Design Your own Quilt: Try Improv Quilting – Quilting Daily

If you’ve never tried improv quilting, you should!

Improvisational quilt blocks can seem difficult when you don’t know where to start–all that freedom can be daunting–but they’re a great place to start if you want to design your own quilt.

In the March/April 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork Virginia Cole encourages us to look beyond the traditional rules of quilting when designing modern quilts by 07giving improv quilting a try. She shares three improvisational quilt blocks perfect for quilters new to the technique and for those who love to improvise when designing their quilts.

Using gray, white, and a bold color, her improvisational blocks are versatile, fun, and totally addictive. Here are her instructions for one quilt block that focuses on simple asymmetry:

Each block will be different and so their assembly may be different as well. Aim for rectangular-shaped blocks in the range of 5″ x 8″ to 10″ x 14″. Remember, you aren’t locked into a size at this stage: each block will be trimmed later, as needed.

cole-newbie-asymm1. Sew a gray rectangle/square to a similar length white rectangle/square.

2. Slice the block perpendicular to the seam. Make sure the slice is not in the center: the goal is for asymmetry, so make the slice either nearer to the top or the bottom of the pieced unit.

3. Sew a color strip between the slices and trim the block.Improvisation allows the designer to make changes along the way.

To get the most out of this technique, follow these tips:

  • Cut enough fabric for only a few blocks at a time.
  • Sew several blocks together and review your work. These blocks may lead to other block design ideas.
  • Try this technique with a group. This could be a fun guild activity. -Virginia Cole

Improvisational quilting is a great way to experiment with quilt designs, color play, and block structures. Do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Virginia’s article “Newbie Modern Quilt Blocks” in Modern Patchwork March/April 2017 will give you a few basic blocks to help kick off your improv quilting adventure. Get started improvising and designing your own quilt today when you instantly download the digital magazine.

Happy quilting!

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