Mini-Bee Improv Quilt


You might recall that my first play with appliqu├ęd orange peels was actually part of the mini-sewing bee my real-life sewing besties (Karen & Blogless Christa) and I made together. Starting this second (’cause I just thought of it this second), I’m calling us a mini-bee, because we are only the three of us, making things for each other, together. A bee in the traditional sense, only miniature. (Also, our first projects together were mini-quilts.)

We made three mini-quilts together, one for each of us, and now we’re moving on to larger quilts. I was really intrigued by the whole idea of improv quilting, just sewing without a plan or letting any trivial glitches get in the way (too small? jam a strip on the side. too big? lop a bit off. unbalanced? chop in half and stick it back together backwards!) – we spend so much time planning and relatively little actually making (don’t you hear that complaint all the time – ‘I can finally start sewing now that all the cutting is done!’, etc.) that this type of patchwork is really quite freeing.

I was, like many who have improv-ed recently, inspired by Lu Summers and her book, Quilt Improv, but I have also been learning how far back ‘improv’ goes as a quilting style. Modern-looking, definitely, but not strictly modern-invented! I randomly split a pile of soft blues and yellows – fat quarters as well as scraps – between the three mini-bee sewers and prepared a list of block sizes to make, so that our improv bits will fit into an actual shape in the end. But then real life got in the way, big-time, and the whole thing was put aside – until the most recent Bee Europa block rekindled my desire for some no-stress sewing!

This will probably take some time for us to finish, between all of our other projects, there’s no hurry at all. This really is just for the sake of it. But I couldn’t resist – even though I totally have other commitments that have to come first, I’ve already made two blocks:


So much fun, you should try it right now!

1 Comment on Mini-Bee Improv Quilt

  1. Karen
    April 16, 2015 at 22:07 (3 years ago)

    Yay! We are a mini-bee! I love it!
    Your blocks are gorgeous, Julie. Love the crosses, I wanted to make some!! Can’t wait to throw a few more blocks together myself :) xxxx


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