An Improv Finish!

by Nicole

Well friends, it’s been a long time coming, but I finally have a finish to share with you! Allow me to introduce you to Purplicious. She’s an improv quilt, made with an analogous color scheme of purples, blues, and reds, with pops of pink here and there. Her colors were inspired by one of my favorite dresses.


Unlike my usual off-white background, I went to the opposite end with Essex yarn-dyed linen in black. It’s a nice charcoal gray color with a great texture that contrasts the smoothness of the solids.

For quilting, I decided on a bit of custom quilting, with wavy lines in the background and straight line spirals in the squares.


Making the straight lines on my long arm machine gave me lots of practice using my ruler. It was so much quicker than on my domestic which makes me want to explore other straight line designs on the long arm. I have shied away from straight lines on my long arm since I’m convinced that my machine prefers curves, but in this case it complied. Maybe I’m training it well?!?

Here’s a shot of me practicing with my ruler using a test block.


I took some photos of the quilt top in front of a window. I love the stained glass effect.


I debated on the fabric for the binding and decided to bind the quilt in the same fabric as the background to extend the quilt to the edge, rather than contain it in a frame of either black, purple or red binding.


My motivation for Purplicious was to have a new sample for an improv class that I’m teaching at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium in Raleigh. NC_Quilt_Symposium_Sample1_CloseupjpgI’ll also be teaching another improvisational quilting class using this quilt as my sample.


I’m looking forward to teaching these classes. Improv can be exciting since you never can tell exactly what the finished quilt will look like until it is done!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

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Josie May 12, 2017 - 1:37 pm

Thank you for putting me on your post. I love the color and boldness of your quilts!

Nicole May 12, 2017 - 3:57 pm

Thanks so much, Josie! These colors are definitely out of my comfort zone!

Cynthia Marrs May 12, 2017 - 1:41 pm

I really like this quilt and the improv. idea.

Nicole May 12, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Thanks, Cynthia! It was a fun quilt to make.

Trudy May 12, 2017 - 2:25 pm

Love what you did.

Nicole May 12, 2017 - 10:22 pm

Thanks, Trudy! I enjoyed making it!

Karen @runsewfun May 13, 2017 - 9:05 am

I just love your quilt! The colors, the linen, the quilting – it’s all A+! I’ve been playing with the ruler, too, and it’s not as scary as I imagined it would be. Maybe I need to give improv another try. Well done!

Nicole May 13, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Thanks, Karen! You are right – the ruler is that scary, although I’m super vigilant about making sure the foot doesn’t jump up onto the ruler. So far, so good! Yes, do give improv a try. It’s only fabric, right?!?

Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine May 14, 2017 - 7:14 pm

Beautiful texture on this with the essex and the wavy quilting, looks amazing! Great finish!

Nicole May 15, 2017 - 9:38 am

Thanks, Judy! This is my first time quilting with Essex, but it won’t be the last!

Lea May 18, 2017 - 11:33 am

What an absolutely stunning quilt!

Nicole May 22, 2017 - 12:13 pm

Thanks, Lea!

KATHERINE May 18, 2017 - 11:47 am

love the gray background!
didn’t notice your class listed at symposium [looking at quilt art classes] or I would have signed up for one!

Nicole May 22, 2017 - 12:15 pm

Thanks, Katherine! It was fun! Maybe next time?!?

Karen S May 18, 2017 - 12:25 pm

What a great quilt. That charcoal really makes everything pop! I love how lush your quilting looks–the different lines really set things off. What kind of batting did you use to get such a “puff”? That must be one gorgeous dress 😉

Nicole May 22, 2017 - 12:16 pm

Thanks, Karen! It is a lovely dress! The batting I used is a poly batting by quilter’s dream.

Debbie May 19, 2017 - 1:52 am

Beautiful quilts! It’s so nice to see your work again!

Nicole May 22, 2017 - 12:16 pm

Thanks, Debbie! I know I’ve been MIA. Hopefully, I can get back to more stitching!

Melanie May 27, 2017 - 9:36 am

Both quilts look great. Hope you have lots of fun teaching the classes!

Nicole May 27, 2017 - 11:00 pm

Thanks, Melanie! The classes were wonderful. I hope to share about them soon.

margiestitcher June 3, 2017 - 12:28 am

2 great quilts and liking the curved quilting must try that but it will be on my bernina

Nicole June 5, 2017 - 9:54 pm

Thanks, Margie! Yes, the quilting can be done on a domestic as well as a long arm. The good news is that the design is very forgiving!

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