Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One way to do improv piecing

Improv piecing - 1

On Sunday, I took out the last bits of fabric I had from the Modern Quilt Guild's Riley Blake Fabric Challenge. The challenge was to use the 6 fat eights sent in any quilt, any size. The rule I made myself was that it had to be a bigish quilt and I wanted to use all or most of the fabric sent.

I cut the last bits of fabric into various sized strips and sat down at my sewing machine. I started with a little log cabin block.

Improv piecing - 2

I used only my scissors and finger pressing. No rulers, or rotary cutter. I mostly made some form of log cabin block.

Improv piecing - 3

In no time I was out of fabric and so I lined the bits up on my design wall in an order that I liked. A design floor works just as well.

  Improv piecing - 4

Then I got out the dark grey Kona solid that was going to be most of my quilt back. I cut off strips wide enough so that once the sashed blocks were pieced I could cut a straight line without cutting into the colourful bits. In this case I used 2.5" strips. I did not want to create even spacing between the blocks, so sometimes I trimmed the sashing, sometimes I left off a side.

  Improv piecing - 5

Once the blocks were all sashed, I sewed them together in groups of three, trimmed the edges to the same width, in my case 6.5" and then sewed them all together. I added a chunk at the top and bottom to get to my full back size.

Improv quilt back - 6

Then I added the rest of the solid to the back on either side of the improv panel. Although I was going for asymmetrical, I might have accidentally got that strip mostly in the middle. Oh well, improv is full of surprises.

And it is easy, fun, and relaxing. If it makes you nervous, quilt backs are a good place to give it a try.

I've made Flickr group for projects inspired by tutorials, quilts, patterns or whatever else you might see on my blog. If you are inspired to do some improv,  or have some other projects to share with me, please do join my group and share your photos with me.

Triangle quilt top - Riley Blake MQG Challenge

I've shown you the top for this quilt before, it is made of improv triangles and Kona White, is not quite square and is about 48" or so on a side. I am quilting it now, with lines spaced a half inch apart. After all the matchstick quilting, that feels like miles apart but I am liking it.

Some news:

  •  I am now actively accepting sponsors for my blog, so if you might want to sponsor, send me an email to inquire.  
  • In sponsor news, the Fat Quarter Shop is holding a Countdown to Valentine's Day giveaway event on their facebook page, a bundle a day, just saying, you might want to get in on that. 
  • My super talented friend Jess, from The Elven Garden and I are cooking up a new blog series for you. I am very excited, so stay tuned.
  • Finally, the long arm is on the road, I need to call today to see when it will arrive, likely on Monday or Tuesday next week!


Best,

Leanne

28 comments:

diane said...

it's amazing what you can make with F8 of fabric.

Pam said...

i love the things you do ! xo
looking forward to seeing your machine quilting magic ....what longarm are you getting ? i have a apqs millenium xo pam

Sarah said...

Exciting news on lots of fronts. Looking forward to the new blog series. Your improv bits are a very good use of the fabrics and the challenge quilt is looking very modern and fun. Keep stalking the longarm's arrival!

Vera said...

It'll be cool quilt! I like you style.

Marci Girl said...

You put that F8 bundle to good use Leanne, can't wait to see how you quilt it!

Charlotte said...

love it! I went all improv with this challenge too. So much fun!

Catherine said...

Love the quilt. And you have lots of exciting things coming up too

carla said...

Hi!!!! I love it!!!! Very fun!!!!

Patchwork and Play said...

I love the idea of trying improv on quilt backs! And lots of things to look forward to....

Judith, Belfast said...

Crikey! So much going on! When do you get any work done?!! Jxo

Di said...

You are a busy bee. Thanks for the little tute on improv piecing. Di x

Katy Cameron said...

Loving that improv challenge backing, almost a little more than the front!

I have an improv project I'm dying to dive into, but perversely can't quite bring myself to start tonight...

Flying Blind... said...

Love those wonky logs.
Sounds like a lot going on at SCQ Towers xxx

tomomi mcelwee said...

love that log cabin quilt. very clever of you

elle said...

This is just great. I need to keep your blog posts rolling on my home page so I can keep moving! Bless you!

nicole said...

Always with more awesome just up your sleeve! Now i want to bust out my scraps and relax with some improv. And i can't wait to hear more about what you and Jess have on the go!!

Debbie said...

love the improv bits annnd can't wait to hear what you are cooking up!

Mrs Quinn said...

Love it. Would love to get into improv quilting myself. Can't wait to see your future projects.

Leigh Ann said...

You inspire me with every post! I'm so excited for you, and love your work.

Marg said...

Those fat 1/8ths went a long way, and both the front and the back look fabulous. Sounds like you are going to be very busy, have fun.

Audrey Matlock said...

So inspiring! Thanks :)

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

Improv always scares me ... I'm such a "rules girl" but I love what you've done here and might just give it a go :)

Lori Landenburger said...

yum yum yum!! thanks for the tutorial, it gives us a boost of candoitness! Just an fyi, the fat quarter shop link did not work from bloglovin....wanted you to be able to get credit for it

What Comes Next? said...

love your improv log cabin blocks - this is a great biggish quilt!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love it!

Diane Rossetti said...

Thanks for the inspiration Leanne. I love letting things evolve.

Diane Rossetti said...

Thanks for the inspiration Leanne. I love letting things evolve.

sandinmyshoes said...

Thanks so much for this terrific idea. In approx. 2001 after my first "Machine Piecing, Hand Quilting Class", I was very ambitious and made several projects for family and friends. Upon finishing those projects, I realized that I had yet to make anything for myself. So, with the large amount of scraps left over from all of those "beginner projects", I decided I would attempt to make myself a lap quilt. I had no plan, no pattern, not even an idea on what direction to go in, so I just started piecing one fabric to the next and trimmed as I went. It was like making one big quilt block, so eventually I had to decide to stop before I had a large quilt instead of the intended lap quilt. I still have that lap quilt after all those years. What I truly love about the lap quilt is while using it, I can look at the scrap pieces in it and recall the projects that I made and who they went to.