Monday, June 23, 2014

Putting it Together and filling in a hole!

It's still Sunday somewhere in the world right?!!! Continuing on with how I made my improv quilt. If you wish to see more detail in the photo's below, click on the photo's to enlarge.


Ok, so I had all improv blocks made up, but how was I going to put them together. Firstly I placed my improv blocks on my design wall and played around with them until I was happy with the design and felt that the edges of all the blocks nestled in with each other. It was at this point I added a couple of extra strips of fabric onto some of the blocks here and there to help square the blocks up a little.


I decided rather than just sewing the blocks to each other, I wanted to have some sashing strips in between to help each block stand out on its own. I chose the fabric for the sashing strips, then cut various strips (using scissors rather than the rotary cutter) by the width of fabric.


Once the selvedges were cut off, I was able to then lay the strips around the blocks. I needed to keep in mind that I would need to sew this quilt in sections to avoid as many y seams as I could.


The black lines I have drawn onto the photo (above) show the sections the quilt was sewn in and where one y seam landed. I haven't done y seams for a long time, however they really are not difficult (that might be another mini tute for another day!).

When the sections were all sewn together, I added on the final border. Once it was done I stepped back, and realised I didn't like the size of the large empty space (see the arrows).


Filling in a hole
I decided the best way to fill in that large empty space was to applique a strip of colour over it! To do that I sewed up a strip to fill the space using leftover fabrics and included a pretty little dotty selvedge piece for interest. I then pinned the strip in place.....


....and, using my sewing machine and the quarter inch foot, sewed the strip onto the quilt top.


This method of applique is known as front basting and it is very simple and quick. I then unpicked a few my machine stitches and using an applique needle and neutral thread began to needleturn applique the strip in place.





Continue to remove stitches as you go (about 5 or six stitches at once, you don't want to unpick too far ahead).


Because the strip has been machine sewn, when the stitches are removed the fabric 'remembers' where the stitch line was and easily turns under to this point underneath the needle.


I continued all the way around until it was done. I really liked the slightly wonky colourful strip and once the quilt is quilted, you probably won't even notice it was appliqued on later!


Once the strip was appliqued on I was finally happy with the balance and design of the quilt top.


My final mini tute in this series will be to show how I quilted my improv quilt. See you soon. xo

17 comments:

Jenny M said...

So interesting to read about your thought process of putting together your quilt. Great tip about front basting too.
Love the final photo of your quilt top on your studio door!

Oops-Lah said...

I've done back basting, but never front basting. Must give it a try. Love to see the process of how you put your quilt together. It looks great BTW.

Ailsa (Cape Pincushion) said...

Your quilt really is fabulous! Thanks for the tutorial, very useful!

Estella Star of the East said...

This is wonderful!

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Cathy! This is beautiful MIX of blocks and colours! Thank you for the tip to applique. How perfect that big open door is in your studio! x Teje

Stephanie said...

Oooo pretty. I love the front basting applique lesson. Always new things to learn.

Nifty Quilts said...

Cathy,

It's wonderful! I've never seen this form of appliqué. Your techniques remind me of the way quilt-makers of the past made their quilts--figure it out as you go. Beautiful result!

Jodi said...

What a wonderful quilt, and thanks for the mini tute. I've never seen that done either - it's great!

Jenny said...

thank you cathy...ive never seen this method before love your quilt

Ali Honey said...

I have never heard of front basting...makes a lot of sense. Thanks Cathy. Good finish there too!

Salley said...

Perfect solution!

Cardygirl said...

Looks fabulous!

Sharyn Baldwin said...

Thanks so much for the front basting applique explanation, that is really handy to know!
Your quilt is fabulous and it has been interesting watching your process. Thanks again!

myBearpaw said...

Wow, amazing quilt Cathy, but thanks so much for sharing that fabulous technique! I've never seen that before, great idea!!

GO STARS! said...

Thanks for showing your process. I have several stitchery blocks that I want to put into a quilt. They're all different sizes and this shows me how to go about putting them into a quilt.

fiberchick said...

Great tutorial. Your quilt is smashing!

Sandi said...

Beautiful quilt. I love the colours. Thanks for the tut on the front basting appliqué ... I had never thought about doing it that way!