Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 1 – tutorial

This is the first block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

Materials

Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.

Instructions

Cut a 12 ½ x 12 ½ in square.

Cut the square in smaller squares/rectangles. An example is below.

Now start cutting each rectangle/square in half and add a strip of a contrasting colour to join back together.

Iron flat.

Cut joined piece in half again.

And join back again using the same contrasting fabric.

Continue to do the same and try and use strips of fabric which are uneven for a different effect.

Now we have 2 squares completed.

This time just cut a large rectangle in 3 pieces like below and join back together as we did earlier.

As you can see the block starts taking shape.

Cut another square in 3 pieces and substitute one of them for another colour as per picture below.

Now we have all the rectangles/squares done, let’s put them back together.

You can use here other fabric colours so that it doesn’t look all the same.

To close large gaps you can use different strips of colour.

And here is the finished block. The next step will be trimming the block to 10 ½ in which I’ll do later when all improv blocks in this series are completed.

Now you just need to square it.

14 thoughts on “Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 1 – tutorial”

  1. Ive been making efforts to go outside the lines more and more in my quilting efforts. The Quilting Arts mag is so great in opening up these ideas, as is your idea here.
    I love the colours you’ve chosen as well; I’ve loved all shades orange forever and now this year we get “permission” to go with just one. Yeah.
    Id love to see this when your done. Great way to start the new year. Fresh.

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  2. Teresa no tengo blog ,pero sigo el suyo ,hace rato que estoy pensando en esto . Discúlpeme si la molesto con mi comentario, pensé en hacer algún bloque geométrico o no puede se también curvo,pero geometricamente curvo y ahí en el medio darle con lo que usted hizo,una improvisación, le cuento que hice algunos bloques para tal fin,pero me quedaron tan bonitos que no quiero pesarles la cuchilla rotatoria.Escribo esto,como si estuviera usted en mi cocina ,usted tendría que decir “córtalos”.
    FELIZ AÑO.

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  3. soshipop, pues yo te recomendaría que los cortaras, sí. Entiendo que no quieras estropearlos, pero no lo vas a hacer. Y aunque así fuera siempre podrías volver a repetirlos y seguro que te quedarían igual de bonitos. A perder el miedo y a cortar!

    Feliz Año.

    Teresa

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  4. This is amazing to me. I am so rigid in my quilting, but I have so much desire to be creative. I love this. Do you still do the 1/4 in seams and iron to the dark side. It is confusing to me because the edges are not squarely cut and I don’t see how it will be ok.

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  5. Hi Susan

    I try to do 1/4 in seams but sometimes it may be a bit less. I do iron to the darker side mostly but sometimes it’s just not possible and I iron to the side the seam lies naturally when I place the block down.

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