Made it: Improv Mini Quilt

September 25, 2013

Back at the start of the summer I went away to the Fat Quarterly Retreat where I spent three days sewing, talking about sewing, learning new things and walking around London early in the morning.

One of my classes was Improv with Lu Summers. I love Lu’s work so it was wonderful to meet her. She was a great teacher with loads of enthusiasm and I came away with a finished block and feeling really inspired.


Sorry the top is slightly out of focus in this iPhone pic.

Since I returned summer just got in the way. I had managed to “iron the shit out of it” (as per Lu’s instructions) and baste it with a plain backing and a layer of cotton wadding but not much else had been done.

I was looking for something to do watching TV in the evening and found it in a box of Pearle cotton and decided to use it to practice my hand quilting skills. They definitely require a lot more practice but it was fun finding little bits to quilt.


I definitely enjoyed it the most when I was following the pattern of the fabric. My stitches were much more even and well executed when I had a framework to follow. The circles were my favourite part.


This week I finished the mini quilt, adding a binding and finishing by hand. I love how it has turned out. I added corners to the back so I can hang it. I was going to gift this but think that I would prefer to keep it and put it up somewhere in the house. It is a good size to be used as a quilted mat for the table but that would be too close to the messy children I think and I would hate to have it ruined.


I found Improv great fun and I came away dying to do more. I think this is a little busy for me – too much patterened fabric and so I really want to try to make another – either with just solids or solids with a few patterned fabrics mixed in. As usual I haven’t managed to get anything done yet but I bought a copy of Lu’s Book  Quilt Improv – Incredible quilts from everyday inspirations and it is great, showing you the building blocks you can use in your quilts of this type. I have plans to use the portholes technique for a present shortly. I love to learn something new and this class and the book are great fun at the same time.

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