Improv Quilt – Borders Attached

Borders Attached

Just finished attaching the borders. The quilt top is now just about twin size – I hadn’t intended making the quilt this large but that’s how it’s turned out.

Now to create a strip for the back – I’m going to need to add at least 12” to the width of the backing fabric (that’s because I’m too cheap to buy a double length of fabric and because there’s enough scraps to assemble a wide strip).

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Improv Quilt – Center Panel Pieced

Center Panel Piecing Completed

Just finished piecing the centre panel for the Improv Quilt. I’ve cut some strips to widen the panel another 4″ to balance out the length. I’ve also cut strips for the borders. Yesterday I bought some backing fabric and I’m planning on using the golden leaves for binding.

Because the piecing is random and bold and busy, the imperfections don’t show (only an eagle-eyed quilter would notice them) – there’s just the sense of shapes and colour distributed throughout the panel. With the strips and borders added the size and continuity will be fine for a good size lap quilt which is what I was aiming for.

Once I have the top completed I still have to piece the backing and assemble the quilt sandwich – all before Tuesday, when this class meets again! So I’m under a bit of pressure to keep moving this quilt along.

Improv Quilt – Partially Assembled

Quilt Top – Partially Assembled

I finally got a chance to work on the improv quilt again. I didn’t actually lay it out on the floor, but laid out the wide extended border on my cutting table and began assembling “sections” along one side – starting with one of the  equilateral triangle elements and adding bordered blocks, and plain blocks, and pieced blocks the same width, attached to one another with whatever width sashing make the section come out even. I had to sew some partial seams as I was putting the pieces I’d made together (I got good at that on the medallion quilt), then opened them to attach the next segments. I’d say I got about 3/4 of the quilt top assembled. I still have to make a couple of blocks to complete the improvisation. Not sure what they’ll be yet but some bit of piecing I haven’t tried yet.

I’ve got to go looking for fabric to back the quilt in the next few days. I have to have this quilt top completed over the weekend because the improvise a quilt class meets on Tuesday and I have to have this finished. I’m hoping I’ll be able to have the quilt sandwich assembled so I can demonstrate quilting in the hoop to the gals. The final (3rd) class, two weeks later, will be binding the quilt, and adding a label to the back. In other words I want these quilts DONE and not left as UFOs (Unfinished Objects) which is so often what happens to class projects for these gals.

Medallion Quilt – Completed!

Completed Quilt

Here, finally, is the completed, bound quilt. Just finished stitching the curlicues in the center of the medallion. In the end I straight stitched them on the machine, a couple of stitches at a time, in order to stay on the edge of the curlicue. I had set up a single run design to stitch them out as embroideries, but each of the four corners was slightly different, and I couldn’t align the first embroidery to stitch precisely where I wanted it, so I switched to plan “b”. It took lots of twisting and turning of the quilt (thank goodness it wasn’t any larger) to get each curlicue done.

Quilt Back

I used leftovers from the outer border strips to create blocks for the back. Their off center placement is intentional. I could have placed them somewhat closer to one another, but once the back was pinned in place I decided not to bother taking the whole thing apart to make that small adjustment.

Close-up detail of one corner – showing the embroidery in some of the “empty” blocks.

Corner, Showing Detail

The embroideries worked out well – I did seventeen in all (one a test run to make sure the design stitched out correctly). Doing the embroidery proved challenging, not because they were particularly complex designs, but because my embroidery machine decided, at that moment, to be temperamental – the touch screen stopped working properly and precisely positioning each embroidery took patience. (The embroidery machine is now in hospital being repaired and I’m working on a borrowed machine.)

The quilt still needs a label but that can wait until I get my machine back.

Improvising A Quilt

Yesterday, I dropped into Sew With Vision (my local Pfaff/Husqvarna dealer) to check on stuff in preparation for two classes I’m offering this fall. I also needed some variegated thread for quilting the Medallion Quilt. Sitting on the checkout counter was a 2m piece of Benartex fabric for sale at such a ridiculously low price it screamed “take me home”. So I did. Next step: go through the stash to see what might go with it – lots of dark and lighter greys, but nothing in the right shade/print style of the turquoise.

Benartex Cosmopolitan + Stash

So I checked the selvage – found out I had fabric by Benartex: Cosmopolitan. I checked online: Turns out there were I think three colour ways: turquoise, yellow, and lime. There appears to still be some of the lime prints available but almost none of the turquoise.

Benartex Cosmopolitan – Fabric Online

I did find a turquoise from the original collection at Fabric.com – 2 yds for $4.71/yard – it was the shipping that was horrendous! I walked away. But after shopping this afternoon for something that could possibly work (I found a Kona in almost the exact shade of turquoise as well as the turquoise with gold leaves at a local shop, both in the top photo) I came home and ordered 2 yds. To hell with the expense. That fabric is going to let me pull all the others together.

BTW, this is definitely NOT going to be a medallion quilt! Something simple and modern – an improvisation for the Improvise A Quilt class in a couple of weeks.

Medallion Quilt – Top Done!

Medallion Quilt Top Complete With Border

I adjusted the final corner within the block so that it was better balanced without affecting the outer dimensions. Then I added the outer border, complete with mitred corners. Quilt still square, Yeah! I’ve intended the quilt to be a lap quilt. However, while the finished size (63″ x 63″) is not a full double/queen size it could certainly be used as a colourful spread to focus attention on a bed.

Now I have to think about the back of the quilt. I have a complementary fabric double width so I could just cut the size I need and be done with it, but before I do that I will go through the scraps and other leftover fabric to see if there is some kind of strip I can cobble together to add interest to the back of the quilt. But that’s for another day – likely tomorrow.

Melanie McNeil asked if I was pleased with my efforts – now I can definitely say I am.