When I'm in improv mode (which is most of the time), I find it helpful to create a work flow of sorts. I don't usually do much in the way of sketching before I start, but tend to cut right into the fabric, which begs the question....WHERE does one begin? And after one has begun and the fabric is flying in multiple directions.....HOW does one keep on top of the chaos?
Sometimes it begins with an inspiration, but more often than not, it can be just a simple technique that I'm trying out. I have started being a bit more observant about what works for me and what doesn't. I have also taken note of what size strips I seem to gravitate towards and seem to use over and over again.
After choosing a few colours I just start cutting a variety of strips.
Here are some buckets of my favourite strip sizes.....they just happen to be the same widths needed, in the various QAYG joining methods I like to use and also the width I prefer to use for binding. Well, actually I plan it that way.
My favourite go-to strip widths:
- four and one half inches
- two inches
- one and one quarter inches
- two and one half inches
Something else I like to do when I'm in that improv mode is set up a machine at standing height for piecing.
Right next to the machine, I have a pressing board and right next to that is a cutting board.
I go from:
- to piecing
- to pressing
- to cutting some more
- and on back again
Because I often Quilt As I Go (QAYG), I sit down at another machine for that. All throughout the process I keep adding more fabrics and putting stuff up on the design wall. And then I start the whole cutting and piecing process etc. all over again. At this point I don't worry to much how it will all come together. I find working this way to be a very interactive process.