I took a bit of a detour a couple of days ago when I saw a quilt on Pinterest that I want to make. It’s a very improvisational, big block approach. I was able to locate a pattern for this quilt by Suzy quilts, but I decided that I would strike out and figure out how to put my own spin on this.
It’s not uncommon for me to see something I want to make, something that sort of excites me, and it will push other planned projects to the back burner. This is one of those projects. I don’t think my mother appreciated my impulsiveness, but it’s a sort of fun way to go through life!
So I dug into my batik stash and started selecting fabrics. I’ll be using an array of colors in light and dark values, and it will all be sashed with some indigo batik. I had to order some indigo batik because I didn’t have enough in my stash. It’s very similar to what’s here.
Here’s a picture of the quilt I’m riffing off of. You can find more variations on this quilt and info on the pattern at Suzy Quilts on Instagram.
Since I’m making my own “pattern” for this quilt, the first thing I did was dig into my batik scraps and make a practice block. Have I mentioned that I love figuring out how to make things like this? It’s a fun process for me to noodle it out and make my own adaptations. Plus, I just LOVE improvisational piecing. It’s really my happy place!
Making a practice block is a really great way for me to approach a new project that I’m figuring out because it illustrates what works and what doesn’t work. I had cut these scrap pieces into 1.5 inch strips. I found that there was a lot of waste in using straight cut strips, plus a lot of time to trim off the excess once I sew them a bit wonky. I also thought these strips were a little too narrow.
So I pulled out a couple of pieces of coordinating fabric and started cutting. Most of my batik fabrics are 1/3 yard pieces. Here’s the improved block that I made.
Here’s how I cut the 1/3 yard pieces of fabric to get the strips I need for these blocks. The fold is at the top.
I need the longer pieces for the main body of the block, plus the shorter pieces for the strip along the side of the block.
Rather than cutting straight strips and having to trim waste away, I decided to cut these pieces into sort of free form wedge shapes. The beautiful thing about this is that these strips are all improvisational so they don’t have to be precise. I just used my regular ruler to cut the wedges about 2 inches wide on one side and about 1.5 inches wide on the other side.
Here’s the first set of blocks sewn with this cutting method. (Aren’t these fabrics gorgeous!!! that sunflower fabric is so beautiful!)
There should be enough fabric in two 1/3 yard pieces to get seven blocks, if I’m lucky. I don’t need seven blocks of each color combo in this quilt so I’ll have some fun scraps left over when I’m done.
These blocks finished at 10.5 inches square so this quilt will go together pretty quickly. I’ve ordered a 10.5 inch square ruler to make finishing these a little easier. I can square up easily with my 12.5 inch ruler, but I can use a 10.5 inch ruler in the future.
I’m excited to see more color combos come together. Haven’t decided yet how wide the sashing will be. I’ll have to play with that once I have some blocks done and my new fabric arrives.
I took Rico to his herding lesson yesterday. He was amazing, as usual. We both just love getting out there in the fresh air. It was cold and foggy, but we stayed warm and happy.
I have a short work week coming up with Thanksgiving. I’m taking Wednesday off because it’s my birthday! Then I’ll keep celebrating with Thursday and Friday off as well. I’m hoping that I can drive to the coast on Wednesday, but it looks like the weather is going to be terrible for a run on the beach. But I’ll keep an eye on it over the next couple of days. There will be some long walks happening on those days off as well.
I’ll be staying home for Thanksgiving. A friend of mine is cooking dinner and is going to deliver a full meal plus leftovers to me. I’m very happy that I’ll have turkey and all the trimmings, plus left over turkey for sandwiches… my favorite part of Thanksgiving.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!