Malka Dubrawsky‘s Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration provides a variety of projects to explore improvisational piecing. For her, “piecing improvisationally is more about mind-set than it is about actual technique… (but) put your measuring tools away”. Along with no measuring tools, Malka has ten “rules” for improv piecing.
Starting with potholders, Malka’s projects guide you through a skill building process where you can graduate up to full size quilts. She provides a variety of project types along the way. There is a coin purse, two different types of scarves and pillow shams. Along with machine piecing, she has also designed hand pieced projects such as the flowering garden sham and dresden quilt.
To test out the book, I decided to make the Strings Attached potholders. Potholders are such a quick and easy way to update your kitchen and use up your scraps. I was committed to only using my scraps so I pulled out my blue scrap box and had a great time pulling out my old favorites.
I started by putting away my measuring tools as I was going through my scrap pile. When she gave dimensions, I would eyeball my pieces and cut accordingly.
There is something liberating about pulling beautiful scraps and just sewing. I quickly realize I wanted pops of color and added solid pieces into the mix. Fabrics that are solid or read as solids are my favorite “pops of color”.
Here is the front of the potholder:
There are a lot of Lizzy House prints along with some Anna Maria Horner and Carolyn Friedlander.
Here is the back of the potholder:
The binding is Carolyn Friedlander and the navy animal print is Cotton and Steel.
I tried machine binding the potholder using a decorative stitch. It is my first machine bound project. Even though I glue basted the binding, I think I will stick with hand sewing the binding in the future. I know it takes longer but I like the look of a hand sewn binding better.
Starting with the potholders gives me the confidence to move onto other projects. It also reset my “mindset” and allowed me to embrace free-form work.
If you want to hear more about Malka and her work, you can find out podcast here.
Have you seen or made anything from this book? I would love to see it!