Archive for the ‘Improv technique’ Category


Warning:  Long post with lots of photos ahead.

This is our NON-Huzzzbund quilt.  An improv double wedding ring inspired by the quilts in the book Double Wedding Ring Quilts – Tradition made Modern  by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.


I used mostly my Japanese taupe scraps to crumb piece many of the melons and centers.  I used several different prints for the rest of it.

I believe I started doing the crumb piecing as a leader/ender project in June/July 2017.  The centers and melons were put together at our Lillipilli retreat in August.

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After I had the quilt put together into 2 chunks, I did a fair amount of embroidery on the blocks.  My plan was to embroider ‘stuff’ that represented Mr. W and my life together.  I would sit on the couch in front of the TV and we’d chat about what I should embroider that night.  We actually had a list of ideas on the arm of the couch that we would reference and add ideas to.

You know how you have those little SECRET things you say to each other?  Those cheeky little comments?  Those special little moments that make you smile?  Well, a lot of those secrets and situations were embroidered on the top.  Some of them are private, some aren’t.  Some of them are abbreviated (BMWA) and some of them aren’t (shut the fuckin’ door!).  Some I would share the meaning with you if you asked – others I would just smile and let you guess.  All have stories behind them.

I included cows (we have 7 Murray Greys), our passports, names of local beaches, our birthdates and names, a surfer (have I ever told you about my unfortunate surfing accident????) and rugby references (DrewBaby & Dr. Sharon!).  Also included was just random crazy quilt embroidery on the crumb pieced blocks.


As this is an amazingly special quilt to me (and Mr. W), we decided to splash out and have Christine Fahey, an amazing quilter from Moruya, quilt it for us.  My instructions to her were to simply have fun and not to over quilt it.  She did an absolute gorgeous job on it.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  The quilting is whimsical and fits so perfectly with the feel of the quilt.  She added to the conversation of the quilt.  One example….sometimes Mr. W or I will say to the other….”You don’t mean that, do you?”.  Well, Chris quilted “of course not!” next to that comment.


We have the quilt hung in the yoga room right now.  Mainly I put it there in order to make sure it is hanging straight (it IS!) as it will be in the local quilt show in June.  Once the show is over I think I want us to have it in the TV room to curl up under.  A quilt like this needs to be used, not folded up on a shelf.


It is absolutely my most favorite quilt I have ever made (and I’ve made a LOT of quilts).  I love many of the quilts I have made – but to me, this one takes the cake.  It might not be the most perfectly sewn quilt I’ve ever made – but it has my heart in it.  It has our love in it.  Who knows where this quilt will end up but I hope that when someone, someday is looking at this quilt and trying to figure out something about the person who made it…I hope they at least figure out that we were totally and completely in love and enjoying life to the max.



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I’ve been fascinated with the Lucy Boston quilt (and her story) for many years but it has always felt a little too overwhelming to start.  Then Danni, from The Quilting Patch and Eppiflex came out with her templates for English Paper Piecing.  I still have not been motivated to actually do a Lucy Boston quilt, but I used the templates to make this design (the center part).  I think I have about 50 shades of grey.  I used these as a travel project to the USA last year.  And, I LOVE the Eppiflex product.  HIGHLY recommend it.

The triangle border is improv pieced and the outer fabric is from Frond Designs.  I bought the fabric at Fern Hill Gifts, Quilts and Antiques last year (an amazing shop and they are fabulous at personal shopping for you also!).  The back is also a Frond fabric which a friend of mine found here in Australia.  The green on the back is fabric I painted as I didn’t have enough of the tree of life fabric.

The quilting was done on the Sweet 16 with the design help of Ms. A and Sista Kay.  I also used techniques I learned in the latest Angela Walters FMQ quilt challenge (it was free and another one is starting May 13) and a couple of her rulers.

As I was folding the quilt up after taking pictures, I discovered that I had left one of the plastic Eppiflex templates in one of the pieces.  It has actually been quilted into the quilt.  Go figure.

And the wood pile?  Well, we finally finished moving the wood (2 ute loads) to the wood shed.  We’re ready for winter.  Figure we’ll be lighting a fire before the end of the week if the cold and wet forecast is correct.


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A month ago or so, I heard about an app called “WeCroak“.  I think I heard about it on Dan Harris’s 10% Happier podcast or maybe it was Sam Harris’s Waking Up podcast .

For US$1 (one time fee), I get up to 5 messages a day that say “don’t forget…you’re going to die”.  It may sound pessimistic, but I find it positive.  It reminds me to take things lightly.  To not stress.  It reminds me that everything and everyone is impermanent.  It helps me live my life the way I want to live it.  It keeps me in the moment instead of the past or the future.

With those 5 messages, you can click to get a quote.  This is one of those quotes.

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On a quilting note, I’ve agreed to teach a 2 day workshop in August so I’ve started doing a little more prep work for that.  I have the basics of the workshop already prepared as I did two demos last month on the same idea that I will be teaching.  I resisted for a long time – but I really did enjoy the demos so decided ‘why not’?  I’ll be teaching 6 simple improv blocks and then ideas for putting them together.  I’m billing it as a PLAYDATE with your scrap bag.  No stress.  No pressure.  No Quilt Police.  Just hang out with me for 2 days and sew.  I think it might be fun.


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Nine more small improv pieces finished and ready to roll up and store on a shelf.  Then again, perhaps I’ll try to sell them.  And if they don’t sell, perhaps I’ll find homes for them.  Who knows.

They started with a challenge I gave myself to work through Maria Shell‘s book Improv Patchwork.  I made it through most of the book before it started to feel like homework so I quit.  I pulled my collection of Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics and got stuck into it.


The applique circles were my idea.  I’m still into circles.  (I might have to do another squircles-type quilt just to get them out of my system.)

I tried not to put too much thought into any of them – just went with the flow.  Didn’t use a rotary cutter except in the final square up stage.


I hand big stitch quilted 3 of them and then did the rest on the Janome.


Instead of binding them or facing them, I tried a new-to-me technique of using a pillowcase turn.  I’m quite pleased with it.  I did this as my hands are getting old and weary and I want to save them for work I really enjoy and plan to keep.


The pictures aren’t the best.  I struggle to get the color right when taking photos inside.  These were taken outside early morning and they aren’t the best either.  They show the texture well, but the photos don’t do justice to the rich colors that Cherrywood Fabrics produces.  When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy a 1/2 yard of every single one of their fabrics.

I like the first one and the purple one the best.

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I’m back to working on my Voluptuous Woman quilt.  I’ve cleared the decks and plan to devote the next 2 weeks to her.

To quickly recap:  The base is a tablecloth that was given to me by my friend Ms. A.   She thinks it was originally owned by the mother of a neighbor of mine.  I cut the tablecloth into pieces then painted, stencilled, dyed and wrote on it.  Then I resewed the pieces back together.  Next, I added some embroidery.  The dancing women stencils are from StencilGirl (Loose Woman 1, 2 & 3).

The drawing was done by Ms. A’s daughter, B.  I coloured her drawing and then using the technique outlined in the book Pictorial Art Quilts by Leni Levenson Weiner, enlarged the drawing and printed it out to size (about 24″ high).  Then I traced it onto freezer paper and outlined the graduated grey scale sections.  My plan was to use this freezer paper template as my pattern pieces.


I’ve changed my plan though.  I’m using this template as a guide, but I’m free hand cutting my fabrics.  All those little pieces would have been a pain to cut out and keep organised.  If my way doesn’t work, I can always fall back on doing it as per instructions in Leni’s book.


These are the 4 fabrics I’m using for shading the body.  Oh, and I used a beige crumb pieced section (left over from “Sushi”) for the base of the body.  The fabric on the left may be used for her hair – it looks ‘curly’ to me.



Anyway – this is the darkest fabric.  It’s all very rough right now.  I attached Misty Fuze to the back of the fabric so once it looks as I want it to, I’ll lightly press it so it will adhere to the crumb pieced base.  Once I have the base as I want it, I’ll attach the body to the background.  Then I’ll do some kind of raw edge stitching to attach it all.  Potentially even try my hand as some thread painting?  Who knows.


One step at a time.  Flying by the seat of my pants.  I’m glad to have finally overcome my inertia to move forward on this project.  As my sidebar indicates – fear of sucking holds me back and I’ve been held back on this project for way too long.

I’ll be linking to the AHIQ (Ad Hoch Improv Quilting) gals tomorrow.  Fret Not Yourself and Sew Slowly

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