Improvising Tradition

Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood {book review}

When Daisy and I announced our Improv Quilting Challenge month, Alexandra Ledgerwood graciously offered us a copy of her book, Improvising Tradition: 18 Quilted Projects Using Strips, Slices, and Strata, for our review.

Improvising Tradition

I have followed Alexandra on instagram yet somehow missed her book announcement. (Yeah, I don’t know what to say!!!)

When the book arrived in the mail, I saved it for my reading time during my daughter’s swim lessons. I devoured the book! I barely watched my daughter swim. (Don’t tell her teacher!)

First of all, I love Alexandra’s thoughts about improv quilting. She defines improv as “a creative approach to piecing fabrics, working largely without a pattern but with an overall design goal in mind”. (page 5) I used to assume that improv was the sewing together of fabrics without any real rhyme or reason. She reminds me that there is often a design in mind. It is the nature of how the piece is put together. She also states that “improvisional quilting is as much an aesthetic as it is a technique”. (page 5) As I continue working through the improv process for myself, I identify with this statement.

Secondly, I love how she breaks up her improv projects into either strips, strata, or slice and insert. For each of these three groups, she starts with a tutorial and then projects that build on that idea. She includes tips on the projects along with general tips on piecing, design, wonky variations, fabric usage and fuzzy cutting.

Here is an example:

Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood, review by Crafty Planner

She also shows you suggestions for quilting and talks about how fabric choices can transform the look of the quilt. So what would I love to make from the book? Either of these two quilts would be lovely!

[twocol_one]Paper and Plums by Alexandra Ledgerwood[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Nesting Squares Quilt by Alexandra Ledgerwood[/twocol_one_last]

I might even have some purple fabric! 🙂

I would strongly suggest adding this book to your improv collection. The illustrations are fantastic. Each of the projects are unique and photographed well. The projects lend themselves to learning the techniques, which are adaptable to your next project. I really enjoyed this book and think you will too.

Thank you again, Alexandra, for sharing your book.

For a chance to win a copy of her book, post a picture of any current improv projects you are working on to instagram and tag it #improvquiltchallenge. We will announce the winner at the end of the month.

Are you looking for an improv tutorial to try? How about this wall hanging from Alexandra?

Sea Glass Wall Hanging tutorial by teaginny

Here is the link. (And it’s already a document so you can print it out!)

*I was provided a copy of the book for free. My opinions are my own. *

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