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  • Writer's pictureGail Abbey


Denise Konicek is my hero! She makes amazing art quilts that blow my mind, and when she posted that she'd be teaching a class on improvisational quilting, I jumped at the chance. This was my first ever quilting class, and I learned so much in four short sessions. Just as the course title implied, these were "make it up as you go along" techniques. We launched in and began cutting and sewing without any idea what the finished product might turn out to be. It was so much fun!

Denise taught us to sew curved seams that lay perfectly flat without a pattern or even measuring. I've made a number of double wedding ring quilts with curved seams, but for those I had a pattern and detailed instructions. For this I just let my rotary cutter go. Let me tell you, it was liberating!

For the final class, we cut wedges and sewed them together like pie pieces or wheel spokes. I realized I'd made my pieces too long, the angles were too shallow, and the colors were too dark. The resulting wheel was going to be too large, and frankly, not jazzy enough. As Denise taught us, I moved the pieces around until I discovered a more interesting way to put it together. I added the yellow and blue spheres in the center and completed the quilt with a burst of yellow rays. I think it looks like the sun and the sea, but really it's whatever you like.

I ended up with three wall qults that will hang in my sewing room to remind me to think outside the box and improvize. (The quilt from the fourth class was not so successful, but I may pick it up again at a later date).

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