The Improv Quilt


This winter I decided I wanted to TRY to make an “improv” quilt.  I have lots of respect for original design work; it’s not easy!  I used Jacquie Gehring’s book, Quilting Modern as my starting point.  This picture shows the first blocks I made.  I put them on a background of Freespirit’s Arctic White; it’s my most favorite white.  Amy keeps it in stock at Village Fabric Shop just for me.  🙂img_0070Didn’t like all that dark so I removed those blocks…
img_0075and ended up with this.  I used a nice collection of shot cottons and of course I had some Amy Butler fabrics that worked very nicely with them.

img_0088I arranged them sort of like I wanted them and then I started to sew.

img_0091I ended up with this.img_0123I bought a beautiful piece of voile for the backing and a spool of Sulky 12 wt. variegated thread because I decided to hand quilt it.

So I pin basted it and got started.  My phone dates this picture February 15.  I love deadlines.  I decided this project would keep me sane while I watched the NCAA basketball games.   We get a little crazy at our house with the tournament, brackets, etc.   My goal was to have it finished by the championship game on April 3.  That gave me about six weeks.  I echo quilted it.  I quilted around each block until the quilting ran into the next block and then filled in the “holes.”  That’s about a 3/8″ gap between the lines…more than 1/4″ but not quite a 1/2.”  No need to mark.  Just eyeball it.

It got to travel too!  It went to Florida for a baseball spring training trip and here’s a picture of it at Lake Norman…right before the Final Four games started.

I really like how it turned out. 

I finished it the WEEK of April 3.  🙂  UNC Chapel Hill won the championship so my Tarheel son was very happy.  Big stitch hand quilting does take time.  I think I had about 35 hours in this one.  It’s SO WORTH IT though.  It’s hanging at Village Fabric Shop.  Just give it a squeeze the next time you are there…so very soft.


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