Today I’m very excited to share with you a new book by designer and author Lucie Summers, Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations. Many of you probably know Lucie through her fabrics for Moda. I have a fair share of them in my stash and I’m constantly reaching for them when working on scrappy projects.
When I first opened Quilt Improv, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the photography. I have a very large library of quilting books. (Sort of a quilt book addict.) I think I can easily say, these are the most beautifully photographed quilts in my entire collection.
Seriously. If I could spell out what would make a perfect setting for quilt photos, I would probably say rustic barns…
historic looking stone walls…
And what is this? A truck full of flower bulbs? (LOVE!!)
I want to move into every picture! I honestly feel like this could be a coffee table book. Drool worthy.
Quilt Improv has directions for several improvisational techniques, referred to as The Building Blocks: Applique Circle, Basket Weave, Chain Pieced Strips, Chevrons, Crazy Triangles, Half Square Triangles, Log Cabins, Pieced Squares, Portholes, Quarter Circles, String Blocks and X Blocks; as well as 12 Quilts. Is is absolutely packed with information.
I decided to make a little project out of the book, and in the spirit of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, include one of my kids in the fun. I showed my 4 year old the project – Chain-Pieced Strips. I let him dig through my scrap tubs and lay out all the fabrics.
I trimmed them to size and sewed them together. It was actually a really fun project to work on together. He was so excited, he kept saying “I can’t believe I’m making my very own quilt!!”
I quilted and bound it and now it is a very special quilt for his stuffed panda.
Improv can be a little scary, but it’s also quite freeing and a great way to sew with kids.
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour – some stops even have giveaways!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed seeing everyone’s blocks from the Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop over the last week. They all did such a great job and today Katie, Lee and I are happy to share with you the quilts we made from the 20 blocks. We didn’t really specify fabric styles or colors, so this was true challenge. Everyone mailed their blocks to Lee and she spent time mixing and matching them into 3 piles of coordinating blocks.
I received blocks that were centered around primary colors – Reds, blues, yellows, etc. I had seven blocks and played around with them on the floor of my sewing room until I had a layout I liked.
I sewed them into diagonal strips – 2 blocks/3 blocks/2 blocks. Then I improvisationally added a putty colored solid to the strips. Initially I did have “normal” corners on this quilt, but in a fit of creativity (or craziness? lol) I chopped them off to create angled corners. Since this quilt is toddler sized, I thought it made it a bit more whimsical and also called attention to the diagonal layout of the blocks. Plus, then the quilt was easily named by my daughter – “the quilt with all those corners.” lol
The back is a great print from Carrie Bloomston’s Collage fabric line. I didn’t have quite enough so I added a coordinating turquoise to the edges. The binding is a Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet print.
For the quilting, I did closely spaced wavy lines, at an angle. I talk a lot about wavy quilting on this blog, but just as a refresher – I use the running stitch on my machine (Bernina stitch #4), max out the width and set the length to 4.0. I use my walking foot while quilting. I used the edge of the blocks as my starting point for the first line, and after that just used the 1/4″ marking of my walking foot as a loose spacing guide.
As we said at the beginning of the week, these samplers are going to be donated to various charities. I haven’t decided where to send this one just yet. I was certain you all would have some ideas for me! It is baby/toddler sized. Feel free to leave your ideas (and websites if you have them) in the comments!
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend in Cedarburg, Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts. Saturday I participated in the Menu of Modern Event. Lee Heinrich, Jeni Baker, Jacquie Gering and I each spent some time talking to the group about our quilts, design and color. We also had a Q&A panel session and book signing. What a great group! It was a lot of fun to meet several of you. The museum itself is in a restored barn with areas for classes, exhibits and a gift shop. So cute! I’m thinking I need to take my mom up there next time she is in town.
Sunday, Lee and I stayed for Jacquie’s class on the Slice and Insert technique. Somehow I’ve never taken one of Jacquie’s classes and this was the absolute perfect opportunity to spend some time learning from her amongst friends.
She spent a lot of time talking technique and sharing class samples.
I am in LOVE with her red and white plus quilt. Don’t be surprised if you see me make one of these in the future!
I brought several shades of turquoise for my block backgrounds, and ivory + black prints for my strips. Here I am “auditioning” my first block.
This is how the final fabrics and placements turned out.
After I got the hang of it, the blocks came faster. I ended up making 3 for the day.
Here’s Lee, Jacquie and I – in what Jacquie called a Vintage Modern Sandwich! Ha!
It was a great weekend and reminded me how much fun it is to get together with friends and sew. If only there was more time in each day, right?
This week Katie, Lee and I are hosting a fun little party to celebrate the release of Vintage Quilt Revival. If you are a regular visitor, you probably already know that our book is based on 20 classic quilt blocks. Each block is used not only in 3 different samplers, but in its own individual project as well.
This week, we’ve asked 20 awesome bloggers to share a block they created out of the book. In the last month, after they sewed they blocks, they mailed them back to us to combine into 3 special charity quilts. Katie, Lee and I will be sharing those on Friday.
I hope you will follow along and check out all the talented individuals who created blocks!
I hope you end the week feeling inspired!