Sunday, March 10, 2024

Quarter Circle Improv quilt: a Make Nine finish

We’ve all got projects in various stages of “completeness.” Truth be told, I have too many to count. In fact, this project has been in the “just needs to be quilted” stage for years, but has finally moved to the “completed” list. And it’s fulfilling my Make Nine 2024 “UFO” prompt.

Quarter circle improv quilt.
23.5” x 23.5”

This quilt was a result of a class with art quilter, Carol Taylor, at a Zonta Quilts for a Change exhibit. The year was either 2005 or 2006. (Yep, a UFO from about 18 or 19 years ago!) The top resurfaced while planning for my upcoming Intro to Improvisational Quilts workshop at the JC Campbell Folk School at the end of the month. The quilt top and the workshop provided a synergy to get it finished.

Quilting and finishing an improv quilt

I pondered how to quilt this quilt for a while. My favorite quilting method is free-motion, but I needed to make sure the quilting highlighted the improv patchwork. The solution was a mix of free-motion and ruler work. 

Free-motion quilting and ruler work.

Reflecting on a conversation with improv quilter, Maria Shell—who says she likes to quilt each patchwork unit separately and changes thread colors to match the fabric—I decided to pull threads with colors that blended with each of the fabrics in my quilt and give her method a go. 

Beginning with the center, I began with free-motion quilted pebbles (my FMQ choice). Moving to the outer rings, zigzags and echo quilting in each fabric of the quarter circles reinforced and highlighted the improv curves. With all the fabric colors, there were many changes in the top thread. The bobbin thread remained the same throughout.

Free-motion pebbles, zig-zags and echo quilting highlights the curve piecing.

The black/white inner border was stitched in the ditch on both sides. Each quarter circle patch on the outside border was quilted individually with a different pattern—some with the ruler, some were free-motion. The thread color was matched to the background fabric. The texture of the quilting shows without a distraction of a contrasting thread.

Here is view of the quilting from the back.

Back view: Free-motion quilting.

Rather than a binding, a facing was used to finish the edges.

Quilt stats

  • top thread: 50 wt. 2-ply cotton in a matching color to the fabric.
  • bobbin: 80 wt. poly DecoBob in a pre-wound bobbin.
  • quilting: 8.5 hrs. free-motion and ruler work; approximately 2 bobbins.

A Make Nine finish

My improv quarter circle quilt has been documented on my 2024 Make Nine Challenge tracking sheet! And, I have an improvisationally pieced quilt sample for the workshop.

UFO prompt for Make Nine 2024.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...