Monday, 26 January 2015

Improv Quilting

At the last London Modern Quilt Guild meeting Shevvy talked to us about Improv Quilting. When quilting this is how I like to work, I like to make things up as I go along, swap and change things around and be led by the fabric and colours rather than make several identical blocks. I like to have movement within a quilt, to have different piecing throughout and I love the appearance of a random layout, though this actually takes a lot of thought and playing around.

I'm working on this Improv Quilt at the moment, I used only red, bright pink and white fabrics and tried to keep it simple and random. It just needs binding so hopefully I'll be able to show it to you soon.

The quilters that inspire me the most are the ones that have their own style and put together quilts in an original and interesting way. Ashley at Film In The Fridge is one of my favourite quilters, her quilts are all so different and she has a wonderful way of using colour and creating interesting designs with fabric.

This one, Cascading Pools has a wonderful balance of colour and neutral spaces. Have a look at her blog, you'll be inspired.

Lu Summers is another inspiration when it comes to improv quilts, her book Quilt Improv is packed with blocks, tips and inspiration to get you started. Remember this one? It's one of my favourite quilts.

I've put together a mosaic of some Improv quilts that are inspiring. I think I'm going to have to try some improv curves, these ones look so good!

Click on the links to see who made these -

1. Assembly, 2. Improv. Blocks, 3. improv curve mini quilt, 4. wool improv quilt, 5. Keeping Eden, 6. add a border plus plus, 7. "Up Down" Quilt with Facing Finish - Detail, 8. Improv / free form quilt block number 5, 9. Quiet improv quilt

Shevvy talked about how some of her Improv quilts have grown from the desire to use up her scraps, tiny as many of them are. Shevvy pieces them together, sometimes chops them up again, mixes them with solids and plays around with colour and design until she's got a quilt she's happy with, there are many examples on her Flickr page. I got a bundle of her tiny triangle scraps at the last meeting and my challenge was to make a block with them.

This is what I came up with, I tried not to overthink it and just added a few rectangles to these tiny triangles that were mostly pieced together. I'm not mad about the finished block, it's too busy for my taste, but I absolutely loved the process and trying something new. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015


I've started the year pretty well with sewing projects, January is always a productive month for me. I love the fresh start, the quieter pace post Christmas, the ease of getting back into routine after a few weeks of crazy.

I started with some dressmaking, for me. It has been a long time goal of mine to sew myself a vintage inspired wardrobe, and I'm getting there, but it is painfully slow. So to have made two items in the first week of a new year has pleased me immensely. 

First was the boatneck top, from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I'll be making more of these as it's quick, easy and looks pretty elegant for everyday wear. I'll make a few adjustments on the next one, but overall I love this.

I've had this floral fabric for ages, I bought it with a full skirted fifties dress in mind, (I still have enough fabric and may well make a dress too) This gathered dirndl skirt is super easy to make, it's basically two rectangles of fabric (front and back) and a waistband, there is a tutorial over on Gerties blog here. I used the full width of the fabric, 142cm for both the front and back and I love the fullness it gives. Roll on summer, I can't wait to wear this.

I got this new old pattern too, I'll need to adjust it I should imagine but I'm looking forward to getting started on this. View C  was the most popular over on Instagram and it's my favourite too so I'm on the hunt for the perfect fabric for it.