How I inset my Juki TL-98E home sewing machine into a table and lined it with old rotary cutting mats.
The act of opening and closing a quilt whispers some sacred truth about the revelation of life's moments and the hiding away of memory.
In Part 1 of the Mini Keepsake Quilt-Along, I cut my clothing into sections according to the architectural features I wanted to highlight. Now it is time to improvise a pattern based on those features to create blocks or sections.
Tips on Improvisation
- Improvisation is simply creating without a pre-determined pattern.
- Take the piecing process one step at a time. (Don't over plan.)
- Allow yourself to be surprised by the outcome. There are no mistakes.
- Follow your heart. Find your rhythm of attention.
- Start with any feature that resonates strongly with you.
- Square off your feature by filling in curves or odd angles.
- Continue to build and add to your section until you reach a sense of completion.
- Once you complete one section set it aside and start on the next section.
- Your finished sections should roughly have straight edges, but they can be any size or shape.
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Curve Piecing Technique
- Fill in the curve of a arm hole with a contrasting fabric.
- Layer fabrics right sides up to cut the line of the curve.
- Leave a 1/4 inch over hang on filler piece.
- With right sides up chalk along the curve line.
- Turn right sides together, match chalk marks and pin perpendicular to edge.
- Ease fabric between pins and sew along pinned edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.
- Remove pins and iron seam in one direction.
Hand Piecing a Neckline
- Arrange neckline on background fabric with right sides up. Pin in place.
- Hand stitch with matching thread using a hidden applique stitch.
- On backside carefully cut away as much bulk as possible from the collar.
- Trim background material to within a 1/4" of the appliqued seam.
Next Monday, in Part 3 of the Mini Keepsake Quilt-Along, we will arrange and build sections like a puzzle into finished mini quilt. On Wednesday I'll announce the winner of the Whip Up Mini Quilt Book giveaway along with a review of the book.
Did you learn anything about the way you see patterns by following your rhythm of attention? Any surprises? Please share!
I am so impressed with all of the comments about ideas and materials for keepsake quilts, by those of you who entered the Whip Up Mini Quilt Book Giveaway. The possibilities are endless.
Choosing Your Materials
If you have gathered your materials and are ready to begin, guess what? You have already completed the first, and one of the most significant steps, of the process. For those of you still on the fence, choose materials and pieces of clothing that resonate most strongly with memory and meaning. These will be the heart of your piece.
- Choose the most resonant materials for the heart of your piece.
- Supplement with less resonant pieces but good colors, texture, pattern, etc.
- Don't limit yourself to woven cotton materials. Anything goes except for leather.
- For a mini quilt try to limit yourself to two or three pieces.
- Beware of too many t-shirt logos.
For the Mini Quilt that I created for Kathreen's book, I asked my friend Liz to provide only two pieces of clothing, one from her son's infancy and one from her pregnancy. These two pieces represented her passage into motherhood, while celebrating the life of her first child.
A mini quilt is a small format so I recommend that you limit yourself to two or three pieces of clothing. Include more pieces if you want to make a larger quilt. The finished size of my mini quilt is only 30" x 24".
Cutting the Clothing Apart
You can always cut your clothing into small squares and create a nine-patch keepsake quilt. However, Passage Quilting™ is about the process of transition, growth and healing. For this reason I work with the architecture of the clothing to create an improvised quilt without a predetermined pattern.
- As you begin to cut your clothing apart consider which architectural features you want to include in your quilt and cut accordingly.
- Cut the clothes along seam lines.
- Remove extra linings and bulky seams.
- Prep, cut apart, all of your materials before moving to the piecework.
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Next Monday, in Part 2 of the Keepsake Quilt-Along, we will begin making blocks or sections from our clothing parts. I will also review tips on improvisation and curve piecing techniques.
What was it like to cut apart your meaningful materials? Was it liberating? Scary? Sad? Joyous? A relief? A surprise? A mixture of emotions? Please share!
Step 9 is the final tutorial in the Modern Mood Quilt craft-along. Quilt-along with me and learn how to make an invisible binding.
Step 8 of the Modern Mood Quilt craft-along. Quilt-along with me and learn how to mark your quilting pattern, template free, and how to hand-quilt with ease and flare.
In step 7 of the Mod-Mood Quilt craft-along, quilt-along with me and learn how to use bias-cut strips to machine piece the curvy corners of your moody modern quilt.