Thursday, September 22, 2022

Strippy Improv Halloween QAL - Week 1

Hello! I'm so excited that you'll be sewing along with me for the Strippy Improv Halloween QAL! If you still need the pattern, you can order it here.

It's Week 1, so let's talk fabric! 

But really, before that, let's talk block choices, because the blocks you decide to make will steer your fabric choices. 

The pattern includes 9 different blocks (yes, I got carried away when I created the pattern, but what could I leave out?!?). I'm showing all 9 here - you can use this as an overview, and you can also refer back to them as you read the fabric choice section below. 


Black Cat



Candy Corn


Witch Hat


Select 4 different blocks, or use all the same block, or maybe 2 and 2. It's up to you! 

Here's where color factors in. 
Block background:
Your block background should be dark (or darker) so the pieced strips don't show through the reverse applique. If you choose appliques that are typically black or very dark (like the bat, cat, spider, witch hat), you'll want to pick a block background that is light enough to create contrast (but not too light, like white!). I wouldn't go lighter than this light gray below.

Strip colors:
These blocks are great for using scraps, particularly leftover strips. I recommend paying attention to the value of your strips - for example, for the pumpkin, you want your oranges to have enough variety that the individual strips stand out. Otherwise, you could just use one piece of orange for the whole pumpkin. 

I personally prefer prints that are more tonal, because I don't want individual prints distracting from the overall applique. But if you are making four pumpkin blocks, a little more variety might be fun! In my B-O-O blocks, I used more variety because I knew the letter would pop off the background. 

A note on whites and blacks - these can be tricky, because so many black prints read as black. Look for some darker grays as well (as long as they're darker than your block background). For whites, definitely raid your low volume stash! 

Whatever strips you choose, audition them by laying the strips together to see if you like the look. 

And finally, take advantage of all the fun Halloween prints in quilt shops for the border! 

Have fun choosing your blocks and fabrics! Meet me back here on Thursday, September 29 where we'll talk about making the blocks. 

Here's the QAL schedule: 
Thursday 9/22: Fabric and block choices
Thursday 9/29: Make 2 blocks
Thursday 10/6: Make 2 blocks
Thursday 10/13: Assemble and finish!

I hope you'll join in the fun! I'll be posting here on the blog and also sharing posts on IG (@quiltyzest). If you're going to sew along, use the hashtag #strippyimprovhalloween to share your block and/or fabric choices!

Press the easy button and order the kit here.
Choosing/using your own fabrics? Order just the digital pattern here

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