Welcome to my stop on Kelly's Scrappy Improv Quilting book release blog hop

When Kelly asked me to participate in her blog hop, I was thrilled to accept. I will admit to being a little apprehensive about the improv part, however. I'm a math major. I don't always do well with winging it and had avoided anything remotely resembling improv piecing prior to this. I had nothing to worry about though, because the instructions and method are so well explained in the book. It's like you have a friend there with you, guiding you along.

Here is my quilt, which I call Sunrise, made using the pattern "Shockwave", which is the last quilt pattern in the book. 

I wasn't sure initially what fabrics to use. I have lots of scraps, but most are teeny, tiny pieces and many of them probably qualify as vintage now. After dithering for quite a while, I started pulling out color groupings. 

I then started making the improv slabs. I enjoyed the process way more than I expected to. One thing I learned is that maybe this isn't the place to use the super tiny pieces. While my slabs looked really cool, when I cut them into the required shapes I lost a lot of the detail or ended up with slivers instead of chunks. These are the first two slabs I made. I am so proud of these things!

Here are my pink pieces in progress.

I ended up changing some of the colors part way through. The colors didn't quite flow as I had hoped. I was originally going to use a low volume print for my background fabric, but it didn't do anything to set off my pieces. I made a blue piece, pictured below, that I didn't end up using.

I do like this navy piece.

I was struggling to make the mini look like a sunset (my initial idea), but then my daughter showed me a sunrise picture she had taken at the bus stop one morning quite some time ago and that was my a-ha moment. 

I made a replacement slab and went shopping for a background fabric. I also bought a fun
backing fabric. And everything magically came together. 😄 

I knew that with the amount of solid fabric that I really wanted to do some custom quilting. I sketched out several plans and finally picked one. I'm rusty on the custom quilting and have done almost none on my current longarm, but I'm still pleased with the end product. {I did order the additional feet available for my APQS Lucey after quilting this! Gotta have the right tools for the job.}

Here are the threads I used, plus a lavender bobbin.

I found a leftover piece of binding in my scrap bin that was the perfect color and almost the perfect size. 

There wasn't enough to make my usual mitered join, but there was enough to get the job done with 3/4" to spare!

I made bonus HST with my trimmings for a future project too. 
This was such a fun learning experience and I will definitely try improv again. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity. If you want to try improv, or just want a really great quilting book, I highly recommend Kelly's book. You can buy your copy here.

Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Tour Schedule-
10/18- All Dressed UpLinda @ Flourishing Palms
             ShockwaveAnne-Marie @ Stories From the Sewing Room

10/20- Sweet Bee (a bonus thank-you pattern), Finishing, and Wrap-Up (here!) 


  1. Your version of the Shockwave quilt is just beautiful, Anne-Marie! The colors DO look just like the Sunrise! I would never know that this was your first experience with improv. I'm glad the book made the process easy and fun for you. Thank you so much for participating in the blog hop.

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  2. Beautiful quilting on your sunrise inspired quilt!!!

  3. You totally nailed the feeling of your daughter's glorious sunrise photo in your version of Kelly's pattern, Anne-Marie!!

  4. I loved this piece when I saw your Instagram post! You did such an amazing job of channeling that sunrise photo into this mini quilt and it's just gorgeous!