Posts Tagged ‘improv piecing’

Amy's Creative Side

blue squares improv baby quilt

I’m so excited that it’s time for the bloggers quilt festival again, which is generously hosted by Amy of Amy’s Creative Side! I got to meet Amy briefly last year at the Sewing Summit, and she was awesome and is clearly full of good ideas– the bloggers quilt festival is a way for all of us not attending the annual International Quilt Market to share in the fun. I was sad not to be able to join my friends (Brenda, Anna, Debby, and Lynn, all of whom are in my local modern quilt guild) at market this year, but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share a new quilt I recently finished!

blue squares improv baby quilt

For lack of a better name, I’m calling this one the blue squares improv baby quilt. This quilt was such a joy to make because I love improvisational piecing– there is something so fun and playful about it, and I love it because you can’t make a mistake or do something wrong! I also love the modern look it creates. For this quilt top, I wanted to feature 4 improv blocks, but I wanted more visual interest, so I added improvisationally pieced blue squares in the upper corner. One friend commented that it looked almost pixelated, as if I had zoomed in on the smaller pieces. I loved that idea, and I think it’s a pretty accurate description!

blue squares improv baby quilt

For the back I kept things simple, and went for connected and framed squares. I love how quickly a baby quilt can come together, and I really enjoy quilting small quilts. I machine quilted it in a meandering, organic pattern (or, “allover” quilting as my friend Emily has said).

blue squares improv baby quilt back

blue squares improv detail

Blue squares quilt back

Thanks so much, Amy, for letting me share this in the quilt festival! And, if you all have a chance, you should head over to Amy’s blog to check out some of the other quilts– there are always a lot to see, and a lot to be inspired by!

baby quilts hanging on the rail

Read Full Post »

March is my month to design the next Do. Good Stitches quilt for the Love circle. I always look forward to designing the quilt– This is one of my favorite parts of the process. I like to think about the level of difficulty in the blocks I’m asking the circle to make, as well as what colors I want to be inundated with as I work on the quilt.

Lately I’ve been very drawn to turquiose and robin’s egg blues paired with oranges, yellows, and greys. I found a few lovely photos for inspiration on pinterest!

Next I had to think about the actual design. This wasn’t too hard, as I recently found a new tutorial I’ve been wanting to try that incorporates 2 things I’m loving right now– improvisational piecing and chevrons! I found a great tutorial for the blocks through pinterest (anyone seeing a pattern here? I ❤ pinterest!).

I can’t wait to see the blocks as people make them! In the past I have selected colors that are a bit more feminine, and I think sometimes it’s easier to lean that way, but boys need quilts too! So, hopefully these colors will be suited to a kid of either gender.

Do good sitches retro flower block- pink

For our February quilt, Ara Jane asked us to make retro flower blocks using Christina’s pattern. These did take a bit of time to put together, but there was something very satisfying about working with such precise pieces. Of course, as you can see my seams didn’t line up 100% perfectly, but I think they are close enough. I was also glad I read this post from my friend Kate before making my blocks– I was very aware of using a scant quarter inch seam while piecing, and it did make a big difference– I’m happy to report that my blocks all came out the right size!

Do good sitches retro flower block- red

One more note about pinterest— if any of you are on pinterest, let me know your pinterest name so I can follow your boards! Or, if you’re not on pinterest and you want to give it a try and need an invite, let me know! Happy pinning!

**** ETA: I was telling J about my do. Good Stitches quilt plan, and when I told him my color scheme, he said “oh, because of leap day! In honor of Leap Day William!” Yes. That is exactly why I planned the quilt this way.

Read Full Post »

The Banff Quilt

Earlier this year I decided to make a quilt to enter into the Project Modern Challenge 4: Find Your Own Voice challenge. The description I wrote for project modern is below, but I have to note first– this is truly one of my favoritest quilts ever, and accordingly I took a million and one photos of it. Consider yourself warned!
Plus, to show more of the inspiration, I’ve interspersed some of our pictures from Banff. Enjoy!

Banff Quilt Detail


This quilt tells a story about my past and my present all at once. Last year, I took a trip to Banff, Canada, and I was incredibly moved by the landscape and colors. The gray mountains, white snow and glaciers, green flora, and range of blues of the glacial streams and lakes were all stunning. When I returned home from the trip, I purchased a large pile of solid color fabrics representing all of the colors that so vividly remind me of the trip. However, at the time, I was unsure what pattern would best capture the lines and shapes of the landscape.

Banff Quilt Back

Back of Banff quilt details


After a year had passed, I revisited the photos of the trip, and I thought it was time to dig in to my pile of fabric. In the past year, I have experimented with a number of different approaches to quilting, and I found that improvisational piecing is my favorite way to sew; I love that I don’t have to follow a pattern or rules, and can let the colors and shapes guide my choices of which pieces to cut and sew together. I find such joy in sewing without strict rules, and I love continually making decisions that shape a project, not knowing exactly how it will turn out.

Tea House

Banff quilt on the bridge

After piecing a number of blocks concentrating grays and light blues (my mountain blocks), and greens and rich blues (my water and tree blocks), I randomly joined these to blend the colors together. I laid them out in a mosaic style pattern for an organic look, and I framed the quilt top with 2 gray borders, interrupted by 3 small lines of color in unexpected places. I chose the mosaic layout and the borders interrupted by 3 lines of color because it was reminiscent of the arts and crafts style, my favorite architectural style. I love the clean lines and simple forms of this style, and I loved translating this to my style of quilting. This quilt represents myself and my style on multiple levels—the colors, the inspiration, the piecing, the layout, the borders, and the overall design and aesthetic. My quilts are a reflection of myself, and I love that this quilt, which I call my “Banff Quilt,” are a seamless marriage of my personal experiences and the elements of my style.
Lake Louise

Banff quilt on the bridge rails

Lake Louise

Banff quilt hanging

Lake Louise

Banff quilt folded up


Banff quilt detail shot

One last– Here are J and I at Peyto Lake:

Peyto Lake

Read Full Post »