Tag Archives: Mod Meets Improv


I never thought I’d type that title, but it fits my latest finish. As I mentioned a while back, this summer I took Elizabeth Barton’s online course “Mod Meets Improv.” My final piece for that class was a modern inflected improv-ish work that featured red Xes on white fabric.

I began with drawings of variously sized Xes that I taped in a somewhat random arrangement. No high tech design work for me.

I then made several X blocks in different orange and red shades, refined my block placement, and filled in the space left with Kona white cotton fabric. Parts of that were a bit tricky to seam, so I ended up doing a bit of hand applique in blocks that contained large and small Xes.

I kept the quilting simple, following the lines of the largest X. I emphasized that X with red machine stitched 12 weight thread and a single line of perle cotton handstitched in each direction.

Astute readers may discern the edges are unfinished. The facings are cut, but not yet sewn on. I gave myself a pass so I could share this (mostly) finished piece.

It’s been a while since I worked with white fabric sewn to itself, so I had forgotten how the seams show up, even with a white batting. I could have lined each piece, but that wasn’t going to happen. In the right light at the right angle you don’t see the seams.

I settled on “Xed Out” for the title.


Filed under Completed Projects, Modern Quilting

I Really Have Been Sewing

Recent posts to the contrary, I have been giving my sewing machine a workout between a fantasy, glittery collage piece and assignments for my “Mod Meets Improv” online class.

The fantasy piece evolved from the latest bunch of sparkly scraps from the theatrical costume shop, plus some donated fabric (the birds) that was going begging.

The Costume Shop Jungle

Much of the fabric was leftover from dresses for “Dreamgirls.”

The green fabric was tricky to work with as it shreds easily. I hope to give my jungle a pillowcase finish and then outline quilt some of the birds and flowers.

My online class, taught by Elizabeth Barton, has pushed me to develop several quilt designs on paper. The class title may say improv, but if it’s a class with Elizabeth you know you’ll be designing on paper first. Some of the homework has been a bit basic for me, but the feedback has been helpful, as always.

The top row are practice pieces: floating 4 patches, curved piece grid, and half square triangles in a complementary color scheme. In the bottom row are some of my better colored pencil designs. The one on the left follows the lines of the traditional rail fence. The middle design is based on outside stairs I saw from our Airbnb in Quebec.

I’m now working on an original mod/improv design that has lots of negative space, in white of course. I’d forgotten how you need to press towards the darker fabric when you work with white fabric. Otherwise, the darker color shows and when the darker color is red, it really shows.

The class has been fine, but I’m sorry more students aren’t active in the online forum. It’s a great chance to get feedback and see what other students are up to. You can watch a video of work done in previous classes.

I’m linking to Nina Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process, Modern Quilting