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Improv Books with Gwen Marston

It’s a shame when age catches up to a creator who would never stop otherwise. Gwen Marston, whom I consider the “Mother of Improv” is one of those quilters to me. I only recently discovered her, a few years after her death in 2019.

I was browsing through my mother’s quilt books, and found a few of Gwen Marston’s books in her stash. I had been thinking about trying a little improv, so I thought her books would be fun to look through. Little did I know….I had hit the gold mine of improv quilters and quilt books.

The first two books I’ll dive into are both rich with techniques and lots of “eye candy” quilts to illustrate her points. Though both books are dated, copyright 1996 for Liberated Quiltmaking and 2009 for the second volume, the techniques shown will never be diminished with time.

“Liberated Quiltmaking” is what she calls improv quilting, appopriately named you will see.

Both books are rich with detailed how-tos with photos and graphics to illustrate the points. Each book is also filled with example quilts of the techniques taught and illustrated.ย 

A Common Thread is Gwen Marston’s gallery of quilts. While this one does not have how-tos, it is a great coffee table book to flip through for inspiration.ย 

It’s impossible to flip through Gwen’s books and not be inspired to try a little improv of your own. Below is my YouTube video showing how to take a stab at creating an improv block from a precisely pieced sailboat block.

I cannot stress enough how much you can learn from Gwen Marston’s influence and teachings on improv quilting. Click here to go right to the Amazon affiliate links to consider purchasing the books for your quilt book library.

Would you like to see even more about her books? Tune into my YouTube video below where I review these three of her many books, and even give you a glimpse into each one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you have ever considered dabbling in improv, these are great go-to books. I only recommend books I have and refuse to “declutter” from my own quilt resource library. Click here to get your very own copies, or check your local library to borrow a copy.

What about you? Do you have any of Gwen Marston’s books? I’d love to know what you think of them in the comments.