Not a Square
2023 Finished Quilts, Quilt Gallery

Project Quilting 14.5 {Not a Square}

When the prompt came out on Sunday for Project Quilting, Sew Not a Square, I knew immediately what I wanted to do: I wanted to create a baby sized quilt using improv curves.

Fabric Pull

Fabric Pull

I went to my scraps and pulled out my solids that ranged from red/orange through teal. I immediately fell in love with the idea of the quilt being a colorwash and moving around the colorwheel. I had no idea if I had enough fabric here to create what I wanted, but the only way to find out was to start sewing.

Refined Fabric Pull

Refined Fabric Pull

I decided to take a closer look at the fabrics I pulled to see how they worked together. I decided to omit some oranges (I had a LOT more orange fabric than anything else), the lightest yellows, and the teal greens. Spoiler alert: the teal greens ended up making their way back into the quilt.

Pieced Block

Pieced Block

I started working on the blocks when my husband and I were having a Zoom chat with his parents on Sunday. I didn’t take any pictures while I was piecing, but here is a photograph of one of the blocks after squaring it up to 6″ wide by 8 1/2″ tall. 6″ x 8 1/2″ was the nice, random, non-square size that made the most sense to trim my first block to, so all the other blocks conformed to its size.

And while I don’t have photos of the improv process I used, I do have an Improv Quarter Circle Tutorial that more or less walks through my general method. In this case, I didn’t fully overlap fabrics, just enough to free hand cut a curve.

Sunday Afternoon Blocks

Sunday Afternoon Blocks

By the time the Zoom chat was finished on Sunday afternoon, I had made really great progress on the blocks and decided that I wanted to make 6 rows of 7 blocks for a 39″ wide by 48 1/2″ quilt top. Looking at how much fabric I had left, I realized at this point that I was going to have to keep moving around the colorwheel and use the teal greens I had set aside to have enough fabric to make the quilt that large.

Pieced Quilt Top and Backup Iron

Pieced Quilt Top and Backup Iron

As I was sewing the blocks together to finish the quilt top, my Oliso iron stopped working. At the same time, my husband experienced a surge in the 220V circuit in the hangar. I may never know if the iron died because of that power surge, but I suspect that might be what happened. Thankfully, we had a very old Black & Decker iron that I could use to finish things up.

I really loved my Oliso, so I placed an order for a new turquoise Oliso iron. My first one lasted for 7 years, and as I mentioned above, I suspect it met an untimely death due to a power surge.



Because the quilt top finished at 39″ wide, I was able to use a single width of fabric for the backing. For the backing, I picked Kona Cotton in Burgundy. As you can see in the basting photo above, I rotated every other basting pin (one pin runs north/south, the next runs east/west, and so on) and I pin basted the batting to the backing just outside the quilt top. I’ve found that I don’t struggle with tucks on my quilt backings with this pin basting method. However, I had no idea what I was going to do for the quilting. At this point it was Tuesday evening, so I decided to think about it for a while and sleep on it.

Well, I proceeded to have so much fun that I didn’t really take any additional progress photos. And we also got several big snow storms in a row, so my life got a bit distracted by digging out and handling other life things.

Not a Square

Not a Square

I opted to quilt soft, wavy lines using my walking foot. I used 2 different 50wt Aurifil variegated threads for the quilting: 4650 (Leaves) and 4662 (Creme de Menthe). I used 4650 for the top ~1/2 of the quilt and 4662 for the bottom ~1/2 of the quilt with the two thread colors alternating in the center. The spacing between the lines varies from about 3/4″ to 3/8″ but averages out at around 1/2″.

You may also note in the photo that I opted to use a two tone binding, an orange and green. All of the fabrics in the quilt top and backing were solids, so I picked out two tone on tone prints to use for the binding. They are so subtle that you can’t tell they are prints in these photos, but trust me, they are!

Not a Square

Not a Square

It was so cold here overnight on Wednesday night that the snow crust was frozen and we could walk on top of the snow for a bit on Thursday. Thankfully the sun was bright and warmed up and melted a lot of the snow on Thursday, so part way through this photo shoot I started sinking further and further into the snow. I had put on my wellies, but by the end I would have been better off using my snowshoes.

Not a Square

Not a Square

I love this baby quilt. I love the shapes, I love the flow of color, I love the fun I had piecing it, and I love that you can just get a sense of the beautiful snowy sparkle in the photo above. This was an absolute delight to make from start to finish. There’s not a square in this quilt: just curves and rectangles.

I had meant to write and publish this blog post earlier in the day on Thursday, March 2nd, but after 2 weeks of not going to the grocery store or being able to go for a walk, I prioritized a few different things this afternoon. With the kitchen restocked and after an hour long walk with a friend, I’m feeling recharged and grateful for a few hours out of the house!

Linking up with Project Quilting 14.5, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Finished or Not Friday, and Beauties Pageant.

34 thoughts on “Project Quilting 14.5 {Not a Square}

  1. This is such a fun quilt for the challenge, Yvonne! I love the colors, and choosing rectangles as opposed to squares was a neat twist. I have fabric envy – haha!

  2. janwinkel says:

    I love this modern baby quilt Yvonne. The vibrant colors and movement in the quilt are super! Good job!

  3. Joy says:

    Wow! Love all the curves and colors! Can’t believe you made it in a week. That’s a lot of snow, guess I’ll have to stop complaining about my little dustings.

  4. Judi says:

    I love your quilt. It’s sew pretty, the colors are very cheerful and a rectangle shaped block is great. Taking the pictures outside in the beautiful snow makes all the colors really pop! Fantastic work!

  5. Eva says:

    Just in this moment when your post came I was looking at the Diatom Stars. And have to say no for myself and keep the fingers away. The curvy and more free work you show here is the way I want to go and I love the impression. And you do it in a such perfect professional way. Love it.. and know this is possible if there is a sewing room that allows to work in.
    I am so happy to subscribe to your blog. You must have a lot of tiny little helpers in the night… we call them „Heinzelmännchen“ … to help you to do.
    If a thing is done overnight, we say… ohhh, the Heinzelmännchen did it.

  6. Myrto says:

    Thank you Yvonne!

  7. Julie says:

    Love your improve curves & color wash, such a bright & cheerful quilt. It looks like you brought a piece of your tropical Hawaiian garden out to play in the snow.

  8. I love the colours and curves, a bright and cheery quilt! We are waiting for the Texas low to come up and dump 31 cm of snow, rain freezing rain mix tonight.

  9. Vicki in MN says:

    Such an interesting quilt, love the curves, love the colors, it’s all great!

  10. dlmanowske says:

    Your quilt is stunning! Love it! ❤️

  11. zippyquilts says:

    Very nice! And I admire your determination to take pictures in the snow 🙂

  12. Tracie says:

    This is definitely one of my favorites of your quilts! The colors and design movement are wonderfully captivating.

  13. This is a color gradient improv masterpiece!

  14. I love it! You totally nailed the color wheel progression. The straight quilting lines are perfect to offset the curves in the piecing. I see more of this style in your future….

  15. Sarah says:

    This turned out so lovely (and I’m very jealous of your sewing speed!)

  16. It is FABULOUS!!!! From the color changes to the amazing binding and the quilting!! it is just perfect for this one!!!!
    and of course the snow – really makes those colors pop!!!

  17. Definitely “not a square” and sooo darn pretty. Love this finish. Really great colors Yvonne.

  18. Margo says:

    What a fun and cute baby quilt in such a short time! You’re amazing!

  19. Rochelle Summers says:

    Such a wonderful idea to subvert the square. The pieced quilting looks so good and all the colors work so well. Congratulations on completing this project so quickly, in spite of all the snow.

  20. Gwyned says:

    I am blown away by this quilt, especially that it is all improve and you created in a less than a week. You are phenom.

  21. Kris Jarchow says:

    I love the feel of this one so much. It is smooth yet exciting!

  22. Danice G says:

    That is really a pretty quilt and so colorful.

  23. Your modern and not-square quilt is very eye catching. There’s something about solids for a modern design. You have a great finish. One year I will get around to doing the Project Quilting prompts. I admire each of you that can get it together in such a short time. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting says:

    Wow, really beautiful, Yvonne! And done on such a short notice! Love the quilts in the wild photos!!!

  25. patty says:

    Such a great quilt – I really love all the color!

  26. aquilterstable says:

    oh I really love so much about this one but especially how much fun you had making it!

  27. Sally says:

    Love the colors and the shapes. This is such a fun quilt!

  28. Karen Addleman says:

    What a cool quilt. Love the improv blocks!

  29. Fabulous baby quilt and fun color selections, Yvonne!

  30. Kim Lapacek says:

    I am absolutely blown away! just WOW!

  31. Melanie says:

    What an amazing quilt! I love your improv curves and the colors. Also glad the teal got back in 🙂 xo

  32. This is such a fun quilt! The shapes and colors are so interesting. It’s interesting that that size became consistent and it worked out so well. Wellies are not the best in the snow..a little slippery for my taste. Glad you were able to get out a bit. In the dead of winter I can go a week without going anywhere, but I don’t like it. I am glad you opted for getting out and about.

  33. LA Paylor says:

    that photo is simply stunning! Your quilt is fresh and graphic, but against a white background, whee!

  34. heather says:

    i really love your quilt! very pretty & modern & cool! 🙂 thank you for sharing 🙂

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)