Tag Archives: Quilts Unscripted Bee

Last month, I created blocks for E. A. She asked us "to think about how it feels when someone holds space for you and allows you to be who you are in a place that is safe. Alternatively, you could think about how it feels when you hold space for someone." She asked for abstract blocks created in pairs, with no limit on colors.

These pairs of blocks were created in parallel with each other. I didn't make one block and then copy it. I made two blocks at the same time. Since they are improv you can see slight variations in angles, shapes, and sizes within the block. They each finish at around 12" square.

 

I worked intuitively with my color choices. In my first blocks I started with scrappy greens and a bold orange. This tied to having big feelings inside. I finished these blocks with light colors, emulating the calm of being able to share authentically with another person.

My second set of blocks once again features a bold color in the center. I thought of these blocks as emulating a hug. I think of pink as the color of love.

 

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This summer I started co-hosting the Quilts Unscripted Bee with a group of 10 quilters. It is an improv quilt bee and every month the host for the month gives us a prompt. These can vary greatly. There might be a limited palette. The prompt might be about a feeling, or a style, or creating something representational.

Sarah Ruiz kicked off our first month in June with a really fun one. She gave us a limited color palette and asked us to use solids. Then she had a sign up for each person to pick some letters of the alphabet so she would end up with one of every letter to make an improv alphabet quilt, with a bit of a ransom note feel. Sarah also provided us with a Pinterest board with many alphabet styles to inspire us. She asked that our letters each have a different style.

I wasn't fast enough to get Q in the signup and ended up picking G, U and Y.

I made my U first, making a couple improv Drunkard's Path blocks to use as the curves.

I implemented my Scrappy Slab technique in building my Y.

And I saved the G for last, probably because I found it most intimidating. I'd been thinking about the ransom note style and knew I wanted to make one letter that looked like it was cut out of a piece of paper, hence the border around the G. I opted for a lower case G so there would be fewer curves to deal with and chose a Drunkard's Path unit for the top of the G. In fact, it was the inner piece remnant from the U above.

You can see more of our bee's blocks on Instagram at #quiltsunscriptedbee. I recently shared my hammock and book blocks. And I have one more month of blocks to catch up on that I'll write about soon.

Thanks for visiting!

Yesterday I shared my improv hammock quilt block. The second block I made for Chris was a book.

The book block was less tricky. I started by cutting book page shaped pieces out of the blue fabric. Then I added borders of white on three sides. I used the blue and white book pages as my template for cutting the background. These strips are about 5/8" wide. Rectangles were cut for the sides and I used the curve edge of the blue fabric as my template to cut the curves white strips.

Next, I cut out the book shape from my background fabric, starting with the diagonal cut that aligns with the spine of the book.

I used my rotary cutter to follow the curve of the book along the top and bottom of each side. Since these are fairly gentle curves this technique works pretty well. (If these were more precise or sharper curves like a Drunkard's Path, it becomes more important that the two curves that are cut are actually different curves so the stitching falls along the same curve on both pieces. This is why Drunkard's Path templates or rulers have an inner and an outer template piece.)

Last cut was to trim along the straight sides of the book.

Here's what my background looked like when it was all cut up. (Of course, I oversized the starting piece of fabric to account for seam allowances and extra wiggle room.)

I removed the two yellow pieces in the center and replaced with the blue and white book pages. First I sewed the seams on the straight outer side edges of the book. Then I added the improv curves to the top and bottom of each section. Finally, my last seam was the central seam along the spinoff the book.

This block also finishes at a little larger than 12" square. If you missed the other block I made for Chris, I shared about it yesterday.

You can see more blocks that were made for Chris as well as other blocks for the Quilts Unscripted Bee on Instagram.

Fun fact: It's been just about 6 years since I sewed my very first improv curve.