10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting


10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting


Lesson Info

Building Housetop Blocks - Part 2

Question from terry terry is actually saying she hadn't had a chance. Prepare so she's going to be sewing again when we come to session to saying, but either way, she's saying it's, great fun. This has been a really need quite a lot use up a lot of leftover fabrics, but she did miss early. When we talk about stitch length, would you just wanted clarify just standard stitch length, which is between two and three. So it's, about two and a half stitches per inch is, uh, what the standard length is. You don't have to adjust your stitch length at all. It's, no different than you know what you would do if you are piecing ah, standard quilt or if you were, uh, sewing a garment. I mean, I don't know. I don't know for government you want tio, you do change the sticks like that. I never do. And, you know, I haven't. I haven't noticed any garments, you know, kind of suddenly coming off, so I think I'm okay. Well, katie did is sowing along. Oh, great mother is sowing along she mama says she's hand...

quilting while I'm watching the class oh yeah oh yeah people definitely trying to turn to full line I say we'd love to see your works out, blow those to the galleries and then everybody else watching could see them too well, I'm going to tell you speaking of twitter of instagram over the break I went and checked on what was going on on instagram in my friend shani kimber is uh watching along and sewing a cz well, so um wanted say hello to her what a great comment from red scorpio she's saying that I never thought I could quilt because I'm absolutely terrible at measuring but now I have to add it to the list of things to try yeah, well I learned how to measure just you know, you know, just avoid right and leon is sowing along and she said she got everyone in her mind she's holding onto the inspiration for the weekend the house also our students doing yes hollywood week off working on yellow reading hey, pumpkin! So again you've added that really sort of fine line of green there some great colors building I actually kind of used the things that I learned in the photo shop design class oh, when I'm going is like chicken thin like they always think contrasts darker try try toe try to incorporate all the stuff I learned you absolutely help it out jimmy how you doing? Oh, very nice without adrian way go test it now those look great houses sewing says sarah how are you doing how are you doing on dialysis so it should come to you next um yeah I really like this perfect yeah yeah how you doing? Good. He was selling way great colors going there really bright very neat you know? And I think that happens a lot of times with these projects is because it's cut kind of free hand uh they tend to be bigger blocks in the first place and so the projects go together um faster, which is kind of nice because it means you can make more stuff all right, so I'm almost done with my third block and then we'll move on to the fourth and put it all together. I got so distracted by mistake alison that I didn't do I didn't power so the remaining two blocks together. Well, I think then you can't make you're not making creative decisions. If you're doing that, you're just selling you are so because you can't like you're looking at how that block looks and then you're making the next block right that's a good point now sandy just uploaded three of her blocks into the course calories so everybody at home take a look at that she really looked wonderful actually she's done an incredible job we'd love to see your work too so when you've got some blocks ready to take a picture uploaded to the course gallery and way home would love to see those wells please do that all right? Okay, so we'll just have to add thea kind of neutral ends to this particular block and I'm tempted to go ahead and, uh start like put these two top pieces together but I think I actually I'm gonna wait until I have all four malan's actually with this in the studio two days are mallon's quite a sewing expert and I know you're helping out with some of our studio there was some if they're having any machine issues but what's your experience of quilting my experience of quality you have been doing much I find it very soothing on I love also made a quoted garment a vast go I get a lot of compliments on that show you saying you've been dressed making since you were very young girls in high school yes uh started sewing when I was probably in the eight grade seventy eighth grade family didn't have very much money so fabric was very cheap compared to buying clothes store brought and I I took an interest my dad bought me a sewing machine but I had to pay him back okay so I had to make some things to sell in order, they pay him. What did you make him? Something you make him a shelter or something? Yes, you know. Yeah. So is this something that ran in your family? Does your mother so did your grandmother. So quoting goes back way back in my family back I'm from alabama and they had poulton bees whereas they would gather at woman one woman's house. They have the quilting frame hanging from the ceiling. Everything was done by hand. All the piecing and quilting is actually when you puts the batting yes and the tops together, everything was done by hand. Once they finish one quote for one family, then they finish another quilt for another family and on on around I wonderful. Listen, I'll just coaching thing largest quote I've made was, um I started a king. I got so frustrated because it was taking too long. But minds is our regular just a regular size bed. Yes. Well, if you have any images that bring them us with recession to look last year I love is an absolute okay. All right, now my mother started to quilt before my younger sister was born she's now in her forties. Ok, and it would for all us to my story this is a long time ago now it probably would fill this room she just never stopped s I don't know what it's never going to enter and being maybe a maybe a cover for a football field wow, but it's that sort of a hexagonal such you just stick on the growth yes, yes, yes like she's got a grandmother's flower garden that would fill this room yeah, it just never stopped appropriately she does english paper piecing she doesn't hand like that really stands stitches them altogether wow, yeah, but also she started I think also by using like a favorite skirt or something that she no longer washington and start using that fabric for the actual quilting but I haven't seen it now for four or five years but it was getting pretty scarily big it's at least doesn't say forty years old now well, all right there's a woman who's determined so I wrote this on the creative like blawg but like one of the most influential quilts in my life was a grandmother's flower garden to um and it wasn't because it wasn't a fan will. My ex husband had a great aunt irma and my memory is that she I mean she was a very interesting woman, very educated and had experienced a lot in her life um and her her you know, she was a widow by the time I met her but her husband had been vice president of one of the railroads back when you know, being on the railroad was a significant job and so they traveled a lot anyway, irma lived a long life and then she passed away shoots about ninety five or so and, uh, you know, as we're kind of like going through the kind of clearing out her house or whatever we find this quilt and I'm telling you, you've never met somebody lit less likely to have sown anything than an old irma hayes and, uh um and I was like, you know, what's the deal with the quilt and there's a irma so much has hold a needle and thread and nobody knew anything about it, but I end up coming home with this grandmother's flower garden quilt, and it was just the top it wasn't it hadn't been quilted and, you know, I thought, well, maybe I'll quilted and you could tell I mean, I don't know a lot about dating fabric, but these were definitely depression era I just and so I held onto it for years. I moved it from one house to another, and then I started actually take the blocks apart, the little flowers and then repurpose them some into some kind of improvisational like I would I would build an improvisational background for the for the flower garden quilt um and I called them I had a whole serious I made pillows I made a quote out of these I called them great and erma's you know great at enormous garden on uh I still have like you know, maybe three or four left it was a big quilt I mean it was a bed sized quilt and it was all hand sewn together and um it was is just weird I I never it's just kind of happened stands and nobody wanted it I mean nobody was interested in I was the only one who said hey I'd love to have this top I don't even know why I would love to have this time but I would have a great is a great example of somebody who put in so much love and care into something over such a long period of time it took is that such a revelation to you you didn't even know she so oh I don't think she sewed it oh I said yeah I think that she purchased it somewhere it's the impression I got finally from another relative but yeah I don't think she said it I don't think she was like secretly selling and nobody knew about it but um but I also wondered why she kept it all these years because she had many beautiful things but she was also the kind of person who called things she wasn't gonna keep something around didn't have significant for that you make a really good point there moment because I think sewing and home sewing and home projects teo depend a lot on the economy I think when the economy goes south a lot of people look to be making their own clothes sector but I think quilting and things like that have always been around it's very very there's actually a really great um british it's called the great british sewing be yes that's going on now then popular show yeah really it it's the people take they have to take apart old take a high street clothes and repurpose them are all these different things but it is pretty funny and they have one of the contestants was this like bagpipe playing really burly guy and he was a really good sour it is like oh yeah we have to do this in fact in the world they're like and it is amazing all the stuff you khun d'oh but I think today the the kind of impetus to sew a quilt is not what it wass when you were when you were first sewing because fabric can be relatively expensive and a bed covering you know even oftentimes go into you know ah store and buy it for a lot less than you can make it yourself if you live even if you just factor in the materials costs but if you factor in the labor to you're definitely not making it for as a cost savings of any sort um so I think that the kind of the desire to do it has changed it's become about self expression more than that it is about the thing you think about all those old amish quilts were made in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds those were definitely just made because people needed cover you know, um and they figured if I'm already going to make cover I should make something you know, attractive and all these communities they had I mean talk about parameters they had definite rules about the colors you could use and they all had to be solid sit in news prince and the patterns that they use so the creativity was just in how you made your you know, bars quilt different than somebody else's um so sometimes those limitations can actually be good in terms of sparking creativity so like when you have a blank canvas and it could make anything you want nothing is more stifling that's what I love but um improvising from established blocks is that you have the he kind of to some degree have the parameters set forth you know you you have the basic idea and it's just how you play with that basic idea that's a very good point yeah it's also making your own and developing it right now hello issue here. All right? We're almost done with um the fourth fourth quadrant I guess and then I can start putting my my block together many another I love seeing them come together the and the nice thing about improvisational piecing is that you don't know necessarily how it's all going to come together when I used to make prince um I used to make lithographs and you make them on these big I don't know they always made a big point about how they had to be bavarian limestone like if you got slime stone from someplace else that wouldn't be good for your line stone had I think german so I mean maybe it had to do with the heart that I love you know you could work on an image but you really didn't know how it was going to turn out because you're going to print it it's going to come in the reverse so he's not exactly sure what it's going to look like in the end and you know you get your plate or in this case your stone all inked up and you put your paper on top of it and send it through the press and it's called pulling a print and you go to the other side and peel it off and see what it looks like and I just totally loved the surprise factor you know that oh you know all the happy accidents and that's what I love about piecing this way too is it's you don't know what it's going to be it's not you know sometimes when you work on a project and it's it's just you're just recreating something that someone else is made or even something that you've designed maybe you drew it out on paper somehow it's it kind of loses some of it loses some of that excitement you know, I used to say that that I needed to not know how a piece was going to look like the suspect when I made art quilts and drawings that that didn't I needed to not know how peace was going to look like in the end because if I knew what it was going to look like in the end then making it was really about showing it to somebody else because I already saw it in my mind or on a piece of paper that it sketched it out on so I like that is there's surprise constantly along the way now I know this is obviously improv in that's that's the theme of the course but do you ever sit down a sort of sketch out an idea in your paper or droid first do you really just like to line up all the fabrics and go for it? Oh I I well I don't know that I ever sketch it out but you know I mean I mentioned that I was on pin trust and I have created actually aboard on pinterest of specifically for this class called improv quilt but I I have a serious pinning addiction and I'm here today to confess it and you know everyone could be talking about a twelve step program to deal with it um and uh I use that kind of rather than draw it out I will collect my images I've always been a collector of inspiration so and I'll collect now I've got pinterest tio collected you know? I still keep notebooks I won't actually ever sketch it out we're all know what the idea is going to look like in the end but I will I will certainly collect images that that kind of lead me to it ok, so I've got for you differently sized blocks these two are semi close to each other but they're all four differently size, so what I'm going to do is what I've decided to do my my solution and it's just my solution because if you have the same situation you might choose to go a different route is I'm going to add another tear and that's what I'm calling these these kind of corners tio this one to make it same size pretty much is this one and then since this one is on the end um it's I don't see adding another tear I think what I'm going to do is add um some more of the neutral on the end to make it aligned and that's not gonna be enough I can just tell them that's not white enough all right and then put those two together and then I'll figure out what to do with the other two that's my plan if you all get to this point I would before you kind of decide how you're going to put the parts together I'd love for you to share that so that we could see how you decide to kind of deal with your size disparity um situations people spotted of course and you mentioned it a couple of times for safety reasons the what they're calling the pizza cutter uh huh is there a particular brand that you like that you've used I really you know what my ofa is so old it's probably the first that I ever bought and you can buy replacement blades or even heard that you can send your blades away to be sharpened or when I before I talked to class I had my scissors sharpened maybe I could take it to a place like that but so I really like the old for brand I know other brands make the fisker is makes them um and I don't know that any other come to mind off the top my head but yeah I really love alpha there there my brand now how much sowing time do you get out of a standard needle when you're making a quilt? Gosh that's a good question I don't honestly know. How do you how do you sense when it's time to replace? Because all sorts of little mistakes start to happen? All sorts of annoying little, you know, uh, miss stitches and, um, of tension issues. In fact, I don't know. I heard this or just my experience, but if you start to have all his attention issues and problems with their machine, the first thing that you need to do is change your needle. Um, well, maybe the first thing you need to do is clean your machine a little bit. But after that, if it's still going on, you're hearing clunking and stuff change your needle. I think that that you put on that what you think is an average time for a needle, clean a little bit and check the needle. Some machines do not require oil. Um, I, um or very little just a few places you oil, but I wouldn't suggest soiling I would suggest. Take it. And teo an authorized dealer toe. Have it checked, I think that's better because she'd never know has so many moving parts inside? You never know. You can't get to most of those moving parts that's true I d'oh the my bob and based on my machine actually came with a little oil dispenser and I've had it for I don't even know how many years you know certainly more than ten years I've yet to go through that oil dispenser because it says you're only supposed to put like a little drop but I'm sure that when you when when I take it in uh they obviously oil the moving parts much more thoroughly and they can open up the whole body of the machine and get all that there's so much olympic collect inside of the show pulling pulling the threat from the if you change your threat you're bobbing thread pulling the thread from the top will put more let inside the top of your machine here it's best to pull that cut threat through the bottom you follow me no not exactly if you change your threat you cut it right you cut the three train to bob in threat pull it out from the bottom not the top right because the lead from the threat gets into the top of the machine I think yeah and it might not seem like anything but what you keep doing that over and over that can talk up the you know cost problems okay well now these to fit in terms of their length thought to the side of him going to add okay, so what I did was go ahead and sew them because they fit in terms of their at least one edge one kind of common edge see, I just messed it up so I'll see if I can change it teo I might have to open this this ditch up because it's supposed to face a different direction yes. You see when you're doing this kind of style do you always use the white or have you tried using just another blank uh color you know yeah, I I use um you know, really thanks to pope just so are all use a cream um I have a lot of white fabric around since I do a lot of hand dying and I sell my hand I'd fabrics and I by bolts of just unguided fabric so it's you know it's easy to just you know, access that particular kind of fabric and to tell you the truth in the modern quilting movement kind of white is just a a background is pretty popular. Um it's a nice neutral tonight's transition. So how are students doing us? Look spare when I'm happy with it. Ah, very small fish is very four. Okay, yeah, I like the way you've got the different wits top of the wide to the top of the boston that's good that's what I want to hold on how you doing over there I'm on my second block oh no it's very nice I feel super preppy right now with pink in the green is good match your genes you're just going to color or you know I'm going to cities seabrook it's a receiver giraffe maybe yeah, it was amazed by you teach a very kind of basic kind of concept and and people people make it their own is that is a really cool thing and we all are basically working with the same fabric which is even more amazing, you know? Okay, so I know that I want these two blocks to meet at this midpoint here so it's looking like a I'm gonna have to add more here and I'm definitely gonna have to add more here I'm going to go ahead and put these two guys together and I'm going to trim at the top. All right it's the largest quote you've ever attempted and made a king size quoting star customer once um it was also so now and I have a big quilt I send it out tio ah long armor so that you know you khun quote a quilt on this big machine like fits a room not quite a room not room this big butt and um and it can quilt a big quote like that in six hours what I did was I I took some lessons from somebody who had one of those quilts of one of the long arm machines and I did it myself which I miss you machine quilting quote that big on my own machine would have taken weeks and it took, you know, half a day which is great, it was just amazing and I've done that a few times, but now I just send it out to somebody and it too is miraculous, you know? You just you bring your your top and your batting and you're backing and then used tell them, you know, this is what I want and they have you know, they have all sorts of patterns you can choose from where you could just tell them that you want, you know, kind of mimic the piecing and it's really up to you and you come back in a few days and it's all done it's certainly something I would have scoffed at, um, here's a guy moved into a house and I had never lived in the house that had a garage door opener. And, um, I remember saying to somebody who needs a garage door opener, I'm too lazy to get out of my car and opened the garage, you know, I tell you what it didn't take like, you know, I think it might have taken fifteen minutes for me to decide that a garage door opener was best thing ever, you know and in fact, when I moved about a year ago and like one of the first things I asked, you know what I saw that it had two girls just like, well, is there a garage door? Because we can't live without it now, so I'm doing what I talked about earlier about adjusting to the fact that there's a curve in one of the edges so that I can put them together and still preserve that curve and I'm one seem away from putting my ah house top block together. Did any of the ladies did you put curves in twenty of your stuff? Are you tryingto stick with straight lines? I tried to triangle oh, yes, yeah, we're going to do some triangles in a bit and you have lots of triangles, a lot of different patterns. All right, can we go? You mean just press that we've got a whole house top block, so if I had if I made additional blocks, like if I made another one over here, I want those two corners to meet up the way this corner meets up, you know? So I'd probably make that block with that in mind, um, and then but you make the whole, you know, foursome of little patrick patches with the idea that it's going to meet up over here a corner to corner like that. And here, too, they're not going to meet up corner to corner because I had to add this strip. But that's ok, it would. It would, you know, basically, it would start over here. This that ideally, they would meet up corner corner. But they can't. So I would adjust for that as well. We've had some questions. A lot of people were very confused by melons. Advice about pulling the bobbin threat from the barton mother. Could you just explain that one more time? For you're fantastic. You could even it can come. Use this machine if you want. Okay? The threat from the machine does cause, let to accumulate inside the top of the machine. Will you change your thread? Cut it. Do not pull us the cut threat up. Pull the cut thread from the bottom out. Therefore that excess let does not going inside to gravity comes down to right. Oh, that's! Great. Thank you, mel. That was grab. Shall I really helped? Everyone is a little bit confused on that one. I really appreciate you taking that. Thank you.

Class Description

Custom quilts are the kind of heirloom craft everyone longs to create, but stitching together a unique pattern can be seriously overwhelming. In 10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting, Malka Dubrawsky will introduce you to new forms of quilting — with fresh color combinations, techniques, and patterns.

Malka will get you started by showing you how to cut and create a simple log cabin nine-patch block. You’ll learn how to incorporate triangles, pinwheels, and curves into your designs to make them more versatile. You’ll build the skills needed to take any quilt block (and even other patterns, like wallpaper or a painting) and deconstruct it so you can create something similar.

If you want to create bold and memorable quilts and learn new ways to express your creative style through quilting, this course is for you.