Improve Stripes and Braid Blocks Tutorial

Welcome back to Part 2 of the Improv Stripes and Braids tutorial series. We’ve already completed our Improv Stripe block, so let’s get right into the Improv Braid block. Left over from last time, you will need the following:

  • 3 sheets of copy paper/lightweight paper large enough to be cut into two 12 1/2″ squares OR freezer paper
  • Pencil
  • Paper cutting scissors
  • Ruler
  • Water soluble glue stick (if using copy paper)
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • 5″ half square triangle left over from Part 1.

In Part 1, we used the copy paper and the foundation paper piecing technique to sew the Improv Stripe block, but for this tutorial we’ll be using freezer paper to mix things up. If you’re using regular paper, assemble your template as in Part 1 and skip on to step 2. Then be sure to subsequently sew through the paper as normal rather than sewing next to the fold. (more…)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been in the US for a nearly month-long holiday leading up to QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia. Outrageously large unicorn tote in tow, I headed down from North Carolina with Swampy to see some quilts and friends! I don’t want to have a really long post (though I didn’t take many photos at all!) so I’m splitting this up into a post for the exhibition and a post for friends and the class I took.

The first day, Thursday, we leisurely explored the exhibit hall to see all the quilts. I only took pictures of a couple because I guess I’m very particular? I enjoyed many of the award winning quilts (there is certainly no doubt Bling was the Best in Show), but there’s plenty of photos of those floating around so I’ve chosen not to include them here. (P.S. I used a new camera to take these pictures so if they look especially bad it’s because I don’t know what I’m doing with it yet!) (more…)

Hello again, it’s me, Swampy, and I’m back with a two part tutorial to make scrappy improv blocks using strings.  In these tutorials, I’ll talk you through assessing the value of your fabrics and how to use basic foundation paper piecing techniques to create blocks for a dynamic quilt design.  I’ve split the tutorial into two parts because this design is laid out using two alternating blocks to create an overall pattern similar to my last tutorial about the Greek Cross Alternate Block.

Improv Stripes and Braids Tutorial Part 1 of 2

For Part 1, we will prepare our paper foundations, choose our fabrics and arrange them in value order, and finally, sew the Improv Stripes block using regular copy paper.  In Part 2, we’ll sew the Improv Braid block using freezer paper and look at some possible layouts for our blocks.  Let’s get started!


Big news everyone!  No, I’m not having a baby… I’m writing this post from my first home!  Please enjoy this blurry photo of the moving carnage.

Furniture everywhere

If you don’t hear from me again soon, it’s because I’ve been trapped in an avalanche of all our duplicate furniture (long story).  Anyway, back before the moving/home buying adventure happened, I sewed my first baby quilt for Mr. Robynieland’s cousins.

First Baby Quilt front (more…)