A little Improv

After battling with Internet outages all this week I am pleased to be able to share another quilt with you this Friday….I was planning a WIP post on Wednesday but we had not internet all day.   It is not until you are unplugged that you realise just how much you rely on the net for your day to day workings.  I am now playing catch up on the Aussie Open tennis  and quilting while watching the matches of the last couple of days.

Anyway onto business… today’s quilt is another beautiful group quilt from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity sew days.  We are currently making quilts for the local children’s hospital, and they are readily supplied with cute kids quilts, they struggle at times to find quilts suitable for their older patients – they treat kids up to 18 years old.  So with this in mind I chose a black and white with a splash of colour…


For this quilt I pulled a whole pile of black and white scraps and a small handful of solid scraps in ranging in colour from orange/yellow to a pink/red.  The scraps were dumped out on a table in our sewing area at Modern Domestic and people just went to work sewing bits together and making blocks.


There are so many fun little bits and pieces in this quilt… and also some nice little fussy cut moments.  I love this kids quilts because it is such a great opportunity to throw in  a fun print here and there…even for the more “grown up” kids.


Some of our talented volunteers went about making their own fabrics by cutting and cross cutting their blocks.  I just love how different each piece was…


The over all result is just so much fun…


The finished quilt top was then handed over to the wonderful Nancy Stovall who weaved her quilting magic all over it.


For the back of the quilt I must admit I got a little carried away piecing it… I had some larger black and white scraps as well as a part quilt top that had been donated.  It was all sewn together to produce this…


The quilt was then finished off in some scrappy solid binding, reflecting the colours of the solids in the quilt…


If you have the opportunity to be a part of a group charity quilt you should jump at it.  There is something wonderful about a group of people getting together and making something for a stranger…it gives me such a sense of community and gives me hope.

Quilt Details:

Name:  Improv love
Pattern:  12 inch Improv blocks
Fabric:  black & white scraps and Kona solids
Finished size:  60 x 72 inches

A special QuiltCon reject

I finally got the opportunity this week to photograph the beautiful wonky star quilt that was made last year at my first PMQG Charity Sew Day.

pmqg wonky star charity quiltI originally posted about making these blocks back in February last year and you can find the original post HERE.  I really loved the quilt top but extra love it now that Rachel at 2nd Avenue Studios wove her quilting magic.

quilt detail

Rachel free motion quilted these wonderful wandering lines that fill the scrappy white space fabulous while also highlighting parts of all the blocks.

block detailAll over the quilt there are these little moments where the lines move around the fussy cutting…

green block detail

…and around and through the stars.   The quilting perfectly compliments the scrappy wonky offset stars.

quilt detail 2This quilt is now in our Charity pool and will be used this year…and I am in the process of preparing for the January Charity Sew Day.  Every month PMQG members meet at the wonderful Modern Domestic and make blocks and chat and hang out.  Every month we make a quilt top together, all of them bright and fun and all of them destined to do good in the community.  It is such a good thing.

The PMQG Orphan sampler

At this week’s PMQG meeting we delivered a large stack of quilts to a local Charity, Camp Erin.  It was so wonderful to see the beautiful quilts that people had created for this charity.  Among those delivered were three quilts made at our Charity Sew Days and the Orphan block sampler I put together….

Orphan Block quiltThe blocks in this quilt are fabulously diverse and really kind of fun…

quilting detail

Some of the blocks I trimmed, some I added borders too and others I cut in half…

PMQG Orphan quilt detail

There are hexagons, scrappy trips, churn dashes, nine patches and modern improv blocks.  We have it all…

quilt detail 2

For the backing I found a wonderfully bright and slightly obnoxious Kaffe Fassett orange floral print that was just perfect…

backing detailThe beautiful quilting was done by PMQG member Kazumi Peterson.  Kazumi added an overall floral motif which went perfectly with the back of the quilt and added such a pretty cohesiveness to the front of the quilt.

quilting detail 2I then finished things off with bright orange binding.  I knew that I had to highlight the orange of the quilt – the blocks and the backing.   I had originally tried putting an orange border around the quilt, instead of the grey, but I found it fought with the blocks for attention.  Orange binding was the perfect compromise.

binding detailMy darling husband had originally called this an ugly quilt but I think he is very wrong.  The finished product is fun and bright and pretty…but I am a little biased.

Paper piecing Monday missing in action…

This week Paper Piecing Monday was usurpered by Portland Modern Quilt Guild’s Charity Sew Day.. sorry.  I have decided on a new paper pieced quilt and have designed the first block for it, but have not had a chance to test the pattern… but I promise it will be ready for next week.

In the meantime I thought I would share some of the fun of yesterday…  where a group of PMQG members took over one of the class rooms at Modern Domestic for the day and made quilt tops.

Michelle sewing awayWe had a collection of fat quarters and fat eighths left over from the Riley Blake challenge and our challenge was to make some quick and easy quilt tops out of them. Rachel from 2nd Avenue Studios and I spearheaded this adventure and we quickly settled on a modified rail fence and three of the fabrics from the Challenge – the yellow dot, the navy check and the grey stripe.

Fabric detailWe supplemented the Riley Blake with some other graphic prints in our colour way, all boy appropriate, as our Charity needs teen boy quilts (yes I am the one that added the Pearl Bracelets!).

finished PMQG charity quilt topThe pattern is ridiculously easy and very very effective.  In a nutshell we…

1.  Cut a generous nine-inch strip of our chosen fabrics…

cutting fat eights2.  Cut our nine inch strips into sections of 5 inch, 3 1/2 inch and 1 1/2 inch pieces.  We made sure we had a variety of each colour in ever size.

block layout copy3.  Selected the strips for our block making sure there was one of each colour… then using a scant 1/4 inch seam we sewed the pieces together to get our finished 9 x 9 inch block.

finished rail fence blockYou can easily build in some wiggle room with this block by cutting your fabric strips from your yardage at 9 1/4 inches wide (it is a little harder with fat eights, but with the fat quarter cuts we cut 9 1/4 inches from the 21 inch width).

If you are struggling to get a scant 1/4 seam allowance you can add some wiggle room the other way, by cutting 5 1/4 inch or 3 3/4 inch pieces… and then trim the finished block as needed down to 9 x 9 inches.

And viola you have a fun, easy but striking quilt top.

PMQG Charity quilt detailThanks to everyone’s efforts we managed to get two tops finished yesterday… in between the socializing, laughing and cake eating.  Not a bad way to spend a Monday I must admit.