Thursday, February 27, 2014

Loony Improv Mini Quilt

As you know, I was fortunate enough to participate in an Improv Round Robin during the recent Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat. The night before the retreat, I was packing with “help” from my 3-year-old daughter. I needed to pull four fat quarters and a bag of scraps for the round robin, but wasn’t feeling very inspired, so I let my daughter help guide my fabric selection. I ended up with a palette that was outside of my comfort zone, and a bag of very random scraps. Before the retreat, I thought that the bag of scraps would be used on other people’s pieces. Once we sat down at the retreat to listen to the instructions, I learned that it was intended for use on my piece. I hastily pulled a handful of scraps that I thought might coordinate with my fat quarters, and stowed the rest away. This is what I ended up with:

When we were given the go-ahead to start, I hardly knew what to do, so I fell back on one of my favorite speedy techniques: strip piecing. After 15 minutes, I had a block that was improvisational and included all four of my main fabrics. This is what I passed on to the next quilter in the round robin:

By the time we were done, three other guild members had worked on my mini quilt. I loved it in and of itself, and as a momento of an awesome weekend. A couple weeks after the retreat, I pulled it out, grabbed some coordinating Pearl Bracelets for the backing and basted it up. I decided to use my initial strip pieced portions as the focal points, and used ½” echo quilting to fill in the rest. The quilting was very satisfying because I really enjoy echo quilting, but due to the small size of the piece, it didn’t take very long at all! Binding was over in a flash, and was made out of the same fabric as the backing.

I was stumped for a name, so I again consulted my three-year-old. When I held the mini quilt up before her, she declared that she loved it and that it was named “Loony.” I’ll make a quilter out of her yet.


  1. Gotta love the eyes of a three year old.

  2. haha. "Loony" is perfect! What a great stretching experience and a fun reminder of a great time. And very satisfying quilting, I imagine!

  3. I love it, and I agree with Debbie, "Loony" is perfect!!