Book Review: Improvising Tradition

Just in time for this month’s improvisation theme a new book! Improvising Tradition by Alexandra Ledgerwood gives quilters a guide to easily develop improvisation styled quilts by using familiar traditional quilting patterns. Patterns like log cabin, coins, one patch, and rail fence are given modern makeovers using improvisation techniques.

The book is divided into three sections focusing on three improvisation quilting techniques: strip setting, strata, and splice-and-insert. First, she gives a tutorial with a clear overview of each technique. 

Next, she clearly explains different design options then continues with step-by-step instructions in the subsection called “Here’s How”.  

Afterwards, she follows up in each chapter with a variety of projects using each technique.  There's a total of 18 great projects from full sized quilts to small coasters. (Great ideas for our mini-quilt of the month theme!) 

As a bonus there are tips on free-motion and hand quilting. I especially enjoyed the explanation on her approach to the decision-making process of selecting a quilting design for a quilt. 

New quilters will be able to dive in and get started on making beautiful modern improv quilts with ease. They will find the sewing tips in the beginning of the book very useful. Experienced traditional quilters will be able to use familiar skills to easily venture into modern improvisation.

I saw several projects I want to make, especially the adorable mini coasters using the improv strata technique.

This book is beautifully laid out and well organized with bold color photographs and clearly illustrated color instructions. It even has a helpful index, which is something you don’t see too often in many current quilts books.  It’s a wonderful guide for modern and traditional quilters alike.

Thank you Interweave/F+W for giving this book to our guild to review. Someone will be the lucky winner at our next meeting!  By Secretary Veronica