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!