Love to create repeating blocks in your quilts but tired of the same patterns? Step away from the ordinary and try your hand at a new technique-based approach to improvisation. Gorgeous photographs illustrate 10 beautiful projects where Amy Friend seamlessly bridges the gap between improvised design and technical execution. Discover a unique approach to creating one-of-a-kind blocks with guided exercises that explore scale, symmetry and alternate gridwork. Then, with Amy’s help, you’ll have the opportunity to design your own patterns. You really can have a dash of the unexpected through improv with the precision of paper piecing and still create those secondary patterns we all love in quilts made using traditional blocks.

With a modern spin, Amy gracefully guides the reader, step-by-step, through improvisationally designing your own paper piecing patterns to strategically setting the grid—so that the end result is a masterful, unique quilt of repeated blocks.


Signed copies of Improv Paper Piecing are available from the author’s Etsy shop.
The book is also available on

and at your local quilt shop. Ask for it!

What People are Saying:

Improv Paper Piecing by Amy Friend raises our curiosity at first look! Amy introduces and deftly teaches her inspired technique throughout the book, encouraging the maker to try working as stated then adjust the methods to suit their creative vision.
The patterns or exercises included in Improv Paper Piecing are unique and truly modern in their improvised nature, yet in some cases still very much based on traditional designs. If you would like to try something new in your quilting studio–Improv Paper Piecing is a great resource and source of inspiration.”

–Curated Quilts, Issue O1

“The dedication of Amy’s book gives you the freedom to explore before you even read the first lesson ‘This book is dedicated to all makers who are ready to take a creative risk.’

Being creative has so many levels.  When you want to branch out and try something new, it may feel risky.  Amy erases those fears with chapter after chapter of lessons to help you branch into her free-form, improvisational style paper piecing techniques.

Taking a traditional block, she explains how to think it through and make it uniquely you.  Her lessons are a jumping off point to make the design your own.  She also includes versions of each quilt layout that will knock your socks off!  My favorite is Paper Trail, I just might be pulling fabric for that one.”

–Pat Sloan, host of American Patchwork and Quilting, author, teacher and fabric designer

“Improvisational piecing, which is generally associated with patternless, freehand sewing, and paper piecing, which is often precise and symmetrical, seem to be polar opposites. Quilt designer Friend (Intentional Piecing) brings the two together in this collection of projects and tutorial inspired by traditional quilt blocks, geometric design, and everyday objects. Quilters can use the reproducible paper-piecing templates included in the appendix, or follow the ‘exercise’ that appears at the beginning of each design to draft their own templates in keeping with the spirit of improv piecing.

VERDICT These projects are appealing, and the peek inside Friend’s design process will resonate with creative quilters.”

–Library Journal, May 1, 2017

Improv Paper Piecing finds the perfect balance between the freedom of improv design, and the structure of having the ability to perfectly replicate those designs. The techniques taught here, through many gorgeous modern quilt designs, fulfill a quilter’s need to be creative and stretch design muscles, yet also feed the perfectionist tendencies that ail so many quilters. I can’t wait to spend more time with this book!”

–Alissa Haight Carlton, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Modern Quilt Guild, author

“Amy’s quilts have always drawn me in because they are precise, yet organic. I couldn’t quite figure out how she managed this balance between two opposites until I picked up her book, Improv Paper Piecing. In this book, she outlines how to use paper piecing and improv to create quilts that are visually organized, yet free. This is a great book for any quilter looking to explore design using a technique to create one of a kind quilts.”

–Heather Grant, Director of Marketing and Programming at the Modern Quilt Guild

“This book’s dedication gives you an idea of the thought-provoking work between these covers. It reads: ‘This book is dedicated to all makers who are ready to take a creative risk.’ And you will! Amy lays out her improvisational approach to block design and grid work to create unusual paper-pieced blocks. Plus she includes 10 creativity exercises that illustrate how to meld these two techniques and explore asymmetry, symmetry and architectural influences, to name a few. Perfect for a year-long guild (or personal) study program!”

–Generation Q Magazine


Sea Glass Quilt: page 56, number 9 should read “stitch one 2″ x 8 1/2″ strip”