Amy Friend, DuringQuietTime.com, gave a workshop at the Proper Bostonian Quilters Guild in October. The workshop was based on her book, Improv Paper Piecing, A Modern Approach to Quilt Piecing.
The goal of the class was to create a paper pieced quilt block design that was improvisational. That block could then be set into a quilt setting of your own choosing. Amy provided sheets of copy paper with some basic outlines to help folks start a design of their own.
Squares are the easiest block because they can be rotated in any direction and will still fit together. Rectangles are more challenging because they can’t do that.
I decided to design my own block, with a 1 to 2 ratio. 2 of my 3 inch x 6 inch rectangular blocks together make a 6 inch square block. It’s sort of having my cake and eating it too!
Amy has a great method for paper piecing which is a whole lot easier than the traditional method. It’s outlined in her book. But if you get a chance, take her workshop—it really helps to have her show you how to do it with paper, fabric and a light box!
I decided to make a complete project on the workshop day, so I opted to make a mini quilt/pillow cover. I used 4 blocks, stacked vertically. I got all the piecing done during the workshop and finished 3/4 if the project. That was a good day!
Because I picked a small project, I didn’t get to experiment with my square paired rectangular blocks. But with the power of EQ 8 (Electric Quilt 8) I can!
Here are three layouts I tried using my blocks in EQ8. The layout options really are almost endless.
If you are wondering why none of the quilts designed in EQ8 look like the mini quilt, it is because one of the blocks in my mini quilt is a mirror image of the other three blocks. I really like it, but it’s there because I accidentally sewed a block using my original drawing rather than the reverse-mirror image block papers I had prepared for sewing! But this is improv…which means it’s all good!!