Yesterday I gave you a brief introduction to the PFAFF Quilt Expression™ 4.2 sewing machine. I hope you had time to watch some of the videos and previous QUILTsocial blog posts on this great machine.
Although improv quilting is being talked about a lot in Modern Quilting groups today, it’s really not a new technique. Crazy quilting and the quilts of Gee’s Bend are really forms of this style. Improv quilting is just a way of sewing scraps together to create larger pieces which are then incorporated into blocks that can be used in a quilt. Here’s another link about the Gee’s Bend quilters that you might like to check out.
My own work is usually pretty structured, but I have been making these little wonky improv houses for a while and have used them in a few quilts. They’re great fun to make and you can use up some of those scraps you have been saving.
When you’re making these houses, there are a lot of bias edges to sew. The IDT™ integrated dual feed foot on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 is a great help for sewing those seams. This walking foot isn’t a separate foot just for quilting but can be used for almost all sewing. It really prevents layers from shifting while sewing, especially on those bias edges.
So let’s get started on our improv houses using the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2.
I had a lot of black and white scraps left over from a recent project, so decided to use them for the houses.
Then I found some orange pieces for the sky and green for the grass. I won’t be using all of these fabrics, but it’s always good to have a variety to choose from.
When making these houses, all seams are sewn on an angle. The exact angle doesn’t matter. Just experiment until you get an angle that pleases you and creates a funhouse.
If you’re new to improv quilting, you might like to use these measurements as a guide for your first house or just use the scraps you have.
Grass – one piece 3″ x 10″
Sky – two pieces 3″ x 6″, one piece 3″ x 8″ and two pieces 3″ x 9″
Walls – three pieces 2″ x 4″ and three pieces 2″ x 2″
Door – one piece 2″ x 3″
Roof – one piece 4″ x 8″
Now let’s start sewing! Make sure you have the IDT™ dual feed foot on the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 engaged. It will really help make your piecing much more accurate. I like to use the “needle down” feature for all my piecing. I also attached the ¼” foot which just snaps on and off on this machine — so easy!
Sew a small wall strip to a door strip on a slight angle. Trim seam to ¼”. Press seam toward wall fabric.
Sew a wall strip to each side of the door unit on an angle. Trim seam allowances to ¼”. Press seam toward wall fabric.
Make sure you save those little scraps that you’re cutting from the seam allowances. You just might be able to use them for another house!
Sew one piece of sky fabric to each side of the door unit. Trim seam and press.
Sew one strip of roof fabric on an angle. Trim seam and press.
Sew one strip of sky fabric to the top of the roof.
I love the way the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 cuts the thread at the end of a seam and pulls both threads to the back.
Sew a piece of sky fabric to each side, creating a slanted roof.
Sew one or two pieces of grass fabric, on an angle, to the bottom of the house.
You can trim your house block to any size you want. I placed my 8½” ruler on the house block and trimmed it to 8½” square.
And now you have even more scraps to make more houses!
Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I used the PFAFF Expression™ 4.2 to make an improv house with a window and a chimney.
This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Getting to know the PFAFF Quilt Expression™ 4.2