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Mar 27, 2017

Book: Improv Paper Piecing by Amy Friend

Mar 27, 2017
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Hi everyone.  I'm popping in today to share a review on the new book Improv Paper Piecing by Amy Friend.  Amy is an extremely talented artist and paper piecing designer.  Her work is always well planned out and very thoughtful.  I admit I was intrigued by the title of the book.  How could Improv be paper pieced?  Amy discusses this oxymoron in the introduction of her book.  She explains how elements of improv (asymmetrical shapes, acute angles, bias cuts) can be incorporated into paper pieced designs.  If you read her thoughts on this approach, it is definitely eye opening.  Paper piecing can give you an improv look - that can be repeated using the foundation templates!  It's definitely a way I've never looked at paper piecing before.
Catawampus Quilt from Improv Paper Piecing
Amy's intention in this book is to arm you with the tools to design your own improv paper pieced blocks.  She provides 10 different patterns for quilts that walk through her thought process and design interpretation.  She also leaves you inspired to branch out and try your own.  And that's exactly what I did.  I decided to give it a go.

Improv is very difficult for me.  I'm a right angles and measurement type of girl.  Paper piecing is also a bit of a struggle for me too.  My patience is limited, so sometimes paper piecing and I don't get along.  This exercise definitely pushed me.  I decided to try to add improv style to a basic block - the Friendship block from the Farmer's Wife Sampler.
FW block
I re-sketched the block in EQ7.  I made the middle stripe wonky, but still intersecting each quadrant.  Below you can see what that block would look like in a repeating grid.
I decided to make a sample and pulled a ton of green scraps.  Amy explains how to draw up your own paper piecing templates for printing multiple times to make an entire quilt.  I was able to do this quickly in EQ7.  If you like drawing your own blocks with templates/foundation units, EQ7 is really the way to go.
improv book + scraps
I ended up sewing a bit less scrappy than I originally thought.  I really like how this block came out though!  To me it looks little like those open envelope blocks.  This would look great in a quilt where each envelope is a different color.  Fun!
improv paper piecing block
Overall, I enjoyed the book.  Amy has defined a completely new approach to paper piecing and it's always fun to open doors to new creativity. Pin It

Mar 22, 2017

HOOP QUILTS - Last Day of SALE

Mar 22, 2017
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Thank you for the amazing response on the HOOP QUILTS Pattern.  I cannot wait to see what you do with it.  There are so many possibilities!

If you want to make your own Hoop Quilt, check out the Pattern Shop.  Today is the LAST DAY of the Intro SALE!  

Regular price is $12.  Shop today during the release sale and get your copy for $8.  $8.00!
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Mar 17, 2017

HOOP QUILTS Pattern Day + GiveAway

Mar 17, 2017
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HOOP QUILTS Day has finally arrived... break out of the BLOCK!
Quick, inexpensive, different, ROUND and super fun.

They are taking the world by storm!
Well, not really.  They're quite polite actually.

Hoop Quilts are sweet round minis, made with love and a little spunk.  And they want to be displayed pretty much anywhere you can possibly think of.  Sewing room? Yes please.  Bedrooms? For sure. Tiny hallway? Absolutely! Hoop Quilts fit perfectly in just about any space.

I plan on sneaking one into our bathroom downstairs and seeing how long it takes my husband to notice.  ;)
Want to make one?
Here's what you need to know.

The Hoop Quilts Pattern (today releasing as a PDF download, Printed Pattern coming in a few weeks) includes:

*detailed step-by-step instructions
*full color photos and diagrams
*full scale templates
*links to video tutorials for additional help (if you want/need it - check out the Hoop Wrapping Video)

*Charm pack or Scrap Friendly

*instructions provided for 3 different sizes
(Hoops Quilts can be made with 12", 18" or 23" size large quilting hoops.)

*Add as much quilting as you like (none, hand or machine) - quilt top is fused to fusible fleece for body

I found my hoops at Hobby Lobby - they regularly carry those 3 sizes from Darice.  The largest one (23") is $6.99 and I used a 40% coupon.  So $4.20 for the largest size hoop isn't too shabby.  The other hoops are $5.99 (18") and $1.99 (12") full price.
The idea for Hoop Quilts came to me as I dedicated myself to finishing a long time wip embroidery sampler.  I was stitching in the hoop for months this fall.  Of course, I wanted to quilt in the hoop too.  That's IT I thought!  Ditch the block - and quilt in the ROUND.  The designs used in the pattern are built on basics.  Half-square triangles that end up in a circular "block".  It's a simple and stunning way to display favorite fabrics and embellish them with big stitches.
The largest of the hoops, shown above, is my absolute favorite.  I loooooove the two-tone look of the outside khaki fabric.  The little arrows in the darker print are a fab way to accent this piece.  I *might* have added them to the lighter khaki solid too.  

The fabrics used for all 3 hoops could not be any more PERFECT.  These beautiful saturated colors all come from Me+You Fabrics (Hoffman) and are Indah Batiks and Solids.  I started with a Warm Indah Batik FQ bundle (coming this spring) and added a couple aquas from the Honest hexagon precut I had in my stash.  These modern batik prints speak straight to my tone-on-tone lovin' heart.

If you want to get started on your own Hoop Quilt, check out the Pattern Shop.  The pattern is ON SALE today thru Wednesday, March 22, 2017 ONLY.  

Regular price is $12.  Shop today during the release sale and get your copy for $8.  $8.00!

EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY ALERT!  
I've prepped a special surprise giveaway just for you.  To celebrate the RELEASE of the HOOP QUILTS pattern, I have cut 3 custom 5" square charm sets of the Me+You Warm Indah Batiks I used in these samples to GIVEAWAY to you!  This FQ bundle is not yet available in shops.  I cut these prints just for you..  I'm giving away 2 here on the blog - 1 on Instagram.

If you would like a chance to win this super exclusive 5" square set, enter the giveaway below. (Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 11:59pm).  


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