The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting an Improv Quilt - Collaboration with Vicki Holloway

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quilting an Improv Quilt - Collaboration with Vicki Holloway

You know what I love best about starting my podcast Hello My Quilting Friends? Being able to meet other quilters and make new friends! One awesome new quilting friend I made this month was Vicki Holloway and she has sent me this awesome improv quilt to play with!

Click Here to find Vicki's tutorial on improv piecing. Improvisational piecing is a method of piecing without a set quilt pattern. You're allowed to break rules, slice up the block and piece it back together again and add whatever fabrics you like. This is so freeing and fun!

My personal rule for myself when improv piecing is - your first choice is right. For some reason setting this rule helps to stop my tendency to fuss with my fabrics and keep arranging and rearranging pieces to death.

When piecing this way, whatever I try first, whether it's the first arrangement of the blocks or the first way I think to cut a block up, that is the method I use. I don't ask questions, I don't agonize about my decision, I just act on the first impulse that fires through my brain.

I love this little quilt and my favorite part is the little orange bits that flow through the piece. I decided to accent those elements with simple quilting lines in matching orange thread. See the design and quilting process in this new collaboration video:

Sometimes you have to know when to stop quilting and I think I picked the right time with this quilt. Would you have quilted it differently? Did you like the idea of adding more quilting designs with the blue thread? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

My favorite part of the quilting design is the Microstippling stitched into the gap spaces. It's almost like the orange fabrics are continuing through the quilt, but are somehow transparent.

When the lines overlap, I quilted Cat Hairball Filler into the center overlapping spaces. This is almost like thread painting and designed to cover the fabric completely in the thread color:

Honestly I'm having a hard time mailing this quilt back to Vicki! I guess I'll have to improv piece one for myself to keep.

Vicki Holloway and I also have quilting podcasts and I was on her podcast last week and chatted about how I began my quilting business. Click Here to find the episode.

Vicki will be on my podcast next Saturday with an interview all about how she manages her time and stays organized. Be looking forward to this new interview on Saturday, March 18th!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I LOVE improve and have discovered that is what I am best at. Thread painting - I like that term and idea!

  2. Stunning quiting Leah, it added so much to it just as it is! Your mini micro stippling is amazing! Thank you for doing this collaborative project with me!

  3. Love what you did with this. The simplicity of your quilting took it to another level. Thank-you for sharing.

  4. Your quilting completed the quilt. I'm not much for modern quilts but I really liked what you did on this quilt!

  5. Great job on the quilt Lea. The micro stippling looks like lace. LOVE IT! Thank for all you do for us quilters.


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