!

  4. Holy cow that is some tiny teeny weeny pieces in your mini mini improv! It's hard to turn down a customer isn't it, they inspire us to make:) Did she say what she is doing with it, adding to her mini collection perhaps?

  5. Nice job Jayne. Boy, that is some tiny pieces.

    Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  6. I agree with your thoughts on inspiration and improv. You did a great job replicating your work, but I can see the challenge (on so many levels). I'm completely enamored with your little dotted heart prop, by the way!

  7. well it sure did come out great but I understand what you're saying. you really can't force improv

  8. Anything improv-ed is way harder to duplicate! This little quilt is adorable, though!

  9. I would have a hard time replicating a traditional quilt, much less an improv one. Kudos on your success!

  10. Wowzer! What a great job you did with your mini of a mini. I’ve pretty much given up on minis but yours are so much fun to discover all the little elements and the stitching. Just WOWZER!

  11. You are really amazing! Both are just terrific.

  12. If one is new to improve or modern quilts, your minis seem the way to go. Yours have fantastic ideas.


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