Category Archives: Helen Howes BOM

Making the Pieces Fit – or What To Do With Those Eccentric Odd Blocks

As requested… These were left over from demonstrating Eccentric Log Cabins (not so much a Log Cabin, more a Pile of Sticks, see the image at the top for my Dusk quilt…) at Festival of Quilts in 2017. Oddments like this are inclined to reappear at moments when I really need to tidy up. I…

Thirteen – A Nother Digression, About Quilting Your Improv Blocks

Now, as I have spent more time quilting, and as I have learned how to do it better, I find I want to make less and less of a statement with it. It’s really important to quilt your quilt, as it’s not complete without this joining-of-layers and adding-of-texture… Many of my recent quilts are simply…

Part The Dozen, Spiralling Nebulae

Now, I was asked to make a quilt from a pack of Oakshott Fabrics Starshott, which is a slightly odd, subtle coloured selection.. I wanted something simple, and improvised, of course, and trimmable, without doubt.. So, here’s the thing – three pieces 6 by 7 inches, on the mat Right Sides Up, and with two…

Part Eleven – Three Is The Magic Number

This block (Three Becomes One) was probably the first truly “Improv” block I taught – and it is still a favourite Sorry for the small images – I had these prepared, they vanished, I swore, these will Just Have To Do… Start with three squares of nice cotton quilting fabrics. You really need some contrast…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers – Part Nine Already! More Stones Floating

The more formal Floating Stones from last time are fun, but my tendencies are towards less precise and more accidental blocks, as you may have noticed So, I had some nice little Japanese charm squares (5-inch squares) and some strips of Oakshott fabrics ruby reds in various widths. I cut the charm squares into 1-1/4…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers – Part Eight – Stones That Float

helen howes, block of the month, quilting, patchwork, ukqu, sewing, quilters united

For this block I decided to work away from the more usual squares, and there are two variations – either make some of each or choose which you prefer. These make super borders for all sorts of quilts… Cut For each block One piece 6-1/2 by 2 inches in background fabric One 2-inch square in…

Improv For Beginners and Improvers, Part 7: Yet More Celestiality and a Mini Quilt to make

Now, the nice little game of adding eccentric corners to squares can be taken a little further, like so   Cut a rectangle (this is a charm square cut in half, so 2-1/2 by 5 inches, but any size that pleases you will be just fine. ) The mini-quilt used 9 charm squares and about…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers, Part Six, Celestial Happenings

Last time, we did a regular Wonky Star, if that’s not too improbable.. This time I want to show you the more interesting version. Start with a background square – mine is about 10 inches. If you need a particular finished size, add about 2 inches, so, for an 8-inch finished block, use at least…

Improv for Beginners and Improvers Part the Fifth – Now is the Time For Starry Things

Let’s start with the simplest version of my Wonky Stars Cut 9 squares of equal size, in a variety of colours if you wish. I have used Oakshott Fabrics Ruby Reds, plus black and white, here And 3-1/2 inch squares, but that’s up to you, of course. We are going to add starry points to…

Crossing the Eyes and Dotting for Teas…

So, last time, we made simple crosses, and this time, a few extra ideas… This time, I started with a background square, but I made a strip from three pieces, two white and one red. As before, I cut the square about 1-1/2 inches bigger than the desired final block (so, for a 5-inch finshed…

Improv Blocks, Part the Third – Crosses of the Modern Persuasion

Now, I fell in love with these slightly wibbly cross blocks, and one thing led merrily to another, and another, and yet more anothers. Thanks to Heather Hasthorpe, who was instrumental in leading me astray Here’s another another Just compulsive…you have been warned Start with a square of fabric – maybe an inch bigger than…