Improv applique makes quilting magical!

Yesterday I gave you the instructions for cutting and preparing the background for the Garden State of Mind quilt top. I used the following indispensable tools that make the task easier: the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat, the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler 24” x 6½”, and the KAI rotary cutter… pressing it all with our Oliso Iron!

Today I’m moving on to creating improv applique. Think Matisse and cutting applique shapes free form. This project uses both improv leaves and the Truecut 360 Circle Cutter to cut circles for the flowers. A perfect balance of organic shapes with geometric ones!

To create the leaves, fold your fabric in half, selvedges together. Starting at the folded end begin to cut an arc that meets at the edge of the fabric. I used my ruler to assist me with the curve and tried not to overthink it. You may also cut the curve freehand but this can be tricky and the last thing anyone wants is an accident with the rotary cutter!

I decided to use both the Hoffman 24/7 Linen and a few fabrics from Garden State of Mind.

Two colorways of Hoffman Fabrics 24/7 Linen I used for the leaves

Improv cutting leaves with my Sew Easy Ruler and KAI rotary cutter

Create more leaves than you think you need. This creative process does not follow rules and better to have leftover fabric leaves than to have to interrupt the creative flow.

Cut more leaves than you think you need and easily on the Unique Cutting Mat

After you have a selection of the leaves cut up, move on to the circles. These will help to create flower stems.

Creating circles from Hoffman’s Garden State of Mind with the Truecut 360 Circle Cutter is a dream! So easy and quick to use.

To make the flowers, I used the Truecut 360 circle cutter which is one of my favorite tools! I absolutely adore circles and this tool makes them effortless.

I chose to cut them in 7” and 9” sizes.

Cut at least 30 circles from your fabrics, I used Hoffman Garden State of Mind and fussy cut the circle to feature the flowers. I also added some solid pink and lavender quilting cotton from my own stash. If your images don’t pop enough, I find adding some solid fabric gives space for the feature fabrics to really shine.

Laying out applique pieces to see how they play together

For this project, I chose raw edge applique. I like the look of this type of applique but of course, if you prefer another method of applique, do so!

It is most useful to use my favorite cutting tools to accomplish my improv applique pieces just the way I like them: the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat, the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler 24” x 6½” and the KAI rotary cutter.

Tomorrow I’m showing you how to use Odif 505 Temporary Quilt Basting Adhesive Fabric Spray and the difference it can make to add your applique pieces to the background, effortlessly. I found this basting spray allows me to place the pieces and time to move them before I sew them down.

Join me!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Cutting quilt strips for the Garden State of Mind quilt

Go to part 4: Odif 505: instrumental in the composition of your quilt design

Related posts

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | additional design options

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | beauty is in the details

Summertime Streetscape Wall Quilt | making roofs, windows, and doors!