The Daily Improv

I’ve said it other years, but this is my year of cleaning out my WIPS! I’m doing a good job of it, now to get them photographed and blogged about!

This is my first quilt I finished this year! It’s not one of my oldest WIPs, but it was sitting there just waiting! All the blocks were done, they just weren’t put together…

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Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side had a one week Improv Challenge last year.  The intent was to get you started in improv. I love improv and am not new to it, but I couldn’t resist her one week challenge. Who knew it would actually over a year for it to all come together though… (well, I should have known based on my track record!)

Each day you get a prompt and make one block from that prompt.

And actually, it looks like anyone can still do it any time. Just sign up here!  Each day sends you a new prompt and it’s a great way to try something new or different with out the commitment of a long term sew along!

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I really love how it turned out!

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I think the first day was stripes. In this picture you can see my stripes block and one of the triangle blocks to the right. The top one was the paper pieced improv block challenge. I still struggle with the idea of paper piecing and improv in the same sentence. To me they don’t go together! Other people would totally disagree with me and that’s ok! So I made a couple of paper piecing patterns and went with it. We’re trying new things, right?

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This is my favorite one! The Log Cabin block! I love improv log cabin blocks. love love love! I actually made two of these!

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And curves. Another of the prompts was curves. I think I ended up with two curve blocks, too. There’s even more curves bceuase as I was squaring up the blocks, I would use those cut off pieces in other blocks areas to make the blocks ‘fit’ with each other. I love the little bits of curves here and there.

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And then the back was a big improv block in itself! As I mentioned before, I used a lot of my ‘cut off’ pieces to piece the front. I also incorporated smaller scraps to fill in the background space. I had a few smaller pieces left over for the back, but I mostly used the bigger scraps. When I was done with the back, I had just enough of this fabric pull left for the binding!

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I’m usually a straight line, one pattern all over kind of quilter. Trying new things with piecing doesn’t scare me. trying new thing with quilting does! In this one, I tried to change the quilting in different areas to reflect the improv shapes of the blocks. You can see it here on the back pretty well.

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What do you think? Are you up to the challenge? Give it a try!

The Daily Improv

41×44

Design by me, with prompts from Amy’s Creative Side

Quilted my me

Completed in  March 2020

 

Flamingo Pouch

My mom recently had a flamingo themed birthday party, so when I saw the flamingo pattern by Quiet Play, I knew I had to make her something using the flamingo pattern! And I’m totally in love with these 3D Flamingos! ha! I also used them on her party invites.

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The pattern is for a 12″ paper pieced block, but I reduced it in half to get a 6″ block for the pouch.

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I added a little back pocket to the pouch.

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I had this coral fabric that I bought because my flamingo loving mom is also totally in love with coral. I’ve had it for ages knowing I’d have a good reason to use it for her. And this worked perfect with the pink flamingo on the front. You can also see the outside pocket was lined with this fabric as well.

I also love the pink zipper!

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/da-atis/50150509402/in/dateposted-public/

What else would you use this pattern for?? I love it and want to use it again!

Improv Mini Quilts for Curated Quilts Issue 5

I used to post 2 to 3 times a week, every week… Life has gotten in the way of that. Now with my haphazardly posting routine, I just realized I never posted my mini quilts for the Improv Issue of Curated Quilts!

 

Yes, Issue 5 was released by in 2018… But I still love these mini quilts!

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I made and submitted three mini quilts for this challenge, but only one was chosen to be featured in the Mini Gallery. Down the Rabbit Hole is the one that made it in. I called it Down the Rabbit Hole because I had only intended to make one mini quilt, but once I got started making, I went down the rabbit hole of mini quilts and made 3!

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My original design idea was to make one of my Quilt Design a Day quilts into a mini.

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And I started it, but my first block was too big to combine three of them into a mini. So I went with this block and made a mini with it.

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I kinda ‘framed’ the circle piece inside an improv log cabin. And this is the one that was selected to be in the magazine.

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I love a pieced back, but for these mini quilts, I almost never piece the backs! At what size do you decide to make a pieced back versus a single piece of fabric back? My first mini submission for Curated Quilts, I do have a pieced back, but that might be the only mini with a pieced back I have done.

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Then I went back to my original project idea and made three smaller circular pieces to match the original QDAD design.

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The funny thing is, I made this one, and was so excited about it. But once these first two were done, I knew my favorite was the Down the Rabbit Hole!

So then I still had a pile of scraps from both of these quilts and what was I do to with them, but make a third mini quilt!

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Keeping in line with the improv curves, I decided to try out one of my office doodle designs!

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If you follow me on IG, you know that I have a habit of doodling during office meetings and lectures. It does actually keep me focused on what is being discussed! I had this one in my sketch book and decided to try it out!

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And this is what became of it! and this started me on a course of many more quarter improv circle quilts. I’d say in the last two years, it’s probably my favorite design! You’ll see it more once I start blogging my more recent finishes…

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And now I want to turn them all into pillows! What do you think?

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What do you do with your mini quilts?

Quilted Music Pouch

This gift coordinates with the elephant pouch I showed in my last post! Both were given as gifts to U of Alabama fans… Hence the color scheme!

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My dad wanted a music pouch for Christmas. He had found one on Amazon, but I decided I can make that! To start I basically made a mini quilt for the outside of the pouch.

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I knew design I wanted to use for the outside and I had an idea of how to construct it, but I wasn’t sure exactly. Then I remembered the Two In One Pouch by s.ot.a.k Handmade. I made a few of these years ago and I still love them. I just quadrupled it! And sized it to fit a note pad in the zipper pockets.

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The one thing about the pattern that I’ve always wondered about is the space between the two pouches. I’ve always felt that there should be pockets or something between the pouches. For this one, I made pockets. Another spot to put your music sheets!

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The funny thing is, I was planning on making this tumbler pattern for the outside for a while. Then the ‘free gift’ with Love Patchwork and Quilting, was a set of tumbler templates! How perfect was that?? The templates did make it easier!

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Now I want to make one for me! We’ll see!

 

 

A Little Elephant Pouch Gift

For the holidays I really enjoyed making handmade gifts for family. I do enjoy a nice quick ‘er’ project than a full quilt every now and then!

This project was a bunch of new! A new pattern, times two, altering a paper pieced pattern, sewing with cork and new quilting pattern.

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The pattern is by Olesya Lebedenko Design and I got it from her etsy shop. She has a lot of cute patterns.  This came in a set of other ‘Jungle Flat Face Animals’. The paper piecing pattern set up is different than I am used to. It’s not set up with the 1/4″ seams shown, so there are more copies required to get the pattern pieces you need. But it still worked. I loved the elephant face, but I didn’t like that the trunk just ended. So I added that on myself. The corners didn’t come together perfectly, but close enough for me. And if you look at at the right angle, you don’t notice it as much! ha!

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Then I had to decide what to do with my little elephant head! This person was already getting pot holders and I’d given them coasters another year… Then I found Sew Sweetness’ Persimmon Dumpling Pouch pattern. And that was that! It’s a free pattern on her blog and even comes with a video tutorial. It’s a really easy make.

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Not too long ago, I was gifted an amazing pouch by a friend in my guild and she had done this awesome quilting on it. (Yes, I still need to share about that!) I was totally inspired by her to do the quilting on this little pouch! The quilting on the back is moreo detailed than in the front. I was planning on doing the back pattern on the front as well, but it seemed like it would be too busy and take away from the elephant.

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The inside uses a contrasting grey fabric. I also love how well this zipper goes. When I saw the zipper I knew I’d be able to use it and this was the perfect project for it!

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And the cork bottom! This wasn’t actually the first time I had used cork. But it is the first time I’ve used it in a pouch and really had to work with it. I’ve ben hoarding my cork fabric for way too long. I finally busted it out and made some wallets and was hooked! Ordered more and have a lot of plans for it now! I love it!

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And that’s my elephant pouch! It’s my Persimmon Dumpling Flat Faced Elephant Pouch!

 

 

Bright Tide Pools

ok! I’m on a roll and loving getting quilts and projects finished! Not half finished in a pile! Now if I can only post them! 

This little one isn’t as old as some of my other WIPS. It’s only about a year in process. For my son’s school auction, I have been putting in a custom quilt. I give them some of my designs to choose from and whoever gets it, gets to pick the colors to make it their own. This is the second time I have done it. You can see the first one, Triangle Mountain, here. And probably the last as the auction was cancelled this year and I don’t think they do it at his middle school. And I honestly get kinda freaked out about whether or not the person is going to like it.

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This design came from when I was active in the Quilt Design a Day FB group. I really miss it and need to pick it up again.

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Each day there is a prompt picture, like the one above by Michelle Wilke of Factum of Arts Blog. This picture she took of tide pools in the Olympic National Park was te inspiration ‘spark’ where this quilt originated!

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From the picture above came this design.

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Which turned into this design after I got the color inspiration from the auction winner!

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And this is what we ended up with! Not a single square in the mix. one of the things I like about quilting is the puzzle of putting it all together and this one was a real puzzle!

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In hindsight, I probably would have made the blocks bigger so that sat closer together, but I like how it turned out.

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I used all the scraps for the back. Starting with the little yellow green rectangle in the orange. That was the first block for the front when I realized it was WAY to small! The back started out as a log cabin, but ended up looking like an old TV with the ‘bunny ears’ antenna. the TV is all I can really see at this point. HA!

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I think my favorite part of the back is this skinny purple line!

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The auction winner wanted it to cover her induction cooktop. At first I was like, ‘No way! That’s a fire hazard, if I’ve ever heard of one!’ Then I googled it and apparently it’s a thing to cover these cooktops with quilts. Very odd to me and it makes me nervous. But It’s what she wanted, so I went with it. I also added inslu-bright so it can act as a huge potholder/hot pad/trivet.

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Name : Bright Tide Pools
Design:
 Original Design
Dimensions: 32 x 21 in.
Quilted: Straight line quilting 

 

 

Improv Flower Pillow. Done. Finally.

WAYYYYYY Back in 2017 I took a fun little class to make one Improv Flower Block with Mr. Domestic.

And I made the block. Right then! I had these grand plans to hand quilt it. But it just sat there and got moved around my sewing room for literally years… Then last month, I was like, forget the hand quilting, let’s get this done! And I did!

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I’m really missing my friends at the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild these days! The guild offers a lot of fun classes and this one with Mr. Domestic, back in July of 2017, seemed like it would be fun. He’s quite the personality!

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I honestly don’t even remember the steps he taught us to get to the finished product, but it’s basically an improv process of sewing strips together and then cutting them into strips again.

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Here’s the crazy thing. I had half of it finished before I even left the class. And all the other strips done, too. I went home and finished the block two days later. Then it took me 2.5 years to get it quilted. Which took about maybe 2 hours or so… Then another 1/2 hour to turn it into a pillow. WHY???? Why do I let things sit for so long before finishing them????

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My original plan was to hand quilt it, but I love the texture I got  with the quilting I did do!

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Like usual, no quilting on the back. I do like to use two pieces of fabric on the back though. I cut two solid pieces and serge the edges. It gives it a more solid feel. I don’t know how to explain it, but I like it.

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I did my new love, the invisible zipper. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. Invisible zippers are more invisible if you match the zipper to the fabric! I was on a roll and didn’t want to wait until I got the right colored zipper, so I went with what I had. And I’m ok with it! ha!

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And that’s it! 2.5 years in the making… Has anyone else made this block? Did you make a quilt or a pillow or something else? It would be fun to make a mini version into a pot holder!

 

Winter Friend Pillows

I’m enjoying making other people’s projects these days! Like these Winter Friend Pillows!

I really love these little throw pillows. They were intended to be Christmas presents, but they were a little late. The green ones are staying at our house while the red ones found a new home. I’m calling them winter pillows, not holiday pillows. It’s still winter….

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As you probably know, I love this book! Pretty In Patchwork, Holidays by John Q Adams. I’ve made a few projects from it, like these teachers gifts.

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As much as I love this book, I did find a bit of an editing oversight. The project for these pillows in the book is called Greetings From Antarctica! I just want to clarify… There are no polar bears in the Antarctic. Penguins live in Antarctica, polar bears live in the Arctic. Things like this really bug me! Let’s be smart, people! Don’t dumb us down….

So I’m changing the name of the project to Winter Friends, as in they are all our friends. I don’t think polar bears and penguins would be friends.

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The directions called for applique eyes and button eyeballs. As much as I don’t like applique, I did do the eyes! By putting a white circle over black, the black showed through, so I added some betting to my circles, so you couldn’t see the black through the white. But I didn’t want buttons for eyes. And I didn’t want to applique anything smaller than the eyes. I also have those eyeballs you use for stuffed animals, but I realized they wouldn’t work on the pillow. It was my son who said, ‘I saw you had some other round things in your cabinet.’ He was talking about my box of rivets! Perfect!

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The polar bear actually had applique eyes (or was it buttons), but I added the diamond shaped eyes in the paper piecing pattern. I love how they turned out, but wonder if I had used rivets, would the pillows blend together better??

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I did also change the pattern of the hat to make the white band thinner. Then the poof was to be a button or applique as well. But I hand sewed on a little pompom!

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I did the same thing for the little penguins! just used smaller rivets and a smaller pompom. Also, for these little guys, I just reduced the size of the pattern when I made the copies. Next time, I’d like them a little larger!

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I chose a freehand wavy pattern to work with ‘sprinkles’ of white to look like the sprinkles were snow blowing in the wind. I think it works!

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The backs are BORING! But I’m ok with it, because the fronts are adorable!

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And the invisible zippers rock!

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I love my winter friends pillows! They make a great gift for penguin loving friends!

 

A Christmas Hedgehog Pillow

I’m all about the holiday animals! A halloween cat, Rudolph the reindeer, and a now Christmas hedgehog! (and there might be more to come…. )

This is another project I made last year, but haven’t shared yet.

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Do you like paper piecing? If you do, you should probably know Tartankiwi! I love her patterns! I have a few, but this is the only one I’ve made yet. I’ve been eyeballing her patterns for years. Then when I saw her hedgehog pattern in the issue 64 of Love Patchwork Quilting Magazine, I knew I had to make it. So I did!

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It’s a lot of pieces, obviously, but it’s a really quick sew. I needed something for the holiday swap for our SMQG Holiday pattern, so I decided to make this. But I loved it and my family loved it so much that it didn’t quite make it to the swap.

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And look how good it goes with this other pillow that I made years ago! It kinda had to stay here, right? (Back me up here… 🙂 )

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I love this Cotton and Steel Fabric, too. For this one I just made an envelope back. It was before my new obsession with invisible zippers.

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My plan was to post the presents I’m making, but then I realized, those receiving the gifts would see them and that kinda blew my plan… Luckily I had some holiday sewing projects saved from last year! Ha!

 

Be sure to check out Tartankiwi’s blog and you can get the hedgehog pattern on her etsy site or her payhip site.

 

Happy Holiday sewing!

 

 

 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! Quilted!

I’m so excited to show you this Christmas quilt! I’ve been waiting all year! I finished it about a week after Christmas last year and decided to wait until this year to show you.

It’s an abstract Rudolph!

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As soon as Sew Kinda Wonderful posted about her upcoming Urbanologie quilt, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. literally, the moment I first saw it! I only wanted the one block from the quilt, but I bought the whole thing anyway… I couldn’t wait to see if they ever published the patters separately, which they haven’t by the way… Maybe one day I’ll make other pieces of the quilt, but not the whole thing together. It’s not quite my thing.. But the antlers… LOVE!

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Since I had so much white space, I wanted a color for the binding and went with the bright green to make it a little more playful.

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And for the nose, I used the same process I used on my sports quilt I did ages ago… You can find the tutorial here.

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You know me and solids! I rarely use prints, but I wanted to here. And I ordered all the fabrics online. I took a good guess at which ones would work together, and they all do! By sheer luck of the draw!

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And the back. I didn’t do very good at straightening out when I basted, but oh well… A little crooked.

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Token label picture!

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I would say this has enough white space to qualify as a Modern Quilt! ha! Have you made a Christmas quilt this year?? I want to size this down to a pillow as well. Probably not this year though! But an easy matching set, wouldn’t you think?  I’ll be sharing some more Christmas things soon! Between sewing projects!