Custom Quilting, Quilting Day by Day

Modern Improv Block Quilt

This was FUNNNNNNN!  Totally spontaneous, no measurements to speak of, busting that perfectionist tendency into pieces and blowing it away in the breeze.

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If you can handle not knowing what your quilt is going to look like when it’s all done, or even your individual blocks for that matter, then give this a try.  You can use up all kinds of scraps in various sizes and shapes and piece rather mindlessly while watching your favourite Netflix shows.


Yes, you can see that at some points along the way I did try to incorporate similar strips into each bock only because I had some darker fabric that I wanted to use up completely and I didn’t want it to bunch up in one area.  So you can do a teeny bit of planning as you go but you don’t have to; it’s your choice.  Just start with a couple of scraps and stitch them together; they don’t even have to line up.  Trim them if you want to have a straight edge for the next addition but you don’t have to because you can just put that next piece on at any angle you like and stitch it into place.

Eventually you will have a lovely modern wonky block with tails and jagged edges everywhere that you can trim down to whatever size you want for your quilt and when they all go together they look so cool!  I know there’s likely several ways of doing this and many ideas to choose from.  I was inspired by a photo shared by Ingrid from Quiltessential in St. Albert, and it caught my attention because of the way she used the low volume fabrics for most of her block and then added a pop of bright color here and there.

I was attracted to the fresh crisp look and I used those ideas for my own blocks, knowing I would want to focus on the whites and add a white border so that certain blocks blended into the border and it wouldn’t be obvious where they actually ended. I love the effect that has on the whole quilt when you stand back and look at it!

The idea is to just piece and piece until you get something big enough to call a block for your chosen quilt size.

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Because of the darker piece and a few brights that I wanted to use up, I ended up with 24 blocks.  I don’t really like a 4 X 6 long and skinny configuration unless it’s for a bed; I prefer 4 x 5, 6 x 7 etc. for throws, and sometimes square is OK if it HAS to be square to make it work!  So this one needed one extra block to get it to 5 x 5.  I didn’t want to make a wonky block that would just stand out because it was an afterthought – yes this is improv but I also wanted it to look properly finished – so I decided to make a block with words on it.  I didn’t centre that block because that just seemed too typical  LOL  I wanted it to fit in with the theme of keeping things off centre and unexpected.


This particular phrase has become a favourite of mine so I printed it out, set the ink, gave it a scrappy border with a few pieces I had left to coordinate with the rest of the quilt and I LOVE how it turned out!  (I’m actually using it at as an inspirational line on the bottom of all my custom labels now)


There will definitely be another one of these mod improv block quilts in my future!  And I suspect there will be more words appearing here and there as well 🙂




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