Thursday, October 12, 2023

Strippy Improv QAL - Assembly and Finishing!

   It's week 4 of the Strippy Improv Halloween Quilt Along! Time for assembly and finishing! 

(Scroll down to the bottom for a couple single-block finish ideas!)

I finished my wall hanging using the Glow-O-Ween fabrics from Benartex. Thanks to everyone who shared their opinions on which border print to use. I ultimately chose this print because it allowed the blocks to shine the most. 

The pattern also includes directions to turn your blocks into a table runner. Here's my BOO runner from last year - so excited to have it on our table this October!

Ready to finish your project? 
I've got some tips and advice to make this process go more smoothly.

Tip 1: Matching seams. Make sure to line up the block frames and vertical sashing seams as you sew the two block rows together with the horizontal sashing strip. (Don't mind the fact that these pics are from a Strippy Improv Holiday project...I forgot to take the photo when I was assembling my Halloween wall hanging this week!)

Tip 2: Thread color. Choose a neutral thread color for machine quilting. This can seem hard to choose if, like in my pillow, you have a lighter gray block background and then a black border background. But if you choose a simple quilting design like straight lines (my go-to!), the quilting primarily provides texture and the thread color doesn't stand out. 

Tip 3: Machine quilting. Diane Oakes quilted my original Halloween wall hanging, and did a beautiful job! She switched out thread colors for different fabrics, did some echo quilting in each of the shapes, and added in that adorable spider and web! I love how her quilting enhances the blocks. 

I machine quilted my additional Halloween projects. I opted for straight horizontal lines to create texture without distracting from the design. I freehanded the lines, starting along one of the block frames, and then moved over the width of my walking foot for each line. Quick, easy and effective!

If you're a little behind on block making or just want a different type of project, below are instructions for two alternate finishes, each using one block. Enjoy! 

Pillow Finish
After I made the jack o'lantern block, I decided it would be a great pillow. I created the same 1"-wide frames around the block, and then cut 4"-wide strips for the border fabric, creating a 16-1/2" square pillow top. I added a 16-1/2" square fusible fleece square to the back side and machine quilted it. I made a same size backing square (with fusible fleece and quilting too), and then added a zipper and finished up the pillow. The pillow assembly took less than an hour. 

Trick or Treat Bag Finish

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!

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed being part of the QAL! I hope you'll share photos of your project! And come back mid-November when we start the Strippy Improv Holiday QAL! 

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!)


Need the full Strippy Improv Halloween Pattern? Purchase the digital pattern here

And mark your calendars for the Strippy Improv Holiday QAL, starting mid November! 

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