A Little Improv Diversion

A couple weeks ago I was bored one evening and decided to do a little sewing before I went to bed. So I dug out my batik scrap bin and did a little crumb piecing. Rather than trimming the pieces into square blocks I sewed them all together into one piece of fabric that measured around 20 x 30 inches.

I didn’t have a direction I was going and had no plan for this piece. It’s been sitting on top of a dresser in my sewing room since I made it.

I pulled it out tonight and decided that I would square it up and just add more improv pieced rows to make this bigger. Again, no direction or plan, just playing with batik scraps.

So after squaring it up I added a one inch zebra print border. I tried the zebra print in two different directions and went with the second option here with the wavy lines going along the long edge of the piece:

Then I did some strip piecing on a long piece of paper to make a border for this rectangle.

I got two sides of the border done tonight and made some wonky log cabin cornerstones for this border.

Here’s a better look at one of those cornerstones.

I use packing paper from things that I’ve ordered from Amazon for piecing the border strips. The paper looks like grocery bag paper, but it’s a lot thinner and it tears really easily.

This picture shows a big wad of the paper that I’ve saved, along with two long four inch strips that I cut for improv piecing the side borders for this piece. I could easily piece these borders without the paper, but the paper helps me keep the strip straight and insures that it’s the correct width.

I made a mess in my sewing room with scraps everywhere, and this photo doesn’t show the pile on my cutting table. I did manage to get some fabric pressed and organized so I can piece quickly now. It did take some time to get this all cleaned up.

I have no idea where this piece will end up. I’m thinking I’ll keep adding pieced borders alternated with graphic black and white fabrics. maybe I’ll actually run out of scraps by the time I’m done!

13 Replies to “A Little Improv Diversion”

    1. Thanks! I just love playing with fabric and seeing where something goes. I have a few ideas for moving forward on this, but I’m probably going to let it rest for a while and finish my Flying Geese quilt.


      1. That is the problem with improv piecing, it makes so much mess compared to tidy cut pieces being pieced. I have to be in the mood for it because it stops all other sewing until I clean up the mess.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m still pretty new to sewing, but everywhere I cut or sew or press in my apartment is starting to look a lot like that last picture. πŸ™‚ I’m attempting your drawstring bag tutorial next, using the orange millefiore fabric I’m in love with. Wish me luck, because I feel like me + gussets might well end in tears!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you for jumping in and making a mess!! And don’t be afraid of gussets. They’re so easy. They’re sort of magical! Good luck. And let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial.


      1. that looks fantastic! I love your fabrics, and I’m so glad you had good luck with the gussets! Now you’ll be making gussets on everything!!! thanks so much for sharing the photo!


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