Tag Archives: Quilts Unscripted

In June, Chris shared photos of Pueblo pottery as our inspiration for improv piecing our blocks for her. Her husband has the book From This Earth: The Ancient Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stewart Peckham which inspired her prompt. She asked us to make 1-2 blocks that could be square or rectangular and around 12-13" on one side. Our palette was to Kona Natural, Bone, Ivory, Haze, or Dove for the background and Kona Hibiscus, Crimson, Roasted Pecan, or Indigo for the features color, or similar.

These are not colors typically in my stash so I took the opportunity to add to my solids and placed an order. Here's what I got. (I label the selvage of my solids in Sharpie so I know what is what.) When my fabrics arrived I really loved all the light neutrals together. I may circle back to using them all together in some way.

For my first block, I settled on Haze and Hibiscus. There was an image with skinny stripes in a stair step pattern that caught my eye.

These are my initial pieces. My purple skinny strips finish at 1/8" wide. I wanted to join them at a right angle so I cut two sections of my strips at opposite 45 degree angles. The section in the upper right is larger color block sections. This resulted in a y-seam.

I started by piecing my strips on the 45 degree angle seam, figuring I could be more precise with matching up my purple strips if I sewed this seam first.

Next I pieced in the center section and added more background around the right and bottom sides.

Here's my finished block. I think it finished at about 10" x 14".

For my second block, I chose Ivory & Roasted Pecan. I picked a small section of one of the designs that made me think of improv triangles.

Here it is before trimming up. I paired my improv triangles with smooth improv curved piecing. It's slightly larger than my first block.

I hear Chris is working on her quilt and look forward to seeing it come together!

Things were a little different last month in the Quilts Unscripted Bee. Sarah asked that we take inspiration from tile quilts and use raw edge appliqué for the construction of our blocks.

Sarah was inspired by this article from Quiltfolk about tile quilts and wanted our help to make a present day version of a vintage tile quilt. She asked that we work in all solids, that our background be a light neutral, and that we use colors from this photo as inspiration for our tiles: teals, red/pinks, lime/yellow greens, and a bit of warm brown/gold.

I love the palette Sarah chose and selected my fabrics. I used Ruby and Bee Vanilla Custard as the base for my block. The Kona solids that I chose for my tiles were: Chinese Red, Bright Pink, Jade Green, Splash, Capri, Sprout, Limelight, Roasted Pecan, and Gold. I applied Mistyfuse to the back of all my fabrics.

We were encouraged to use letters or object shapes to incorporate things that represent us. I started with a paint palette and added a paint brush (with the help of my daughter on how to draw a paint brush) and a crayon. Then I set to work filling in the space around my feature shapes.

My finished block has a feature area approximately 11"x 14". I enjoyed the puzzle of filling in the space around my shapes.

Instead of two larger blocks, Ellyn asked us to make a pile of mini blocks in clear, bright colors for her August prompt. I chose three of the four colors that she assigned us, based on what was plentiful in my fabric stash. She asked for oranges, blues, aquas, and yellows. I didn't have enough variety in true blues, so I stuck with the other three. "Piecing can be any improv technique you like... anything goes!" A true opportunity to play!

The first thing I did was pull fabrics, anything from a small scrap up to yardage. I started with all my smallest bits as I began piecing.

I'm a chain piecer whenever possible. I like to pair up a bunch of fabrics and then line them up at the machine to sew many seams in one go.

Sometimes I have a plan for what will go on after the current seam. In the case of the block above, the right edge is the seam I'm about to put through the machine (top view on the left, bottom view on the right). I have pinned on the next two pieces I'm adding on to this triangular center to keep the pieces together. This helps me stay organized, even when I am working on many blocks at once. After I sew the seam on the right edge, I'll unpin my extra pieces at the ironing board to press my seam and then this block goes back in the queue to attach one of the light orange pieces next.

Ta da! I made Ellyn twenty 4 1/2 inch blocks. That orange triangle block from below is in the bottom left corner.

This is one of my favorites. Often the piecing in random improv blocks is dictated by the shape of my scraps and I love seeing what happens.

The best part of a prompt like this for me is that the finished units all look cohesive, but if you look closely you can see the personality of each maker in the design decisions they made in their piecing.

Ellyn has already put together her quilt top!