Improv Month

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of spending some time with two talented ladies from Gee's Bend, Alabama.  (If you don't know the history of Gee's Bend, I highly recommend that you google them.)  Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway were there to guide several of us ladies as we tried to let go of our structural inhibitions.
This is Mary Ann with a small piece that she put together during those 3 days.  I feel that these women and their family members were instrumental in bringing art quilting and the modern, improvisational look to the forefront in the quilting world.  I will always be grateful to them and thrilled that their art was discovered.

What an amazing woman

Inspired by these women and by my local (Chattanooga) Modern Quilt Guild to try my hand at a modern look,  I took a break from patterning and had some fun!

small improv 1
11'"x 11 1/2"

small improv 3
11 1/2" x 11 1/2"

small improv 5
11 1/2" x 16" 

small improv  8
27" x  26"


  1. Mary they look so good! Very spontaneous and very you!

  2. Fabulous . . . and I agree with your comment that these women helped influence the quilting world's direction.

  3. These are fabulous, Mary.

  4. These small pieces are a real delight I love them and want to go and hunt for my solids and get busy!!

  5. What fun! And so different from your beautiful intricate realistic pieces.

  6. I love every one of them, each so full of energy. Great work!

  7. I can't agree more, the women of Gee's Bend, and their quilts, are such an inspiration, and have changed the quilting world. I love all of your improv pieces...but I am wondering, what do you think of them? How was the improv experience for you? Did you improv the quilting stitches as well? Well done, Mary!

  8. Wahoo! What beautiful modern art pieces. If I had to pick a favorite, you know it would be the red one.

  9. fantastic - I love it when you improv!!!

  10. I love them all.. my favorite is #8.

  11. Hi, Mary. The pink improv is mouth-watering sumptuous! I'm in Portland and will be in Knoxville--check your email!

    best, nadia

  12. the sort of curry-colored one under small improv #5...all knockout...gorgeous


Any and all comments are most appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to view, read, and voice your thoughts.