Improv Patchwork –– Review & Giveaway

I always love reviewing new books for you here, and after my 100 Days of Quilt Improv this new book seemed like the perfect resource!  Improv Patchwork by Maria Shell is a lot of fun, and there’s a ton of good information throughout the book as well! Improv Patchwork is great  for those of you looking to expand your quilting skills.

Improv Patchwork

Maria breaks Improv Patchwork into 10 helpful chapters. The chapter on color and palette building is extremely thorough and helpful. Especially true for anyone stuck in the planning phases of their next quilt. Maria works in solids throughout the book, which helps to give the reader a clear look at the colors used. The solids also offer insight into how Maria decides if a color is right for the palette.

Each chapter then focuses on the various construction methods that Maria uses to construct her quilts! There’s step by step photos for creating stripes, dots, triangles, chevrons, plaids, and more – all with or with out a ruler.  Using a ruler depends on how you prefer to work, and the look you want to create in your quilt.

Lite Bright

Maria’s Lite Brite quilt caught my eye as I was exploring the book. The dark background makes all the colors pop, and I love the way the colors are placed within the quilt top. Creating movement with color placement always makes me happy!


Confetti is also a lot of fun! Maria made Confetti with scraps from other quilts, then floated the entire top with a white border. My eye is drawn to the reds in the quilt top first, then the bright pops of yellow. The various sizes of the “dots” make this quilt really interesting –– a visual treat!


Win a copy of Improv Patchwork! (hard copy for USA, digital for all other countries) Leave me a comment, about your favorite color, to be entered to win.

Winner will be announced on October 27th – Good luck!

Improv Patchwork by Maria ShellLITE BRITE by Maria Shell in Improv QuiltingConfetti by Maria Shell in Improv Patchwork

Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the tour to learn more about Improv Patchwork

October 16—C&T Publishing

October 18—Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting JetGirl

October 19—Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side 

October 20—Deborah Boschert at Deborah’s Journal

October 21—Kathy Doughty at Material Obsession 

October 21— Terri Lucas at Generation Q Magazine

October 22— Wendy Hill at Wendy Hill’s Blog

October 23—Cindy Grisdela at Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

October 24—Heather Pregger at Heather 

October 25—Maria Shell at Tales of a Stitcher 

By |2017-10-18T15:39:48-06:00October 19th, 2017|books|82 Comments


  1. Diane October 19, 2017 at 5:49 am - Reply

    I love Maria’s work! Her book looks great!

  2. Pat in WNY October 19, 2017 at 5:51 am - Reply

    I love to use anything in the orange-yellow-russet brown range to bring a spark of life to a quilt. Though I can use all the color choosing guidance I can get!

  3. monica October 19, 2017 at 6:20 am - Reply

    My favorite color is teal….

  4. Kathleen McCormick October 19, 2017 at 7:06 am - Reply

    My favorite color these days is teal, which goes nicely with my formerly favorite color, purple.

  5. eadaoine October 19, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

    My current favorite is Kona Parrot

  6. Cathy Cavagnaro October 19, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

    My favorite is orange, anything from brick to orange sherbet.

  7. Cynthia October 19, 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I am really drawn to coral, especially a pink one.

  8. Barbara Grandon October 19, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Favorites colors are all fall colors…..I tend to change favorites with seasons and mood.

  9. Pat October 19, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply


  10. debby October 19, 2017 at 8:40 am - Reply

    My favorite color is definitely pink, followed closely by blue!

  11. Jan Ochterbeck October 19, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

    My favorite color is coral. Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses October 19, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Purple has been my favorite color for years. THanks!

  13. Mary D October 19, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I love Maria Shell’s work, her tiny piecing art works she creates. My fave color…gosh I love most all colors, purples, teals, oranges, reds. I love the deep rich tones but I can also find some room to love for pastels.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  14. Kathy E. October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Improv is my favorite technique and I know I’d love this book! My favorite color is purple…all shades are perfect with me!

  15. Sherry VF October 19, 2017 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Basically, I like anything in the red hues. Improv is such an exciting technique because of the ability to quilt without a pattern and the ultimate surprise of how the project turns out. sjvonfumetti at yahoo dot com

  16. Tami Von Zalez October 19, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I love doing improve patchwork – it is my newest favoriteist thing!
    I love the purples, blues and ocean tones.

  17. Kimberly G October 19, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

    I’m going to take a workshop with her tomorrow! I really can’t wait to see her book in person. Thank you for the chance to win!

  18. Sophie Zaugg October 19, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I love working improv and would be happy to read this book ! I have not really a favourite colour but never use purple and rarely green …

  19. Beth Blankenship October 19, 2017 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Right now, the topaz I’m working with.

  20. Dee October 19, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

    I love any shade of green! Looks like a great book

  21. Sandra Lee Ellison October 19, 2017 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Today my favorite color is red-orange.

  22. Lucinda Jones October 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is red

  23. Karen s October 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Looks like q fun book! My favorite colors are in the turquoise, aqua, teal family.

  24. Nancy jo October 19, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    I am a blue sort of gal. Love patchwork! Thanks for the opportunity to win

  25. Janet T October 19, 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    There are too many beautiful colors to choose just one! I usually gravitate towards red or blue, but I like all colors.

  26. Kathie L October 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    I love all shades of green. Love improve also.

  27. pam w October 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    blue and browns are my favorite

  28. Pauline C October 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Turquoise – and the book looks amazing – it’s on my list!

  29. Nancy October 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    My those are great quilts! I am a blue girl through and though…any shade.

  30. Christi October 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is yellow but my favorite quilt color is blue.

  31. Sandy May October 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I’m in my 7th decade, and I still don’t know what my favorite color is. I vacillate a lot, but I do use many shades of beige in my quilts and in my closet. Too dull! I really like fire engine red, but it is such a strong color that I hesitate to use much of it.

  32. Beth T. October 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    My favorite color was always pink, but now it’s red. I’m not sure what the change means, but I like it.

  33. Paige @Quilted Blooms October 19, 2017 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    My favorite color right now is Chartreuse! Can’t get enough of it! Thank you for the review!

  34. Gayle Fahrion October 19, 2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    I love orange. Especially paired with hot pink and lime green. I rarely make things with this combo because I realize it’s pretty garish but it is my happy palette!

  35. Karla October 20, 2017 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Orange as well for its warmth and vibrancy!

  36. Audrey October 20, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Green. All the shades found in nature!

  37. la tulipe October 20, 2017 at 5:16 am - Reply

    My favorite color was blue. Now, I don’t know!!! I discover the pleasure of playing with green, brown…

  38. carol October 20, 2017 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Red speaks to me.

  39. Q&B October 20, 2017 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Blues and Oranges!

  40. Gene Black October 20, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

    My favorite color is and always has been blue. But I love all the colors.

  41. Linda McLaughlin October 20, 2017 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Aqua is my favorite color, but I rarely use it.

  42. Joanne Saunders October 20, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

    My favourite color is blue. I try to have something blue in every project that I do (even a little quilt for my granddaughter’s doll).

  43. Chris October 20, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

    I love purple. It and often orange are in most of my quilts.

  44. Wendy Hill October 20, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I love the way Maria shows by example with clear text. It’s a great resource for anyone!

  45. sandy October 20, 2017 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Just took a class with Maria…it was great …I love Kona Eggplant!!

  46. Pat October 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    All my friends know orange is my color! Maria’s Book looks very intriguing. Will buy it if I don’t win it!

  47. Marilyn October 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is purple. This looks like a great book.

  48. Laura October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    My favorite colour is blue green/teal! The approach this book takes looks like a perfect match for me. Thanks for the giveaway

  49. Emma Kemmis October 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    My go to colour at present is teal. Ironically it is also the colour of my work shirt! Ps book looks very inspiring

  50. Ellee October 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is blue, all shades of blue. Which shade of blue is my favorite depends on my mood on any given day.

  51. Audrey October 21, 2017 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Love so many colors but blue might be my favorite right now

  52. Susanne October 21, 2017 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Such colourful an energetic work! I use mostly blue, but recently I’m experimenting with yellow and green…

  53. Maryjo October 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Improve is so much fun and a great creative adventure.

  54. Suzi in MI October 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Blue is my favorite color, followed closely by green. But I love how Maria combines so many colors!

  55. Marla Varner October 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I hate to play favorites, but I don’t think I could bear to not have orange in my life!

  56. Kim G October 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I took a class with Maria yesterday in LA! Her quilts are extraordinary & she is a skilled teacher. I would love to win her book. Thank you for the chance to win!

  57. Anja Clyke October 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Orange is my favourite colour.

  58. Debra Lohman October 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is green.

  59. Karen Keeler October 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Orange is my favorite color.

  60. Cheryl Clark October 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is green.

  61. Sue October 22, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

    yellow green

  62. Jayne P October 22, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I could put purple into everything!

  63. tierneycreates October 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I love burnt orange (and I enjoyed this post and looking around your blog/website!)

  64. LaceFlower October 23, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

    I’m a blue lover

  65. Marsha October 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    My favorite color is red, no yellow, no aqua, no green. I love all colors, did I mention purple.

  66. Jennifer October 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    The book looks amazing! And my favorite color to work into most any project is black.

  67. patty October 24, 2017 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Turquoise is my favorite color. The book looks so interesting!

  68. Stina October 24, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Pink…is one of my faves…and also one that I go back to…all the time.

  69. Susan Spiers October 24, 2017 at 10:05 am - Reply

    What a different & very interesting book! My favorite color is turquoise! Thank you, Susan

  70. Wendy Tulloch October 24, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I don’t think I am able to pick a favorite color as I seem to love shades of them all. Really like the looks of this new book. Thanks for a chance to win a copy!

  71. Sandy Maxfield October 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Green, no… blue, no… green. Blue-green.

  72. Diann Bottrell October 24, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I’m loving orange these days! Thanks for a chance to win this very interesting book!

  73. Linda Williamson October 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I love working with various shades of grey. They play nicely with most colors. Thanks

  74. Leslie October 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Greens and blue are my favorites, and I have just started using Kona Silver as a neutral. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  75. LynneP October 25, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Cobalt blue is my favorite with clear turquoise a close second.
    Maria’s book looks wonderful. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  76. Sarah Terry October 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Blue with green as a close second. I used to hate orange but now I love it!

  77. Anne Smyers October 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Looks like a fabulous book – I’m a blue lover.

  78. Nor October 25, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    My favorite colour is lime green! I believe it goes with everything.

  79. Heather October 26, 2017 at 6:32 am - Reply

    I want to put orange into everything (even the Christmas stuff!)

  80. Roberto Wise November 10, 2017 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I like your collocation, no matter what kind of color patterns, there is a match with the fabric.

  81. Aimme Aimme February 6, 2018 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    My favorite color these days is white, which goes nicely with my formerly favorite color, purple.
    Thor costume

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