Improv with Rules!

This is a block plan for my do.Good Stitches Hope Circle group. Look for us on Instagram, #dogoodstitcheshopecircle to see what we are up to.

Each block will be a 12″ block (12 1/2″ with seam allowances). It will consist of four 6″ (6 1/2″ with seam allowances) improv blocks.

Start out with four 8″ squares of fabric, two light and two dark. Use fabrics that will all work together. Also have two, three or four 8″ long strips of contrasting fabrics that are between 1″ to 1 1/2″ wide.

Layer each light fabric with a dark fabric, both sides UP! Then slice through each set, being careful not to slice too close to the edges. Next swap the fabric pieces in each pair to set up four blocks.

The next thing to do is add in the strips … or not! Plan to add a strip to at least two of the four blocks. Decide for yourself how many of the four you want to put strips into, and also decide how many blocks you want to slice twice, as shown below.

Not adding a strip? Just sew the two pieces for that block together. If you are adding a strip then go ahead and sew it to the edge of one of the pieces, and then sew the other piece on. If you happen to have cut a curve when slicing, just straighten it out when you are sewing the strip in.

Then go ahead and trim the blocks you are finished with. I trimmed three of the four. Trim the blocks to 6 1/2″

I am going to slice the fourth block again and then add a strip to it. When piecing this block you are going to want to try and line up the seams from the first slice. Just hold the seam down 1/4″ in with your thumb and flip the fabric over to see if it looks like it will line up. No worries if not perfect! No one will notice with so much going on in these blocks! Press your seams towards the strip, and then trim to 6 1/2″.

Once you have your four blocks completed play around with how you want to arrange them and then sew the four blocks together into a 12 1/2″ block. Here is my completed block:

I am asking everyone in our circle to make two 12 1/2″ blocks. One of the blocks should be predominantly cool colors (purple, blue, green), and the other should be warm (red, orange, yellow).

Here are the rest of the blocks I made to give you an idea of the different ways you can slice your blocks and arrange them.