Tag Archives: free form patchwork

Video tutorial: improv patchwork projects- quick and easy quilting

I’ve made a few improv projects over the years.

Do you have a lot of scraps you don’t know what to do with? Here is how you can use them.

Learn to do improv patchwork in 2 minutes

This is is just one way to do improv patchwork but quite an easy one.  You can use a piece of paper as stabiliser or nothing at all.

If you enjoy my tutorials consider subscribing to my Youtube channel.

Improv projects tutorials

Upcycled travel bag tutorial

Upcycled travel bag tutorial

Semi-improv 9-patch quilt

Quilt-as-you-go patchwork school bag

Urban garden iPad carry case



Reversible tray cover using improv piecing and embroidery


Improv patchwork headboard makeover



Spanish lace bobbins holder



Improv/free form quilt series



Free form patchwork mini quilt – visual creative process



Free form, free motion patchwork trial

 

Video tutorial: improv patchwork – quick and easy quilting

Video tutorial: Improv patchwork - quick and easy quilting tutorial

I love improv patchwork and I hope you get to love it too after you try it out.

Do you have a lot of scraps you don’t know what to do with? Here is how you can use them.

Learn to do improv patchwork in 2 minutes

This is is just one way to do improv patchwork but quite an easy one:

If you enjoy my tutorials consider subscribing to my Youtube channel.

Père-Noël zigzag quilt tutorial part three: improv patchwork for the quilt back and machine binding with mitered corners

In this third and last tutorial I will make an improv design for the back of the quilt using some left over fabrics from the top of my Père-Noël zigzag Christmas quilt top.

See also:

Part one: quilt top assembly

Part two: embroidery embellishments

Improv back of quilt

There are no patterns for this one, just a visual progression of the improv patchwork being put together.

I used the charm squares trimmings and some matching reds, green and white solids.

The patchwork is made by sewing the trimmings in between rectangles of solid colours.

I started with the middle strip. The white rectangles are 2 1/2 in wide down but they decrease in width and end in a triangle. The most obvious way to achieve this is to cut a long strip 2 1/2 wide which ends in a pointy end. Then slice the strip into bits.

The length of the strip depends on how long you want it to be. I wanted it to be almost as long as the quilt.

This is what the strip looks like.

After sewing the white strip I cut the trimmings again.

And did the same with both red solids. Some of the trimmings had to be stitched together.

To sew both strips together, place both strips side by side right side facing up. Overlap both edges well and then pin. Use the overlapping line to cut through the bottom strip.

Now pin together well and sew.

Do the same with each strip.

I continued until I finished all trimmings more or less.

This is the resulting improv patchwork that I will be the back of the zigzag Christmas quilt.

Now you need to square the improv patchwork into a panel that will be making the back of the quilt.

Use the same technique as before when sewing two pieces with uneven edges. Place the piece on top of a muslin or calico piece of fabric and pin. Then cut along the overlapping edge. Pin together and sew.

Do the same for both edges.

The back of the quilt is finished.

Assemble the quilt sandwich and quilt.

I used a variety of free motion quilting patterns for this quilt. The patterns follow the zig zag in the quilt.

Trim off the quilt backing and batting.

Machine binding

I have been machine binding my quilts lately. It takes a small fraction of time as compared to slip stitching them at the back and the finish is just as good in my opinion.

To machine bind a quilt, you need to place the binding on the back of the quilt, aligned to the edge of the quilt, as opposed to stitching it to the front first.

For small lap quilts I don’t use binding cut on the bias but just cut straight from across the grain of the fabric.

To start, cut a strip about 225 in x 2 1/2 in. You’ll need to cut several strips and piece them together to obtain this length.

Fold the strip in half and iron well.

Take the quilt on the back and place the raw edge of the strip aligned with the quilt edge.

Mitered corners

Stitch all the way to the corner stopping at 1/4 in from the edge.

Now fold the strip up in a 45 degree angle as per picture.

Then fold the strip back aligning the fold with the top edge as per picture. Pin.

Now stitch all the way to the end again, stopping at 1/4 from the corner and do the same again for the next corner.

Once you have done the stitching your top will look like this.

Now fold the strip back over the top of the quilt. The binding will cover the raw edge all the way to covering the stitching line.

When you reach a corner, with your finger fold the mitred corner as per picture.  First fold in a 90 degree angle the binding at the corner.

And then fold back again as per picture making sure you align both corners.

Pin the whole quilt binding this way.

And now top stitch as close to the edge as possible.

The binding is done.

And this is the quilt, back and front.

Ready for Christmas!

Putting the improv / free form quilt blocks together


Time to put all blocks together with some sashing and a border.

Block construction

Adding sashing

I made 4 strips of sashing, larger than required and then trimmed each strip as I added the sashing.

Making the sashing

Sashing is made of 2 inch cream strips with some touches of colour.

Place the cream strip below the colour strip and make a cut like below.

Pin well together and stitch.

Then place the cream strip on top of the colour strip and cut along the line.

Now put both coloured and cream strips together.

Pin well.

Stitch and iron flat.

Now do the same with another colour.

Cut together to make sure that cutting lines match.

The curvier the edge the more pins you will need to ensure the seam lies flat when stitched.

Iron the sashing well before sewing to the blocks.

Add sashing to blocks.

Pin one strip to the top of one block and stitch.

Trim excess off.

Stitch sashing to the next block.

Continue adding strips and trimming.

Border

The border is 3 1/2 inches wide. Cut 5 x 4 inch squares and make a cut across each of them.

Cut now a narrow strip in a coloured fabric by placing the piece of fabric as per picture below.

Cut along each line on the sides.

Do the same for all squares.

Pin and stitch together.

Iron flat.

Trim to 3 1/2 inches.

Place the squares around the border and sew to strips of fabric 3 1/2 wide.

Stitch the border to the assembled blocks.

Make a quilt sandwich. I used calico for the backing and cotton batting.

Pin all three layers together.

Quilt the sandwich. I stipple quilted it.

Mount on canvas

My canvas is 90 x 70 cm (about 35.4 in x 27.5 in) and as you can see in the photo, the quilt is quite a bit larger so it wraps really well around the frame. Unfortunately some of the border stripes can’t be seen. Too late for me but you could make sure that in your border you add the little stripes closer to the blocks so they show.

After carefully placing the quilt over the canvas making sure it is centred (my quilt wasn’t perfectly square so on some areas there is more border showing than in others), staple the quilt well all around the frame.

Start stapling on opposite sides first.

Then staple in between the existing staples.

And then each corner.

Done!

I was going to add some fabric border around the frame but I’m undecided.

And now that it is finished, I am not sure it will work well as a bed head.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 6 – tutorial

This  is the sixth and last block. It is constructed in the same way as my first free form mini quilt.

See

The block is constructed like a log cabin block.

Cut the strips of fabric with a pair of scissors or with a rotary cutter without using a ruler. Start with a small rectangle for the centre. Use strips made of different colours to build the block around the centre. The strips can be one single colour or the strip can be made of different colours joined together.

Keep adding strips of fabric until your block can be squared to 10 inches.

The sides of the block may get very wavy as you keep sewing. To straighten a wavy strip, you need to place the side of the block on top of the new strip of fabric, pin it, and cut around the edge of the block on the fabric below (see picture).You will end up with a wavy strip of fabric as per picture below.

To add the wavy strip to the side of the block, pin it in place matching the inside and outside waves really well. It can be tricky to start.

When you’re done with the block, square it to 10 1/2 inches.

So we have now a set of 6 blocks. Next time we will add the sashing and a border ready to mount on canvas.