An Improv Four Patch Quilt-Finished At Last!

In June I started sewing a new quilt for our bed using the Pandora's Box pattern created by Pam and Nicky Lintott. Halfway through sewing 200 blocks, I realized that what I wanted was to change the pattern somewhat by shifting to an improv approach. So I started by cutting up one finished block at a time, and changing them to improv blocks using the slab method. I kept some of the blocks in the original format so that I could scatter those across the quilt's surface. I was working with a lovely assortment of fabrics from Moda called the Whitewashed Cottage and the fabrics ranged from a soft yellow to a deep butterscotch, a light peach to a dark rose, various white fabrics, and various gentle grays. As soon as I saw the collection, I knew that it would make a lovely quilt for our bedroom blending wonderfully with the warm peach paint on the walls.

The finished quilt is 120 inches by 120 inches (305 cm x 305 cm), with a Quilter's Dream wool batting, and I hand quilted it using a soft peach pearl cotton thread size eight. It was a challenge to photograph due to the huge size!

It's now on our bed, and I love it!

I've been spinning Merino singles yarn using spindles and the wonderful Merino fleece that I bought a few months back (I finally washed/scoured all of it!). I found a lace pattern for a scarf and I've been having fun creating airy scarves. I spun the first scarf using a spindle created by my husband, Marshall, and it has a canary wood whorl with a lovely ebony shaft. I dyed the Merino using food dyes, drink mixes, and acid dyes to achieve the colors that I wanted.

The hat is a Cormo wool and silk blend handspun yarn that I knit up for a tight fitting hat to wear while I'm cycling in the winter. It's warm and fits quite nicely under my helmet.

I tried a cold pour method of dyeing some Merino top, putting a long length of top in an old glass mixing bowl from the thrift store, covering it with water with a small amount of acid, and then pouring the dye solution over the top. I let the dye settle, gently pushed on the top to make sure that the dye had covered all of it, and then I poured more dye in random areas, letting the dye sit as the solution was heat set in a microwave.

Have you ever tried unraveling a sweater in order to reuse/recycle the yarn? I had read about some women who collected nice sweaters from thrift stores in order to do just that. I found a thick cashmere sweater from my favorite thrift store, unraveled it while watching a football game, and I'm in the process of dyeing it to add to Merino singles to knit up special hats/scarves/gloves. 
Oh, the possibilities!

We had a snow storm roll in last night, dumping fresh powder on the mountains around us. I have my skis in the garage ready to go :-) 
Any day now....
Happy, happy dance.

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,


  1. Du Glückliche - jetzt kannst du wieder auf die Ski! Die grosse Decke ist ist wunderbar und ein Meisterwerk, die Farben ganz stimmig. Auch die beiden Schals und die Mütze sind dir gelungen und kommen gerade zur richtigen Zeit. Viel Freude an allem und noch recht viel Schnee, das wünscht dir


  2. Lovely to catch up with what you have been doing Judy. The quilt is beautiful, such lovely colours. Those scarves are just too delicious! The idea of buying a knitted garment to unravel had not occured to me - too many menories of unraveling knitting that I had done and didn't like I suppose but it sounds like a great way of getting some cheap cashmere.xx

  3. Well, I'm just oohing and aaching! Such pretty makes all of them. And snow to top it off. We had 10 inches on Sunday and I was wondering if it headed your way.

  4. Your quilt is beautifull with it's dreamy colours and wonderful improv piecing! Your yarn creations are always so fascinating. Dying seems a bit like alchemy to me, with magical results.

  5. I have never tried spinning lace-beautiful work :)

  6. Dear Judy
    Your Bedquilt is wonderful. You did a great job.
    Your scarfs are wonderful and so "light", i don´t find the right word.
    Oh, your unraveled pullover....i can't await your dying and the wool, you will create with the singles.
    I had never unraveled a pullover after wearing it for a time.

    On weekend they tell, it will be cold and snowy here. Last night there was a storm, on hills and near the sea.

    Hugs to you, i come back to see your NiddyNoddyYarn.


  7. It's always such a pleasure to see what you do with yarn Judy!!! Love those colors too :) Don't talk to me about snow yet!!! We're having a lovely Indian Summer in Tennessee and I'm loving it LOL!!!


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