200 Quilts · quiltcon

Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 2)

Cinque Terra Tiles_3

This is the story of my Improv Appliqué Demo, coming up at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena.  In the last post, you saw me making a whole gang of these little bits squares, some with slightly wobbly shapes.  And lo and behold, one day they all turned into this:

Cinque Terra Tiles_ front

Cinque Terra Tiles, Quilt # 193

Yep.  I arranged those little bits and bigger bits until they coalesced into this quilt, which I love.

At the request of Paintbrush Studios, I’ll be doing two demos of this Improv Appliqué technique during QuiltCon 2018:
•  Friday, February 23 from 2:45 to 3:15 p.m.,
•  Sunday, February 25, from  11:00 to 11:30 a.m.

If you come, you’ll get a little kit to get you started, complete with needle and thread, and a mini-charm pack of fabulous Painter’s Palette Solids.  I’ll have a set of printed directions for your improv appliqué, plus tips on folding techniques as well as basic hand-appliqué directions.

UPDATE: Here are the directions I passed out at QuiltCon (right click on each to download):


I loved working with this fabric, as it has a nice tight weave, but not so tight that it won’t ease and fold into shape.  The colors are saturated and rich and play well against each other.  I’m totally sold on this fabric, especially after working with it in such close circumstances: handwork reveals everything, I think.

Cinque Terra Tiles_1aCinque Terra Tiles_1bCinque Terra Tiles_1cCinque Terra Tiles_1d
I’m deluging you with photos, because if you want to make one, all of a sudden you’ll say, I need a new shape! a new color combo! Feel free to steal one of mine.Cinque Terra Tiles_5

I did cut out the back of the larger appliqué shapes, but you can see where I appliquéd smaller on larger. You can also see that I did NOT press seams open, but instead, to one side.  I grouped them together, sewing four smalls, then seaming that onto one larger, and so on (sew on?)

Cinque Terra Tiles_5a

Sometimes it’s fun to see the undersides of our quilts, right?

Cinque Terra Tiles_6 back

I chose a fun Kaffe Fassett circles pattern to back it with.  I decided not to gild the lilly, that is, to excessively quilt the little bits: I just stitched in the ditch.  But on the borders, I picked up the circles theme again, and did arcs in varying sizes with black thread.  It’s nearly invisible on the front, but you can see it very well on the back.Cinque Terra Tiles_6alabelCinque Terra Tiles_7quilting

Hope to see you in Pasadena–come and learn how to do some Improv Appliqué!

16 thoughts on “Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 2)

  1. I love this thing more each time I see it, seriously!!! Sad that QuiltCon is not on my schedule this year so will miss your sessions, but know those attending will get the best class there!

  2. Wish I were able to get to QuiltCon and watch your demo! This quilt is ever so charming. I love the chips and what you did to make them sing.

  3. It looks great, and I think your demo is going to be great. Yes, it is absolutely fun to see a quilt top’s “backside” on occasion! I’ll be heading to Pasadena a week from today. I hope I have a productive week…

  4. What a wonderful little quilt!! I love how this turned out with all the color combinations and wobbliness. Enjoy QuiltCon and the demo time.

  5. That is really wonderful. It looks like such a great project to pick up and work on in small spaces too. I’ll have to see if we can catch one of the demos.

  6. Elizabeth, I love these little tiles. And I think Painter’s Pallet would be great to appliqué since it ravels very little. I still have a pkg. of tiny squares from QuiltCon I need to use. You know me from IG as blue_dragonfly5

  7. What a delightful little quilt Elizabeth! How I wish I could be in Pasadena to be part of your little sewing group! And I agree, the underside of a quilt doesn’t get enough viewing time or credit for the job it does! Good luck at Quiltcon.

  8. There a some good design lessons in this quilt. Your students will be fortunate to have you as a teacher, showing them technique + how to make smart design choices.

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