Improv Tutorial

Our Sew-In with the Improv Round Robin, taken from Sherri Lynn Wood book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, page 42 was a resounding success. We will be postings pictures within the next 24 hours.

Total we had 13 participants and 1 person as a helper, time keeper, showing pictures to give ideas if needed and potluck lunch preparer ! We completed 7 rounds in the morning, starting with the first round at 30 minutes to get let people become familiar and ask questions. After this each round was 20 minutes and we took one 5 minute break around 11 am. After lunch we completed another 4 rounds.

The excitement was palpable in the room as we progressed and you could really see the quilts coming together.

Here are some of our hints and instructions we shared with members on planning the Improv Round Robin ahead of time:


Each of us should take home a finished Improv quilt top in OUR fabric choices with each participants signature fabric added as it’s being sewn in during the Round Robin
Please Bring Along:
Regular sewing tools including cutting mat, iron, sewing machine, rotary cutter
A Container of your choice to pass YOUR fabric choices and your quilt top as it grows .
YOUR group of fabric choices should include
3 m. of large scraps
2 or 3 of 1/4 to 1/2 m WOF cuts
Several long strips for outside edges of quilt top
You should focus your colour groups and have them dark-medium-light
Also bring a dash of unrelated colour choices for spice !
Keep at your sewing station a separate ONE METRE signature fabric  piece you will add to each quilt top that gets passed to you.

We wanted each round-robin participant to have made an improv block using your pull, using any improv technique you can think of. Aim for a rectangle shape to keep it simple for others to add on to your work, but you can use any improv techniques such as slash and insert, snowballing corners of a square, improv hst’s or improv flying geese, floating squares, improv log-cabin, gentle curves, etc. If anyone can’t find the info and they need  inspiration, look up Sherri-Lynn Woods, Lucie Summers, Gee’s Bend, or Alexandra Ledgerwood. The MQG website has some really great resources in the Member Resources section as well! I can’t wait for Sew-in Saturday! 

-The round robin is optional–you can work on any project that you would like to work on. We just want you to come sew and eat with us, so do what works for you!

-Anyone who starts late or has to leave early can participate for all the rounds they can without it affecting the others’ progress, so jump in if you like, even for a short stint. We think you will have the most fun and get the best results if you start early and finish late, but we want everyone who is interested to give it a shot!

-If you are undecided, I encourage you to try 1-2 rounds with some fabrics you can stand to part with, just for the process, friendship and experience. If you are not having fun after a round or two, you can always bring another backup sewing project to switch off at the end of any round, and you can say “I tried it!”

-Round Robin participants, please come prepared with your pre-made block. Try to work for 30 minutes on your first block at home. Here is an example of a pretty snazzy starter block, made by Heather Salter that you will see on Saturday!

-We would like to aim to start setting up at 9:00 am so everyone will be ready to roll as soon as possible for the maximum sew time possible. Ideally, we would like to start stitching and slashing by 9:30, and we will have a brief meeting to review the process before we can hit the machines

-Remember, lunch is potluck! Bring a cooler bag or ice pack if needed as there is no fridge. The church site is peanut free.

We are looking forward to getting together for a day of sweet, sweet quilty awesomeness!


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