Or why it is important to trust your gut and go with your own style.
I am a devout follower of quilting gurus such as Jacquie Gering and Joe Cunningham. Both Jacquie and Joe are amazing quilters and improvisation features largely in their work. They make slice and insert, stitch and flip and the whole "see where the music takes you approach" seem so effortless.
A few months ago, I posted pictures of blocks that I had made to try out paper piecing. I wrote that I wanted to use those blocks in a quilt. Well, I decided to try some modern improvisation and make a lap quilt incorporating those blocks. Here is the result and to be honest, I am not really happy with it. It just does not work.
I then tried to understand what went wrong, and this is what I came up with: The alignment / distribution is not quite right and the neat, intricate and somewhat traditional paper pieced blocks do not go well with the rest of the quilt. But above all else, it is not "me". I love modern quilting, but I am not into improvisation. I am a planner and I prefer to spend time designing a modern quilt, even if it means hours and hours in Adobe Illustrator before I start sewing. I am not averse to switching fabrics mid-project or reorganizing blocks, but I do like to know where I am going when I start. And hey, there are no rules that say you have to make improvisational quilts if you are into modern quilting. In my opinion, Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Fabrics sums up what modern quilting / sewing means.
"...my use of the word ‘Modern’ related to attitude over aesthetic. An attitude of fearless experimentation, pushing boundaries, redefining what it means to sew, personal expression through our work, and defining for ourselves what we like and how we go about making it. A passion for individualism and unique creative endeavor."
I think it is really important to try new things, but at the same time, to do what works for you and is the most fun! And this quilt top won't go to waste, because I will turn it into a baby quilt for Project Linus, a charity that provides homemade blankets and quilts to children in need.