When I lived in Calif, I liked to stop by the San Jose Quilt Museum whenever I was in the area. Two exhibits there etched in my brain and left me teary-eyed and in awe: Nancy Crow and Susan Shie. My work had more in common with Susan's with its wild spontaneity, heavy stitching and embellishment. In many ways Nancy's work was a polar opposite with its clean yet complicated piecing, but it had a huge impact on me. I've admired her work for years and often thought she must have tricks for that involved piecing.
I was thrilled to see Jean Wells' new book Intuitive Color and Design. Jean studied with Nancy and shares techniques to achieve that improvisational look.
I've been working through the exercises in the book, learning a variety of piecing techniques.
Curved Line Piecing:
Narrow Insert Piecing:
And Detail Piecing using irregular scraps:
I have been having a blast playing with these and am eager to try putting together different bits. I have a feeling they will be serving as backgrounds for more layers for me, but I'll see where it goes.
I highly recommend Jean's book. Clear instructions and lots of great photos of quilts.