Moving out of my quilting comfort zone!

Anyone who has followed my blog has probably noticed that I’m not very good at improvising and that I have a natural desire for order. Whenever I try to do something wonky or if I try to combine fabrics I seem to subconsciously take the safe option.

This weekend I decided to have a go at making some of the mosaic blocks that I keep seeing on flickr and other blogs. I always think that they look really good but wasn’t certain if I could pull it off.

The first stumbling block was the fabrics. I decided to make four blocks – yellow, orange, pink and red but to do that I needed lots of coordinating fabric scraps. At first this seemed easy as I have a whole chest full of fabric but in reality I had to go through my whole chest plus my scrap box to be able to find enough and even then I only just had enough.

Next I cut some strips of white fabric and started the piecing. In reality it didn’t take long to piece the blocks together but of course the natural order of my mind meant that they are much more ordered than other people’s. I had a giggle to myself when I looked at them as despite all my improvising it was still in straight strips. I did intentionally include a full strip of fabric down one side of each block so I could create a windmill effect around the middle which I think works well.

I joined the squares together with more white strips in between them to keep some consistency and added a thicker white border around the outside.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a big enough piece of white batting so I had to use my environmentally friendly green batting made from recycled pop bottles. This meant that the seams were more easily seen through the top but I figured that the quilting would help disguise this.

For the quilting I continued with my efforts to go outside of my comfort zone and quilted it all over with evenly spaced straight lines. You may think the order of this would appeal to me but I have a real fear when quilting all over that I will ruin perfectly good blocks. After a couple of lines I thought it was going to be a complete failure but I persevered and have to admit I really like the outcome.

I even like the back.

The final decision was how to bind it….I tried lots of fabrics out but decided to go with a yellow dotted fabric which I think works well.

Overall I think it was a successful project and I may just try making something bigger adding some bright green and turquoise blocks to the mix.

I recommend going outside your comfort zone!!



  1. I love it. I quite like the order you have put into it, even if it was subconscious! I’ve always thought that you are really good at improvisation (maybe I don’t take the meaning quite the same way as other people) – your castle quilt, for example, was wonderfully improvised….maybe not wonky but you definitely went with the flow and put it together as you went along. Juliex

    • Funny isn’t it…I follow a process but I feel like I keep things very safe but yes I suppose the castle quilt was very improvised….I feel that everytime I go for something less ordered I find that when I stand back it still has symmetry or straight lines – cant help myself!!!!

  2. I love this! Came over from flickr to read more about it. I really like the white in between everything, and I love all the straight line quilting. It really looks great. I know what you mean about being afraid of messing things up with quilting. I worry about that too sometimes – l0l. Great job!

  3. I love your little quilt – not sure of it’s size, but assuming it’s small. Great idea, love the windmill effect and the clean lines of it.

    • Yes it is a mini’ish quilt 16″ by 16″. I found that the windmill effect in the middle drew your eye around the blocks…wondering if it would work if you had groups of 4 blocks in a bigger quilt??? Might have to try it out if I have enough scraps.

  4. It’s fun to hear the step by step thought that went into your creative process. Stepping outside our usual zone is exciting and your block looks great.

  5. The colors are so bright and beautiful! Trying to go all wonky and improvisational is sooo hard for me too! Congratulations on trying something new!

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