Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Scrappy Improv quilt back + our Grand Prize winner!

Improv is all the pieces shuffled, trimmed and reimagined in a way that fits - fits color-wise, design-wise and practically too, suiting a new purpose not entirely advanced-planned, but thoughtful and intentional and balanced.

Scrappy improv quilt back

Today I'm breathing in a sense of reclaimed balance, schedule-wise. This year homeschool is taking more time than ever (which it likely should, as they grow), plus I've committed to taking Liam to several far-flung after school activities.  For a few months now, I've managed, but last week I dropped the gauntlet, declaring "This Is Not Sustainable!"  Sustainable is kind of my mantra.  What is not sustainable, must change.  In fact, it will change whether you like it or not... so best embrace change in a constructive way rather than letting life slowly unravel.

Anyhoo, as a result of some shifting, some improv so to speak with my schedule, today feels so different.  Today after we finished homeschool I actually had time to do a little bit of sewing and sit down to post at my own desk, in blessed peace and quiet, and smack in the middle of my day, just as I like, rather than smooshed in somewhere around dinner.  It has to fit, this Stitched in Color stuff.  It has to be sustainable.  First, because it's my job.  Second, because I'm soon going to add a baby to the mix, which clearly won't make balance easier.   And, third, because I want to enjoy it.  I want to always like sewing.

Scrappy improv quilt back

I recently finished my Never Easy quilt top, the one made exclusively of Loominous 2 fabrics.  An entire extra row of half rectangle triangles in yellow/blue plaid was rejected along the way, because they were too chaotic and eye-catching on the quilt top.  For the quilt back, they'll do nicely.

Scrappy improv quilt 

Rather than composing a quilt back of mostly large fabric cuts, as I do so often, I decided to improv piece something more lively, using up as many of my Loominous scraps as possible.   I won't be mixing the Loominous scraps freely with my quilting cotton scraps because they are different weights and deserve a little special consideration.  (Remember, I am sewing with a generous 1/4" seam and a tiny stitch length as I piece the Loominous fabrics to enhance durability as a quilt.)  Using up the scraps on the quilt back makes tons of sense, in this case.

Scrappy improv quilt back

I love how the finished quilt back developed.  All these sultry colors mixed with black bring to mind those vintage scrap quilts that clash, but somehow in a good way.


Today I also have the pleasure of announcing the grand prize winner of 30 Days of Quilt Design.  According to Instagram, forty-three users tagged 30th designs with #30DaysofQuiltDesignCompleted.  From among those, Mr. Random selected Sarah Ruiz (aka Saroy) as our lucky, lucky winner!   I'll be in touch, Sarah, about delivering your Tula Pink bundle from Gotham Quilts and batting roll from The Warm Company.  Enjoy, enjoy!


  1. Congrats Sarah!
    I love your quilt backing it'll be such an amazing quilt when it's finished.

  2. This back is as lovely as the front! Great job!

  3. You sure know how to show off fabric! I have so been enjoying this one!!! And yay for the new balance!

  4. Sustainable... That's an important one, and I will definitely be adding it to my internal check. Mine is priority. Maybe we don't have anything scheduled in those hours, but is this the priority? Unscheduled time together or free time for my (quite young) kids may be the priority.

    1. Priority - yes, that's very good! I think that was more of my mantra when I had young ones. "Sustainable" came into focus in a big way when taking care of Eleni. Priority is a good reminder for me as well. Thanks!

  5. Yaaaay I'm so excited! Thank you Mr. Random! ;) And thank you Rachel for a really fun challenge!

  6. You get my thumbs-up for sustainability, it's so important in creating a life that you love. It's the small, everyday things that can make such a difference to how we "feel" our life is (ie are we happy, etc) and having a non-manic routine so that you can actually enjoy the present is huge!
    I love your Loominus quilt - I have yardage of one of the first line's prints to make a shirt that still has not made itself. I guess I need to schedule it or it's never going to happen!

  7. This is such amazing fabric. I think you picked the perfect pattern to show it's beauty.
    Congratulations to Saroy- Sarah! What a fantastic win.
    All of the designs were examples of great effort

  8. I love the quilt and also your definition of sustainable. Things will change whether you like it or not. My children are grown now but that is how I did things when they were younger. All three were in sports, clubs, cheerleading, etc. My husband was a HS coach. So I was pretty much a single parent during the school year. I didn't call it sustainable but when I became close to overwrought I would stop evaluate everything eliminate or make schedule changes and restart. I also had to learn to quit saying yes to everything.

  9. Oh I adore this quilt Rachel. Improv and woven fabrics just looks perfect :-)

  10. I love how this pieced back is coming together , should look great front and back . - sustainable is a good word to live by , in all senses of the word


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