Sunday, 19 March 2017

Improvisation Quilt


I attended a workshop lead by Jenny Haynes quilter-extraordinaire at the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead. They recently moved to a beautiful new building just opposite West Hampstead Underground Station which is flooded with light and lots of beautiful fabrics and craft supplies.



We were instructed to bring 0.25cm of four to five different coloured quilting weight cottons to create a improvisation quilt using contrasting fabrics. I already knew when I booked the course that the quilt I created in the workshop would be a baby quilt for my friend who is six months pregnant. I got prepared with some stealth research and found out what her and her partners favourite colours were; red, yellow, green and blue.

I was going to buy a selection of fabric for this course but a very surprizing and beautiful gift arrived from New York. My friend Kathy who I had met on the Janet Bolton workshop in January had sent me the full range of beautiful fat quarters of their current quilting cottons.

So I was set for the workshop. Jenny (in the photo above) showed us her beautiful chambray blues and yellow improvisation quilt and showed us a variety of quilting images to get inspired by. Jenny was a very encouraging tutor with lots of great ideas and little tips to help you along the way. Each workshop attendee (Sue, Sirini and myself) were all making different things and Jenny was great at helping each of us out with our projects.

The design of my quilt was inspired by a quilt that was made up of contrasting colours in small blocks. I spent about fifteen minutes exploring pairs of colours using the beautiful Andover fabrics that Kathy had gifted me.

I cut 10cm strips off the ends of the fat quarters and sewed the contrasting pairs together which were then cut into four sections.




The next step was to sew these collections of fabrics together into strips of eight. I then started to block out the order of the quilt by pinning it onto the very useful pin-wall by the side of the workshop tables. You can see the journey of the quilt below.



After sewing each section I ironed the seams, always ironing the lighter coloured fabric towards the darker coloured fabric. I then sewed long strips together across the quilt and finally sewed each strip to each other and the outcome was this:



When I got home I pinned the top-quilt and sandwiched the wadding between the backing fabric. I then hand-basted the quilt sewing from the centre outwards across the whole quilt to secure all three layers together. Sewing the hand-basting from the centre outwards keeps the layers even and avoids any ripples and shifts in the fabric sandwich!



You can see the dark threads of the hand-basting here
Next the slow and steady job of hand-quilting the fabric begins. The due date of my friends baby is in June so I have a decent amount of time to get this completed in good time. I will blog about the finished quilt in a month or so!

This post is linked to #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

14 comments:

  1. It's lovely, what a beautiful gift that is going to make. The workshop looks and sounds like fun.

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    1. Thanks Julia I hope she likes it when its finished!

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  2. I love the colours and patterns! This is going to be a lovely gift indeed :).

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  3. That is fabulous Caroline, I love the bright colours and the simplicity of the design which give a very different overall effect. I am on the verge of finishing a quilt. I am just on the last few runs of hand quilting but you know me, it is always a slightly improv style with very little technical skill. I like to just feel my way... Jo x

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    1. Thanks Jo. I am looking forward to seeing your quilt when you have finished it x

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  4. Looks great, what a lovely gift. And a great set of fabrics for you to receive!

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    1. Hi Alex, I hope my friend likes the quilt and the fabrics are truly gorgeous - I'm one lucky lady!

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  5. The colors are beautiful,as well as your arrangement! Have fun quilting!

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    1. Thanks Kat. I had lots of fun rearranging the colour combinations!

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  6. Really inspiring. Great colour s and I love the fact that it is not presice- that is for me the boss twitching fit about quilting

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  7. What... That's not what I wrote!!

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  8. *off putting bit about quilting*

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    1. Hi Louise I know what you mean - the improvisation class was cool as she totally encouraged you to sew with freedom and not worrying about the precision of some types of quilting. Which was very empowering and liberating as the only previous quilt I had made was a square patchwork where I worried about everything matching up!

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