Improvisational Piecing Workshop with Malka Dubrawsky

Boy did I have a good day yesterday. After a few months of anticipation, I attended the Improvisational Piecing Workshop with Malka Dubrawsky at the CREATE Mixed Media Retreat. It was 8 kid-free hours where I got to sew all day, learn from a talented artist who has been inspiring me ever since I started quilting, meet Lee for the first time in person, and be with an entire classroom of fun ladies! I’m not sure how I ended up so lucky!

Malka brought several awesome class samples, including the photo above. Speaking of class samples, she brought in her new fabric line that is going to be available through Moda early next year and it is amazing. Start saving your pennies people, because you will not be able to pass it by.

Here is Malka explaining our class project to us. We made nine log cabin blocks, warm colors on two sides and cool colors on two sides. We didn’t use rulers and even the use of the rotary cutter was pretty loose. But I did learn that there are actual “rules” being followed on these pieces that seem to magically come together with no planning. (Such as use of warm and cool fabrics in certain places.) And those deliberate “rules” are what makes the projects work so well.

This is the wonderful Lee of Freshly Pieced! Hi Lee! I had a great time sitting next to her all day, she is so nice. πŸ™‚ I will see her again in October in Salt Lake City at the Sewing Summit.

These are my blocks coming together – the first four. Notice how the cool color sides are all meeting in the middle. That’s the planning portion of the project.

Malka also did a quick demo of how to make improvisational string blocks. No paper piecing, just eyeballing it. I am definitely going to try this.

This made me laugh – my blocks are on the left and Lee’s blocks are on the right. Think we have the same taste and fabric stash? LOL Isn’t the hotel conference center carpet nice?

All the ladies hard at work!

Yep, I got a photo with Malka! She was such a wonderful instructor and genuine nice person, I would definitely take a class with her again. Maybe we can talk her into coming here and doing a fabric dying workshop?

And here is my final product! I really love it. I showed it to my 4 year old and she said “I love the pink and purple! Why isn’t it big? Where’s the edge?” (binding) Well, she is starting to pick up the details of quilt construction so I was a bit proud of her comments. She *really* wants it so I am considering making more blocks and then giving it to her.

Overall, it was a fantastic day!


  1. 3


    Hi! You must have had wonderful time! Your work looks impressive and I can understand why your daughter would love to have a big quilt like that!

  2. 4


    oh, how fun! I’d love to take a class with Malka ~ guess her book will have to do for now.
    Love your quilt too, so colorful and wonderful!

  3. 7

    Sara says

    Log cabins are so fun I need to do some more!! Very interesting— the cool/warm color combination!

    I bet your daughter is very PROUD of her mommy!

  4. 9


    EEEE! That is so awesome! I really wish I had been able to make the trip down, it looks like you guys had a blast! Love your blocks! πŸ™‚

  5. 12


    I had such a great time, Faith! What a great way to spend the day β€”and it’s just making me that much more excited about the Summit. : ) Your top looks awesome, I wish I would have finished mine!

  6. 13

    Jen Latourette says

    sounds like you gals had a wonderful day of cutting, sewing and creating. I live in Aurora,IL and heard about Malka’s workshop just 3 days ago. (Where have I been?) Anway, I will hopefully be able to attend next year. Sounds like there are a few people who live in the Chicago area. Wouldn’t it be fun to do a sewing workshop sometime, just a few hours hanging out and sewing quilts?
    Anway, I look forward to meeting you at the sewing Summit! πŸ™‚

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    Valerie says

    She has a fabric line coming out?!?! That is worth saving up for, to be sure! What a great day you had – what an opportunity! I am going to Summit too and can’t wait!

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