Category Archives: Improv Quilts

Gallery Show: Precision and Pattern

I was recently selected to exhibit artwork in a group show called Precision and Pattern at the City Without Walls Gallery in Newark, NJ. The show was beautifully curated by Christine Soccio Romanell.

Here is my piece, “Lucky,” and an excerpt of my artist statement:

“…the artist takes otherwise repetitive technique and elevates it through a study of improvisational quilting and abstract expressionism — exploring the natural tension between free expression and traditionally domestic space both as to craft and creativity. Both spontaneous and beautiful, “Lucky” also satiates utilitarian need.”


I thoroughly enjoyed creating a piece out of textiles with a contemporary aesthetic while exploring how it affects my identity, my journey and roles I create as a woman and an artist.

The eleven artists in the show each use different mediums to explore the concept of ‘Precision and Pattern’ in their work.

A sampling of the amazing work from the show by: Alexandra Schoenberg, Nancy Baker, Steve DeFrank, Christine Soccio Romanell, Stephen Douglass, Pat Lay, Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern, Gregory Coates, Leslie Courtney Adler, Jamie Levine.

Alex      Nancy Baker

Steve DeFrank        Chris2 Stephen Douglass        Pat Lay

Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern       Gregory Coates    Jamie Levine

Improv Landscape Mini Quilt

I was very excited to be in the third round of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. My partner has great taste as she indicated that she likes linen, bright colors and solids (yes!).


I improv-pieced this mini quilt with three types of Robert Kaufman linen, a drop or two of Kona solids and a beautiful range of Cloud9 Fabrics Cirrus Solids.


Based on abstract art influences, I used color, balance, and scale to make small improvisational blocks. I also used scissors and a design as you go method to appreciate the process and the journey of creating this piece.

I would like to make something similar for myself in the same palette. The beauty of making another is that it will never be the same, but that is what I love about the nature of improvisation and of handmade.


The improv mini measures about 16 x 20 inches and is matchstick quilted.



Lucky, the Improv Quilt

Recently, The Modern Quilt Guild had a fabric challenge using Michael Miller fabrics. “Lucky” is the quilt that I entered in the challenge.


I let the fabric sit for a long time…until the week of the deadline. I finally decided to take the plunge and enjoy the process. I used the tradition of quilting and abstract expressionism as inspiration to create an improvisational piece with a contemporary aesthetic while exploring how it affects my identity and my journey.

Lucky Quilt scraps

Lucky in process2

Why, yes, that is my design wall on the floor. When working improv, for me, it is sometimes easier that way.

I used various Petal Pinwheels prints and a mixture of cotton couture solids including white and soft white. I love the subtle quality these two whites add to a quilt when paired together. A bit of hot pink was added (one of my favorite colors) along with shades of orange, aqua and gray to compliment the challenge fabrics.

For the quilting, there was no predetermined plan. I went with what felt “right” while quilting.

Lucky Quilt Close up

I used larger scale pieces for the back of the quilt.

Lucky Back of quilt2

I should add that I basically did not eat much and ignored put many things on the back-burner while making the quilt so it could be completed on time. Ever get like that? So focused on something there is nothing else you could possibly do until it was completed? Yep, guilty. But, I enjoyed every minute of creating this quilt!

Lucky modernstitch quilt

I plan on entering “Lucky” into the quilt show at QuiltCon. Should I enter it for exhibition only or to be judged? What do you think?

“Lucky” measures 47” x 58”. I named it “Lucky” because I was lucky enough to finish it in the nick of time to enter it into the challenge. No, actually, I named it “Lucky” because I feel that I am lucky to have discovered quilting as a means of my artistic expression and also to be part of this awesome quilting community. xo

– Daniela