Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ScrapTastic Solid Improv Quilt


For the past three years, I have wanted to make something with my solid scraps.
I have WAY more scraps than I thought!

(I held a giveaway on IG for the my leftover scraps from this project.  The leftover scraps weighed more than 10.5 pounds!!)


After much deliberation, and many many plans over turned, 
I decided to make an improv quilt out of my solid scraps.


I started out piecing and chopping and piecing and chopping some more.

(...all while my boys were playing Axis & Allies for hours and hours and hours!!!  If you aren't familiar with Axis & Allies, imagine Risk times 100)


It was really fun learning how to do improv curve piecing.


I tried to focus on more cheerful colors.

I wanted my quilt to be perky!!


It was very exciting to see my quilt grow and grow.

Do you like my creepy eye?

Just after the New Year, I was cleaning out my sewing room and found several orphan blocks made out of solids.  I got the idea that maybe other quilters might have some orphan blocks that they would like to donate to my quilt.


I posted an adoption request on Instagram and I wasn't disappointed!


Awesome quilters sent me blocks from all over the US and even Canada!!

For many of the blocks I received, I sewed them together and then chopped them up again :)


Last year I signed up for the Riley Blake MQG fabric challenge, using a fabric collection called Sashing Stash designed by Eleanor Dugan. I COMPLETELY forgot about the challenge and the fabric :(  I thought the fabric would be perfect to toss in improv quilt.  The black and white really lends stability to the quilt.


I brought all of my blocks up to my friends cabin to put together.  I used her ping pong table as my design wall.  It was GREAT! ..except, that there was one problem with the ping pong table...


The table was SUPER long and narrow!!!  ...and so my quilt ended up being 55"x 95".  I have to say that ALL of my friends laughed REALLY hard when they saw my LONG quilt! 


The beauty of Improv is that with a little surgery, I was able to make my quilt a more normal size, although Kairle is very sad that her ping pong table no longer has the perfect cover!

We also learned from Emily Herrick, that this size of quilt is often used by coroners to cover bodies in body bags as they are taken from their homes!  (true story, ask Emily)

(Now you know what the hashtag #cadaverpingpongtablecover means now, in case you were wondering :D)


Quilting and Batting-

I debated over how to quilt this for a long time.  Many of my friend thought I should do some fancy crazy custom quilting, but I knew that it would drive me UP! A! WALL!!!


I decided to do wavy quilting.  Peaceful and calm!

It was the perfect choice along with wool batting.

I love the poofy look and warmth of the wool.  Winline Wool is my new favorite batting!


For the binding I stuck with my old standard of bias black and white binding. 


Why mess with perfection?


Oh, my newest habit is to label my quilts as soon as the binding is sewn on, before I start hand sewing.  Thank you, Jen Van Orman, for your awesome label tutorial!!!

Once I was all finished, I dragged my boys (kicking and screaming)
 out to hold the quilt for the photo shoot.


We had a really fun time on a busy street corner during commute time.
(totally embarrassing for them)

First we took pictures at the San Andres Catholic Church near our home.


It is a beautiful old building.  

Note to self- don't wear a short skirt, on a windy day, to take pictures, 
squatting on a busy corner!

While we were there, a car honked at us.  It was my quilting BFF, Emily Carr.  At first she was wondering who the crazy people were with the quilt on the corner.  Once she saw it was us, she KNEW we were crazy for sure.


Our last stop on the photo shoot was the Peteeneet School Museum.  

My sweet boys held the quilt up like pros.
They are getting so much better at withstanding my torturous outings!

They only whined a little bit!


  1. This improv is super successful! Totally love it. :D :D

  2. You inspire me with his post! I have many solid block orphans and have always wanted a fun improv-looking quilt like this, so now I'm inspired to pull things together and to get going. I love your brights and the fun swoop if colors. Bravo for a terrific finish!
    Elizabeth of OPQuilt.com

  3. Love it. I have been wanting to do something like this with solid scraps! You inspire me!

  4. I love how this quilt came together with a little help from your (quilty) friends. You definitely achieved perkiness!! And I was laughing out loud when I read about the photo session. Just how tall are your boys. They did a great job of holding that quilt up and straight!

  5. Quilt is FABULOUS! It would not be the same without the black and white bits. You have wonderful boys to help hold even if they fuss a little.

  6. That is insanely colourful and wonderful - I love it!!

  7. I really likes your blog! You have shared the whole concept really well and very beautifully soulful read!
    Thanks for sharing

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