Tag Archives: improv

Lovely Linen Bee December block for Christina

As they should this time of year, holidays and family time took front and center, leaving my sewing machine sitting patiently in a dark studio.

As not to be too late with Christina’s block, I braved the chilly temperature of my studio and worked on improve blocks of color set in black. Christina provided all the fabric, and although I was only able to fully finish one block before running out of the black, a second block is well on its way to completion. I have the feeling it’s going to be a striking quilt with the pops of color each block features.


“Alice’s Cabin”

My great aunt, Emma, gave my mother some fabric on a recent visit. There was a particular pattern that we thought was a bit strange, to say the least. Rather than passing it along to someone else, I decided to make something I liked out of the fabric I did not like.

Center: focus fabric for "Alice's Cabin" mini-quilt

Center: focus fabric for “Alice’s Cabin” mini-quilt

What was wrong with the fabric, you might ask. Cobalt blue is my favorite color, and I’m often drawn to blue fabric. Toile in and of itself doesn’t bother me, and mushroom fabric can be fun. The fabric feels a bit like linen, or a linen blend. All that said, I don’t really dig the scale of the full color mushrooms alongside the scenes in blue and white. Furthermore, the up and down direction of the print is not appealing. The small bunnies upside down next to the large mushrooms are difficult for me to visually reconcile. Certainly, taken on their own, I like parts of the fabric. But, as a whole, it doesn’t excite me. I added additional blue and white fabric, and decided to pair it with orange.

Log cabin blocks are fun to make, and really lend themselves to improvisational piecing. I wanted to fussy cut parts of the fabric I like, such as the mushrooms and the bird and bunny. As I was piecing and quilting, the mushrooms drew my mind to “Alice in Wonderland,” so naturally I named this one “Alice’s Cabin.”

"Alice's Cabin"

“Alice’s Cabin”

Detail: Flower on "Alice's Cabin"

Detail: Flower on “Alice’s Cabin”