Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Strippy Improv Holiday QAL - Week 2

How, oh how does December start tomorrow? It's good that Strippy Improv projects sew up quickly - you're on track to finish before the holidays begin! 



It's week 2 of the Strippy Holiday Improv Quilt Along, and this week we're talking block making! The pattern includes 5 block options - your choice which to make!

I've been sewing Strippy Improv Holiday blocks with my kids the last few days, and even though I've made A LOT, it always surprises me how quickly they come together! 

Let's talk about snowman and candy canes this week. 

Snowmen!
Snowmen are great for digging into your low volume stash - so many different white prints to play with! You can also give your snowman personality by adding details - a scarf, coal for eyes and buttons, a carrot nose, and stick arms. Just keep contrast in mind - if you use a darker background (recommended), choose your hat and stick colors so they pop a bit!


To add a scarf, create two fabric tubes (I used woven plaid fabrics) and secure the ends of each under the snowman "neck" (see below) before you fuse the background in place. Make sure your stitch lines catch the scarf ends as well. I cut my tubes at about 3/4" x 4", folded in half wrong sides together, and stitched. Move the scarf pieces out of the way when you machine quilt. Later, I tied the scarf ends together and then frayed the ends to create fringe. 

Candy canes! 
First, make sure you flip the template for tracing onto muslin. This is not a symmetrical shape, so the candy cane needs to face different directions on the muslin and on the fusible web (this is addressed in the pattern too). 

Second, if you want your red and white to "swirl," you need to angle the fabric as you add strips. This will feel weird, but it works. 

These are my "oops" candy canes below - I forgot to flip the template, so now I have four candy canes - two that face left and two that face right! 

Have fun making your blocks! 
Next week, we'll talk trees, stars and ornaments, as well as how to embellish them!

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Join the Strippy Improv Holiday Quilt Along!

QAL Details: 
Sew along with me to create a holiday wall quilt or table runner before Christmas! I'll post once a week with tips and advice (plus that all-important accountability!) to keep us on track. These blocks are addicting...just wait and see! 
Purchase the pattern here.

Week 1: November 23rd - Fabric selection
Week 2: November 30th -  Making 2 blocks
Week 3: December 7th - Making 2 blocks
Week 4: December 14th - Assembly and Finishing
Purchase the pattern here.


 **************************************************************************
If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)



Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Strippy Improv Holiday - Week 1

Ready for a 4-week holiday project? I'm hosting the Strippy Improv Holiday Quilt Along so we can all finish before the crazy-busy days of the holiday take over. First, you'll need the pattern

 This week, we're talking fabric choices (and block choices, because these go hand in hand). 
This pattern comes with five different block designs: 



Select your blocks - either four different, all the same, or a couple of your favorites. The pattern includes options for assembling the blocks into a table runner or a square wall hanging. See some of my finished samples here.

Time for the border print! My recommendation at this point is to choose your border fabric next, and consider whether you want to keep a theme going. For example, for this version I'm making, I am pairing two each tree and snowman blocks with this adorable snow globe fabric to make a wall hanging I can use all winter long. And don't forget a contrasting fabric for the block frames!



Let's talk block backgrounds. You'll want to choose a medium to dark fabric for the background. If you use a lighter fabric, the strippy improv will show through. Keep that in mind as you choose fabric for the strips - for example, if you have a dark gray background, make sure the snowman hat contrasts enough. Here's an example of a fabric choice where I didn't have quite enough contrast: 


What blocks are you choosing? How about fabric? Let me know! 

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Join the Strippy Improv Holiday Quilt Along!

QAL Details: 
Sew along with me to create a holiday wall quilt or table runner before Christmas! I'll post once a week with tips and advice (plus that all-important accountability!) to keep us on track. These blocks are addicting...just wait and see! 
Purchase the pattern here.

Week 1: November 23rd - Fabric selection
Week 2: November 30th -  Making 2 blocks
Week 3: December 7th - Making 2 blocks
Week 4: December 14th - Assembly and Finishing
Purchase the pattern here.


 **************************************************************************
If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)

Friday, November 18, 2022

I'm a Benartex Ambassador for 2023!

 I'm excited to announce that I'm a Benartex Ambassador for next year! 




I've used their fabric a lot over the years, so this partnership made sense. I'm excited to be using more of their fabric in 2023! 

What this means: I'll be sharing projects and tutorials throughout the year (1 per quarter) made with fabric they send me. Yay for more projects!

Here's a quick look back at some of my more recent patterns featuring their fabric.  (Plus an upcoming one...keep scrolling to the bottom!)

Strippy Improv Hearts, featuring Free Motion Fantasy 2 by Amanda Murphy

Frequency, featuring Poured Color by Paula Nadelstern

Off the Rails featuring Judy's Garden by Eleanor Burns

Sew a Garden BOM quilt featuring Sleepovers by Pat Sloan

Pretty Pairs BOM featuring Wander Lane I by Nancy Halvorsen

COMING SOON: Follow the Rainbow BOM featuring Marbleized

Here's to a fun year!

Check out the entire team - Fellow Ambassadors




Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Christmas Blog Hop!

It's Strippy Improv Holiday time! 


Michael Miller Fabrics invited me to be part of their Christmas Blog Hop, and I knew I needed to make a very Christmas-y Strippy Improv Holiday wall hanging. (Psst...keep reading for the giveaway info!)

Hello, candy canes and Christmas trees! The strippy improv technique combines improv strip piecing with reverse applique to make blocks that look different every time. Keep reading to the bottom to find out details for joining the Strippy Improv Holiday QAL, starting today! 


Here are the fabrics I chose. The Santa print worked perfectly to tie together the red and green prints! The cheery vintage Santa face reminds me of a door decoration my grandma had when I was little. You'd pull on the grinning Santa head and it would play music. We loved it!
I used the candy canes on the back of the quilt.


Here's a close-up of the candy cane block. I can almost taste the peppermint! 

And the tree...I love how the greens play together!


Giveaway!
I had enough fabric left to put together a Strippy Improv Holiday kit to make a quilt just like mine. For a chance to win, find me on Instagram (@quiltyzest).


This wall hanging measures 25" square, perfect for a door or wall. The Strippy Improv Holiday pattern also includes directions for finishing four blocks into a table runner.

I had so much fun creating a very Christmas-y red, green and white wall hanging. Make sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Michael Miller Christmas Blog hop! Find the details here.


*************************************************************
Join the Strippy Improv Holiday Quilt Along!

QAL Details: 
Sew along with me to create a holiday wall quilt or table runner before Christmas! I'll post once a week with tips and advice (plus that all-important accountability!) to keep us on track. These blocks are addicting...just wait and see! 
Purchase the pattern here.
November 16th - QAL Kickoff - you're here!

Week 1: November 23rd - Fabric selection
Week 2: November 30th -  Making 2 blocks
Week 3: December 7th - Making 2 blocks
Week 4: December 14th - Assembly and Finishing
Purchase the pattern here.


Block choices:



See more Strippy Improv quilts here.
 **************************************************************************
If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)


Friday, October 28, 2022

Hello Fall Coffe Cup Wraps


Happy fall! Today I'm sharing a tutorial over on the Thermoweb blog to make these coffee cup wraps using the Hello Fall collection by Jessica Flick for Benartex. You can find the full tutorial for the single fabric wrap here.

Below are the steps to make a pieced wrap. You can also watch the video tutorial for this here.

Step 1: Trace the full coffee wrap shape onto a piece of muslin. 
Step 2: Position the first strip right side up so it covers the left end of the traced shape. Position the second strip right side down on top. Stitch through all layers using a 1/4" seam allowance from the edge of the strips.

Step 2: Press the second strip open.


Step 3: Position a third strip, right side down. Angle it slightly as shown, but make sure it covers the edge of the second strip. Stitch in place, using a 1/4" seam allowance along the edge of the third strip.

Step 4: Fold back the muslin and trim the excess strip as shown.


Step 5: Press the third strip open. 

Step 6: Position the fourth strip, again angling it slightly as shown.

Step 7: Continue adding and trimming strips in this manner until the entire wrap shape on the muslin is covered.

Step 8: Flip the pieced unit over and position the Fusible Fleece piece on the back, making sure the pieced strips extend beyond it on all sides. Fuse in place.

Step 9: Machine quilt the strips in place as desired. Trim 1/4" past the fleece shape. Follow the remaining steps in the tutorial to complete the coffee cup wrap.


And you're done!




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And one more last thing...
If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)

 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Strippy Improv Halloween Finishes!

I've had a flurry of sewing lately and wanted to share a few of my Strippy Improv Halloween finishes. 

I used these two jack o'lantern blocks 



...to make this pillow:


and this trick or treat bag! (scroll down for basic assembly instructions)



 I also finished my "Boo" table runner just in time to use it! Woo hoo!

How about you? Have you finished any Strippy Improv Halloween projects? I'd love to see them! Email me at lisaeruble (at) gmail.com or tag me on IG (@quiltyzest) and use the hashtag #strippyimprovhalloween

And if you don't have the pattern yet, you can get it in my Etsy shop.



Happy Halloween!

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Strippy Improv Halloween Trick or Treat Bag



By request, here are basic cutting details and instructions for making the trick or treat bag. I didn't take step by step photos because I was too busy filming the video! 

(See the video on IG: @quiltyzest)

You'll Need:
1 8-1/2" square strippy improv block

Orange tonal: 
(2) 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" strips
(2) 1-1/2" x 9-1/2" strips

White spiderweb:
(1) 13-1/2" x 15-1/2" piece for bag back
(2) 3" x 18" strips for handles
(2) 2-1/2" x 9-1/2" strips for bag front
(1) 2-1/2" x 13-1/2" strip for bag front
(1) 5" x 13-1/2" strips for bag front

Black print:
(2) 13-1/2" x 15-1/2" piece for bag lining
(2) 3" x 18" strips for handles

Assemble the Bag:
1. Sew orange tonal strips to sides and then top/bottom of 8-1/2" square strippy improv block.

2. Sew 2-1/2" x 9-1/2" white spiderweb strips to opposite sides of block. Sew 2-1/2" x 13-1/2" white spiderweb strip to top and 5" x 13-1/2" white spiderweb strip to bottom to complete bag front, measure 13-1/2" x 15-1/2". 

3. Layer bag front and bag back right sides together and stitch around sides and bottom. Layer (2) black print bag lining pieces right sides together and stitch around sides and bottom, leaving a 6" opening along bottom for turning. 

4. Cut out 2" squares from bottom corners of both outer bag and lining. Box corners. Turn outer bag right side out. 

5. To make handles, lay (1) each 3" x 18" white spiderweb and black print strip right sides together. Stitch along both long edges. Turn right side out, press, and topstitch along both long edges. Make (2) handles.

6. Measure in 2-1/2" from outer bag edges and pin handle in place, matching raw edges. Repeat on bag back. Baste handles in place. 

7. Slide outer bag inside lining, making sure handles are tucked in. Match side seams and pin top raw edges together. Sew along the top outer edge. 

8. Turn bag right side out through opening in the lining. Stitch the opening closed. Topstitch along the top edge of the bag to finish. Happy trick or treating!

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And one more last thing...
If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)