New method excitement: improv piecing

Found a new game that’s putting me back in that I-don’t-need-sleep-I-can-just-sew-through-the-night place: improv piecing!!

This is where you just sew scraps together at random (improvising) and keep adding to it as you gradually piece together a larger block of fabric. And this is what I’ve got so far:

I’m very excited about this both as a use for cherished (hoarded) scraps and as an avenue for low-planning experimental play, or mindless sewing that still produces something. With a new ambition of hoping to use up all my scraps this way, I’m now trying to think of projects that I can apply the pieced blocks to.

The obvious is a quilt, and I’m not ruling it out. But also, a jacket? Cushions? A shirt? Ukulele case? Scrunchies? (Not in cotton – harsh on hair) Sewing machine dust cover?

Shirt may be difficult, as I think the pieced blocks will need actual quilting (even if only to one other layer of fabric, no batting) to stabilise and secure them, and then that would probably result in too thick/sturdy of a fabric to happily make a shirt. Maybe a shirt jacket though? Or a boxy shirt-dress without much drape?

I also wonder if this kind of zip-neck fleece pattern (below – very on the Lucy&Yak trend) might work for a light non-stretch quilted fabric. Would need a relatively soft/flexible batting. I also wouldn’t be able to roll my sleeves up the way I often do (and would it fit under a coat? maybe it would just be a house-sweater or a spring-sweater – although I remember I live in England and it rains). I wonder if I could put sleeve plackets and cuffs in a quilted sleeve.

I might be drawn to the jacket idea, but given half the point of the assembly is to use up what scraps I’ve got and not give in to the urge to plan, the colours are going to end up being batshit combinations, even if each individual block makes sense. I think the only person who could maybe carry that off would be my little sibling (who is currently wearing a fab coat made out of two different plaids, clashing right down the centre back seam). It will be fun to get to see how my unplanned colour choices accumulate over time.

Maybe I could break up the pieced blocks with larger chunks of less busy/more solid colours. Or maybe I could unify the blocks a bit by giving them all a quick dip in a dye bath (chestnut? dusty navy? forest green? magenta?). Or maybe I’ll just go whole hog for a quilt and try to think of someone whose interior decorating could accept that as a gift.

23/2/22 addition: use this technique so I wouldn’t have to give it a backing, and could make a shirt dress? À la @ciscosews

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