How I Make an Improvisational Quilt

by Nicole

Hello friends!

Things have been quiet around here, which means that things have been super hectic in real life. For the moment, I’m getting a little break from the hectic pace. What better opportunity than to start a new quilt?

I’ll be teaching at the NC Quilt Symposium in May in Raleigh and wanted to have some new samples to show at the class.

One of the classes I’ll be teaching is called, “How to Make an Improvisational Quilt.”

Here’s a peek at my process.

After deciding on the colors and fabrics, I start by sewing pieces together somewhat randomly.


Then I start playing around with the layout, moving the pieces around until I’m satisfied with the look. I add background fabric in the open spaces and sew the pieces together into a panel. Here’s my first panel.


Here’s another one.  I’m using a dark background of Essex linen for a change.


I’m curious about how this quilt will look in the end. That’s part of the fun of making improv quilts – you can never quite know what it will look like until it’s done!

If you’re interested in taking the class, there are still a few open spots available. Registration info is available here.

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

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Rosemary B April 24, 2017 - 4:55 pm

This is nice. I like the colors and simple placement.
I have never made a improv quilt, but I have made some hand towels. They turn out jazzy, and sometimes nice enough to give to a friend haha
other wise they just stay here and perk up my powder room with piecing memories

Nicole April 25, 2017 - 11:40 pm

Thanks, Rosemary! Isn’t it great to be able to make things that can be used in everyday life?!? Happy stitching to you!

Deb Greenamyer April 25, 2017 - 2:18 am

Thank you for the idea. Seems like quilts are sort of stuffy. I like the idea of let your mind wander. Gonna give that a try.

Nicole April 25, 2017 - 11:40 pm

Thanks, Deb! Go for it! Improv can be fun!

Karen S May 6, 2017 - 12:14 pm

I really like how you’ve used the Essex linen! Could you tell me what color it is? I’d like to use that color, but can never tell when I go online to order some. Now if I can just let go and give improv a whirl!

Nicole May 7, 2017 - 11:25 pm

Thanks, Karen! Yes, it’s yarn dyed in black. It looks more like a charcoal gray. I usually use it for bags and pouches, but I’m loving its texture. Have fun with improv!

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