Sat, 12 Feb | Online Interactive Workshop

Saturday 12 February 2022: Online Workshop (Improv Borders)

Nicholas Ball hosts a three-hour Online Interactive Workshop teaching you all about Improv Borders!…
Saturday 12 February 2022: Online Workshop (Improv Borders)

Time & Location

12 Feb 2022, 16:00 – 19:00 GMT
Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Nicholas Ball - Saturday 12 February 2022 - 4.00pm to 7.00pm (GMT)

Online Interactive Workshop: Improv Borders!

We're delighted to welcome back improv-guru-extraordinaire Nicholas Ball in early 2022 for another of his unique improv-flavoured workshops, namely: Improv Borders! This is the first time Nicholas has hosted this class with CraftyMonkies and, based on what we know of past workshops hosted by our Welsh Wizard, tickets are bound to sell-out FAST so please don't wait until after 'mince-pie season' - if you want to be a part of the Improv Borders fun, be sure to book today!...

Introduction by Nicholas:-

I’ve always loved the look of medallion quilts! I remember being awestruck when I saw an exhibition of antique Welsh flannel quilts a few years back. These nineteenth century quilts were obviously made in a time before rotary-cutters and rulers and the handwork of their construction was evident in the wonky borders and 'not-quite-matching' points. After the exhibition, I was inspired to create my own medallion quilt and used improvised piecing to create a series of borders to surround a central shape. I was inspired too by Seminole patchwork and the use of strip sets, adapting the technique to better-fit my liberated style of sewing.

What You Will Learn in this Online Interactive Workshop:-

In this workshop we’ll explore several different border options. The aim of the class is to see how these improvised borders can be sewn with little measuring and can easily be made longer or wider by the addition of extra fabric. We will begin by looking at simple Strip Sets and how varying the components of these sets can create a multitude of different border options. We will then look at Herringbone and Curved Borders, introducing variation through fabric selection and sashing. The class is designed to free you from precision and allow for a more organic quilt as a result. We will aim to make samples of each of the border types, which you can then add to a central unit to make a medallion quilt, or join the borders together to make a smaller project. It's going to be a lot of fun and I really hope you'll be able to join us!...

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Beginner - These techniques are a useful additional to the improv tool box and are great for adding liberated interest to your quilts. The use of strips sets and smaller scraps, without any precise cutting, makes the techniques perfect for quilters of all abilities, whether you have done improv piecing before or not.

Material requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Whilst not essential for the workshop, my book Inspiring Improv (published by Lucky Spool, 2019) provides six improv piecing techniques which you can use to make a centre unit for your medallion project or incorporate into some of your borders.

Fabric requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Rather than making a finished quilt, we will be looking at the techniques used to make the borders. You may wish to use scrap fabric to practice before committing to your stash’s best.

For the Strip Set borders:-

Long strips in various widths, ranging from 1” to 4” approximately. There is no one correct size. Since it is these widths that will add the most variation to your borders, ensure you have a variety. You can use oddments from a jelly roll, or cut WOF strips from yardage or fat quarters.

For the Herringbones:-

Scraps! The width of the herringbone border is determined by the first scrap we sew, so bring along a variety. You’ll also need some narrow 3/4” strips in a contrasting or complimentary sold.

For the second herringbone technique, bring along some thinner strips, 1” to 2” wide.

Please don’t stress about these requirements! They are simply a guide and I’ve yet to teach a class where something couldn’t be made because of the wrong fabric pieces. If in doubt, gather up a selection of prints and colours you like and you can cut during the workshop. Accuracy at the cutting stage is not so important using my techniques, so it won’t take long at all if you want to cut your pieces along with me. There is no right or wrong size!

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-


Good quality thread in an appropriate weight for piecing (I recomme