Tag Archives: free form patchwork

Putting the improv / free form quilt blocks together

Time to put all blocks together with some sashing and a border.

Block construction

Adding sashing

I made 4 strips of sashing, larger than required and then trimmed each strip as I added the sashing.

Making the sashing

Sashing is made of 2 inch cream strips with some touches of colour.

Place the cream strip below the colour strip and make a cut like below.

Pin well together and stitch.

Then place the cream strip on top of the colour strip and cut along the line.

Now put both coloured and cream strips together.

Pin well.

Stitch and iron flat.

Now do the same with another colour.

Cut together to make sure that cutting lines match.

The curvier the edge the more pins you will need to ensure the seam lies flat when stitched.

Iron the sashing well before sewing to the blocks.

Add sashing to blocks.

Pin one strip to the top of one block and stitch.

Trim excess off.

Stitch sashing to the next block.

Continue adding strips and trimming.


The border is 3 1/2 inches wide. Cut 5 x 4 inch squares and make a cut across each of them.

Cut now a narrow strip in a coloured fabric by placing the piece of fabric as per picture below.

Cut along each line on the sides.

Do the same for all squares.

Pin and stitch together.

Iron flat.

Trim to 3 1/2 inches.

Place the squares around the border and sew to strips of fabric 3 1/2 wide.

Stitch the border to the assembled blocks.

Make a quilt sandwich. I used calico for the backing and cotton batting.

Pin all three layers together.

Quilt the sandwich. I stipple quilted it.

Mount on canvas

My canvas is 90 x 70 cm (about 35.4 in x 27.5 in) and as you can see in the photo, the quilt is quite a bit larger so it wraps really well around the frame. Unfortunately some of the border stripes can’t be seen. Too late for me but you could make sure that in your border you add the little stripes closer to the blocks so they show.

After carefully placing the quilt over the canvas making sure it is centred (my quilt wasn’t perfectly square so on some areas there is more border showing than in others), staple the quilt well all around the frame.

Start stapling on opposite sides first.

Then staple in between the existing staples.

And then each corner.


I was going to add some fabric border around the frame but I’m undecided.

And now that it is finished, I am not sure it will work well as a bed head.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 6 – tutorial

This  is the sixth and last block. It is constructed in the same way as my first free form mini quilt.


The block is constructed like a log cabin block.

Cut the strips of fabric with a pair of scissors or with a rotary cutter without using a ruler. Start with a small rectangle for the centre. Use strips made of different colours to build the block around the centre. The strips can be one single colour or the strip can be made of different colours joined together.

Keep adding strips of fabric until your block can be squared to 10 inches.

The sides of the block may get very wavy as you keep sewing. To straighten a wavy strip, you need to place the side of the block on top of the new strip of fabric, pin it, and cut around the edge of the block on the fabric below (see picture).You will end up with a wavy strip of fabric as per picture below.

To add the wavy strip to the side of the block, pin it in place matching the inside and outside waves really well. It can be tricky to start.

When you’re done with the block, square it to 10 1/2 inches.

So we have now a set of 6 blocks. Next time we will add the sashing and a border ready to mount on canvas.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 5 – tutorial

This is the fifth block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead (or wall hanging).


This block was done based on my earlier improv mini quilt.

The following is roughly the method I used to achieve this result.

I started the construction by cutting a long strip and then I cut it in sections at irregular intervals.

Then I cut small strips to insert them in between the larger strip sections. Make each strip at least 11 inches long.

I stiched all bits together as per (this very bad) photo.

I ironed the strip and cut another white fabric strip.

I stitched the white strip to the colour strip just completed and then I constructed another colour strip and attached it to the other side of the white strip.

For the current block I used the same colour strips and white strips in between.

I continued to add strips.

I ironed the pieces flat.

Then trim the block to 10 inches square.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 4 – tutorial

This is the fourth block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.



Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.


Start creating wonky log cabin mini blocks.

Choose a colour for the centre and cream for the surrounding pieces.

Make interesting pieces with different angles and trim after you get one complete row.

Once you finish the mini block, you will need to trim again.

Trim like below.

Continue to make mini log cabin blocks in the same fashion using different centre colours.

Then cut a 12 and a half inch square and p lace your mini log cabin blocks on the square in a kind of row so when we will be able to cut a strip following the position of the mini blocks.

Pin them in place.

Using the rotary cutter start cutting strips following the placement of the mini blocks.

Then, using each mini block, cut a piece of green fabric which is the size of the mini block width minus one half inch to make up for the seam allowances.

Stitch the mini log cabin blocks to the green fabric.

Place the  strips next to each other to see if you need to trim any of the strips to match the next strip before sewing.

Sew all strips together and you’ve completed the fourth block.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 3 – tutorial

This is the third block in a series of 6. The blocks will be used to make a quilted bedhead.

See improv / free form quilt block number 1 and improv / free form quilt block number 2.


Matching fabrics in 4 solid colours plus some white. Choose colours with good contrast.

Block size

The finished block measures 10 ½ in.


Start with two 12 ½ inch squares in contrasting colours.

Using the rotary cutter, cut both triangles in half in a curve like below.

Then cut the white piece into strips again using the rotary cutter or a pair of scissors.

Now start adding strips in other colours in between the white strips. To cut wavy pieces and sew them neatly, place the colour piece underneath the white strip and cut the colour strip along the white strip edge.

Important: Make sure the colour strips you cut are at least one quarter inch longer than the previous white strip.

Sew strips together.

I ended up with a shorter piece so I added an extra green strip at the end.

The width of the bottom piece now matches the top’s. Now we need to trim the curved top edge.

Place the bottom piece just under the top piece like in the picture and cut along the colour edge using a rotary cutter.

Now you are ready to pin both pieces and sew them together.

Pin both pieces.

Stitch along the edge and then make some cuts along the seam like in the picture so that when you iron it flat, seams to one side, the block will lay flat along the seam.

Iron flat and then trim it to 10 ½ inches square.

Here is the trimmed block!