Easy Introduction to Improv Quilting
Are you ready for an easy introduction to improv quilting? Do you have a Layer Cake bundle you’re ready to use? Here’s the perfect project to answer both those questions with a big yes! While many improv quilts can be quite elaborate, there are some very easy methods to get you started. This is a quick project that offers you a multitude of improv options. If you don’t have any layer cakes, download the free fat quarter templates below and cut your own!
While perusing Pinterest, as I often do, I found Allison’s Easy Stack, Cut and Sew Blocks Tutorial at www.cluckclucksew.com. What caught my eye were the large framed blocks that would be perfect to showcase the large floral prints I was working with. While her quilt is a much more modern design, the blocks will work for any fabrics, whether solid or print.
Quilting With Layer Cakes
When I saw this beautiful Butterfly Haven layer cake a couple months ago, I couldn’t pass it up. Flowers are the perfect inspiration for this time of year and these bouquets called to me. Layer cakes are not my go-to when it comes to precuts, so I wasn’t quite sure what pattern to use. The focus had to be a garden filled with blossoms. The larger flowers in this fabric are nearly 4” wide. At least some of them needed to stay intact and not get cut up into little pieces
Allison’s blocks work great with my 10” layer cake squares and this is where the improvisational quilt idea began. Since my blocks are bigger than what she used, I had a bit more room to play with and how the strips were cut. No straight cuts for me. All my blocks have at least one, if not all strips cut with a bit of an angle. While not immediately noticeable, it loosens up the design and adds a bit of whimsy.
This easy introduction to improv quilting allows you to a lot of design choices. If you cut your blocks with sharper or wider angles, then you’ll have a much more modern look. My angles were all less than an inch difference from side to side.
Pairing Up Your Fabrics
Dividing the layer cake into two piles helped to decide which squares to pair together. The florals were the primary pattern and the secondary fabrics would fill in as the contrast. It all blends very well and I really like the look. But there wasn’t anything particularly eye-catching. So, I took the garden design a bit further.
Add Some Contrast To Your Quilt
Initially a white lattice around all the blocks seemed like a great solution. But the white still wasn’t enough contrast against the pastel fabrics. My next thought was more of a trellis look filling the quilt with bold green leaves. With the perfect batik on hand, the lattice became a leaf wrapped trellis to surround my garden’s flowers. Each block looks a bit like a small section of the garden surrounded by luscious leaves.
An Easy Quilt To Make
This quilt went together very quickly. Day 1 was cutting and assembling the blocks, then ironing them well. Day 2 was putting it all together…at least mostly together. Now I’m just waiting for the right Day 3 to get it quilted.
With a layer cake I made 42 blocks that measured just shy of 9” each. Laying it out with six blocks by seven blocks, it initially measured 54”x63”. With the added 1” lattice borders, the final top measures 61”x71” which is a great lap quilt size.
I’m excited to see it finished. Once completed I’ll update this post with a picture. Allison, I hope you like how I’ve used your pattern. Thank you for the great idea!