Scrappy Improv Quilting ~ Star Spangled

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the blog hop for Kelly Young's new book, Scrappy Improv Quilting! Most of you know Kelly from her blog My Quilt Infatuation. I was honored to be included in helping with the release! You will find 22 mini quilts packed into this beautiful book. Here's what I came up with!

I chose to make Star Spangled. Patriotic quilts will always be amongst my favorites. There's just something so striking about red, white and blue! I love this flag design and it was much simpler to put together than it initially appears. I didn't have a ton of red or blue scraps, but that's part of the fun in the book projects. It doesn't take many fabrics to put together some super cute and beautiful little quilts! 

If you look close you will see many different fabrics and some are very small pieces. It's fun remembering back to what you originally had made with each print! 

Here's a picture taken inside, I think you can see the improv pieces a bit better.

Improv always intimidated me until I participated in Kelly's first book release, Stash Statement. I truly enjoyed the process of grab, sew, trim and repeat. It doesn't require a lot of thought and I found it quite relaxing! 

My mind is programmed to function best with a set plan in front of me. Kelly's books give you that "structured" plan. She walks you through from start to finish. Although you create the improv pieces to use, there is still a pattern! There are tips included with every project in the book, I really love that! 

Here's a close up of some of the blues in my star block. I apologize for the dark pictures. I'm not sure why they are reading this way.

I used an "organic" wavy stitch to do the quilting. It's such a quick and forgiving stitch, that still gives great texture! I chose a simple bright blue solid to frame the quilt, allowing the blocks to be the focus.

The backing is a vintage blue and red floral print from my grandmother's stash. 
I try to use up my older prints as backings for wall hangings, pillows etc. 

Scrappy Improv Quilting is loaded with tips from scrap selection, tools, piecing help, pressing tips, tricks, cutting and more! It's perfect for a beginner as well as an experienced improv quilter. Also included is help
with batting, basting, quilting...all the way to binding. It really is a complete start to finish instruction! 

I was super impressed with the book quality when I received my copy. It is so VIBRANT and is such awesome quality! There are so many fun projects, my favorite is the cover quilt. Rainbow improv is so, so beautiful!!

You will even learn how to size up your mini quilt, or even make a pillow! 

Ok, here is one last photo of my Star Spangled. 

Thanks for stopping by! You can head over to Kelly's website for a list of the complete blog hop schedule and to purchase a copy of her book. I know it is available on Amazon as well. Also, don't forget to stop by Rebecca Grace Quilting today to see which quilt she has chosen to make! 


Dusting Off The Blog

 It’s been so very long since I’ve been here! I spend most of my time on Instagram now. I do miss the old days of blog link ups and real, actual, lengthy sharing. I will be back Monday with a new real post! If you are on Instagram you can find me @christine.a.sherman 

See you soon! 


First 2019 Finish, Raspberry Gingham Quilt

I've had a buffalo plaid on my to do list forever. I love them in all colors! Mine is Valentine colored.
It was hard getting the colors to photograph well but it's a pretty raspberry and pink. The squares were cut at 5 inches.

The white and raspberry are Moda Bella solids. The pink scallops are Basic Grey prints from Moda as well. I followed the tutorial from Southern Fabric  It was just the size I was wanting, no pieced backings!

The backing is a reproduction vintage seed catalog print by Lakehouse. It is my favorite text print ever.

I did simple straight line quilting on both sides of the seams using Gutermann white thread. The binding is a Pam Kitty Morning floral.

I love simple squares and I'm happy with how this turned out! It finished at 40.5 x 49.5 inches.
My first finish for 2019 :)

Last of the 2018 Finishes

These last two have been done quite awhile. First is my flag quilt

I'm sure most of you are aware of Camille Roskelley's ever popular Flag Quilt.
I finally got around to making one too and I love it!

Most of the prints are from the Patriotic Mini's line from Connecting Threads
There are few other red, white and blues thrown in from a scrap pack I purchased from Farm Road Quilts The mint is a solid also from Connecting Threads.

I quilted organic wavy lines that I wish I'd done more densely now but it's still ok! I used a light gray Gutermann thread.

I pieced a backing! It's so much prettier in person than the photos show. I used some leftovers and another patriotic mini print with stars.

The binding is also a stripe from Patriotic Mini's. It finished at 52.5 x 67 after washing. It was gifted to a family member in the Army for Christmas and he loved it!

The last "quilt" that needs included in my 2018 quilts is what I call the ugly quilt. My husband has asked for a wool quilt forever. I found two fabrics his mom had given me oodles of. I'm assuming she'd had it a long time. I washed them both and decided fabric was tougher back then. Neither had any shrinking or bleeding and one is flannel! Great quality, whatever it is!
They were both wide enough to do a whole cloth on both sides thank goodness!
I threw all my pickiness and rules aside on this one. I used a cream colored wool military blanket for the batting. I used a wavy stitch on my machine and quilted it simply to keep the layers together. It was HEAVY!!

I left enough fabric to fold over, and sew down. It slightly drove me crazy not having things exactly even or tidy looking. I measured nothing and that's hard for me! I knew it was going to work with him so I just finished up and said done! It's not winning any beauty prizes, but I'll tell ya, it is one warm quilt! It ended up 64 x 72 and was his birthday gift in September.
Now onto 2019, wishing you all a healthy and happy new year!!


Another One I Forgot To Blog

I just realized I've never shared my little low volume quilt finish. I used a bundle from Sew Stitching Happy . I'm sure many of you are familiar with Cassie's IG account. She has the cutest prints and bundles and makes pretty things!

Simple patchwork squares cut at 4.5" set in a 10x12 layout for a 40 x 48 little quilt.

The backing is a yellow print by Brenda Riddle when she was with Lecien Fabrics.

Any tips for better photos of yellow fabrics??

Binding is Squared Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics in a pale pink color.
I love this quilt! It's filled with prints from many different fabric companies. It's so pretty and comfy soft!


Finished Quilts!

I'm super happy to share some very old WIP's that are now completed quilts! These were all turned into gifts. The photos are just things I snapped with my phone in crappy lighting.
First is the second Witch Hazel quilt I've made.

This quilt was worked on in 3 different states, on different machines and with different thread. I lost points and it was really kind of a mess. When I saw Farm Fresh Stitches on IG had a Halloween special, I knew this was the only way I'd love it again. So I sent my first quilt off to a long arm quilter! Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. She was super sweet and did a fantastic job!

I used her beautiful packaging to wrap it back up after I added binding. Yep, I love it again :)

Next up was this Camelot fabric I won years ago that sat unfinished because my quilting lines were not even and the colors were out of my comfort zone. It's still far from perfect but it's super soft and comfy and is going to my youngest grand daughter for Christmas.

The backing is a navy plume print from Fort Worth Fabric Studio from years ago. I added chunks of left over fat quarters from the front to the side and it's super cute. The orange binding is the same print.

The last old finish is my much loved Nordika fabric by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics. It also was set aside due to very uneven lines. Lines that went to far and were backstitched etc. The fabric is so beautiful I decided it needed to be done anyway.

I had made half square triangles along with Northcott Seafoam and just arranged them until I liked it.

The back was a Nordika panel along with all the scraps. I am going to try to be more patient and piece backings again. I really do love them, I just don't like doing it. This one is going to another grand daughter for Christmas.

I have a few more, not so old, quilts to share in another post!

Things I learned finishing these quilts:
1. Sometimes finished really IS better than perfect. It's freeing to have some things out of the way that were taking up space in my brain and my sewing room. Everything doesn't have to be perfect and it usually never will be.
2. I've really gained knowledge as a quilter, more than I ever give myself credit for. I remember these quilts being scary and disasters and I didn't know what to do. So they hung on a ladder for years. When I unrolled them, they weren't so scary anymore and I wondered why I'd waited so long to finish them.
3. It's not easy remembering what you were doing after so many years. What thread you were using, what reference points you were using to space your quilting, etc etc. For me, it's easier to just finish.
4. Disasters can still end up being ok. Fingers crossed for this one :)
5. Blogs are great diaries. Great for remembering when you made something (or started it!) It's nice to have a dated record of things. I'm going to be better at updating mine as I finish things.


Scattered~Spring Version!

Hello friends and welcome to my stop on the Stash Statement blog tour! When Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation invited me to be a part of her new book launch I was honored and excited!

Photo Credit Brent Kane

I will admit I was a little nervous, this is my first improv quilt! I've always admired Kelly's quilts and I knew now was the time to give it a whirl. I chose to make the quilt called Scattered. Here's Kelly's version:

Kelly's book gives many tips and pointers in working with your own scrap stash. In the book you will find 12 gorgeous quilts made from three of the methods she demonstrates in building your "blocks". Scattered uses the panel method. If you are nervous to try improv or are like me and your brain functions better with a set pattern, this book is for you! Her structured technique gives you a method to follow while still randomly sewing your scraps.

It was early spring with the snow still flying here in NE when I was working on my quilt. I chose to use a bright, springy yellow background. The pink represents the new flowers I was anxiously awaiting to see blooming. I love winter time but was more than ready for sunshine and flowers! I made a total of nine blocks into a baby quilt/play mat.

It took me a bit of time to get sewing, wondering if I could do this right and all the silly things we think when starting something new. After the first few seams were sewn I was hooked! It's a wonderful, no thinking, way of sewing. Just grab and go. No getting up running to the cutting mat. Sew a piece, trim with your scissors and keep on going. I found it to be very relaxing! There are no mistakes here folks and that means no seam rippers need be present, yay! You will notice that you don't need strictly modern fabrics to do improv. Anything goes!

You get to revisit all your old projects, which is fun! There's several different designers/manufacturers in each block and somehow it just works out ok.

Kelly also gives ironing tips in the book. It was one thing I was concerned about because I hate bulk. I found this to not be an issue either. You do truly find that the seams tell you which way to go. I was pleased everything laid down nice and flat. I did use Best Press when ironing so that also helps.

In an effort to use what I had, I chose a comfy piece of a Wamsutta vintage sheet for the back and a Pam Kitty scrap for the binding. I love that sheet so much and hope someday to find another!

I'm so glad to be back in the green Midwest, therefore I had to get some lilac shots :)

Whether you're a seasoned quilter, beginner, experienced or new to improv, Stash Statement has something for every skill level. I'm thrilled this book has given me new vision for scraps that would be trash to some! Take a look at this inspiration, it is my favorite in the book!! Rainbow improv is so beautiful!

Photo Credit: Brent Kane

The links to purchase your copy of Stash Statement are at the bottom of the post.

Here's the blog tour line up, thanks for stopping by!

Stash Statement Blog Tour Schedule-

4/16- Grand Bazaar    Shelley @ Cora's Quilts

                                    Connie @ Freemotion by the River

                           Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts

4/30- Precarious  Jess @ Quilty Habit                       
                             Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
5/7- Beach Retreat  Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts                               
                                 Liz @ Savor Every Stitch 
5/14- Fire Pit   Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts                                          
                         Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
5/21- Detour    Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts                         
                         Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts
5/28- Murrina    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl             
                            Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
6/4- Scattered    Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal                      
                           Christine @ Triangles and Squares 
6/11- Bloom Chicka Boom   Chris @ made by ChrissieD            
                                               Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
6/18- Regatta   Susan @ Quilt Fabrication                             
                          Debbie @ A Quilter's Table    
                          Christa @ Christa Quilts
6/25- Catch a Falling Star  Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework        
                                              Anja @ Anja Quilts
7/2- College Prep   Hilary @ by Hilary Jordan                 
                                Lori @ Crossquilt
7/9- Take Flight (bonus digital pattern)  Kelli @ Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches 
                                                                 Paula @ The Sassy Quilter

You can get a signed copy of Kelly's book HERE or at Amazon and also from Martingale