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Sat, 24 Jun


Online Interactive Workshop

Saturday 24 June 2023: Online Workshop (Drunken Tiles:)

Improv-guru Nicholas Ball hosts a three-hour Online Interactive Workshop teaching his Drunken Tiles class: 'Drunken Tiles' will also feature in his NEW book, Use & Ornament, which is coming out soon!...

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Saturday 24 June 2023: Online Workshop (Drunken Tiles:)
Saturday 24 June 2023: Online Workshop (Drunken Tiles:)

Time & Location

24 Jun 2023, 16:00 – 19:00 BST

Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Nicholas Ball - Saturday 24 June 2023 - 4.00pm to 7.00pm (GMT)

Online Interactive Workshop - Drunken Tiles

With the imminent arrival of Nicholas's new book 'Use & Ornament' we thought it might be a great idea to bring this workshop back with a twist or two! So even if you came along the first time way back in 2022, there is still more to be learnt! In the original Drunken Tiles class, we worked on the basis of the pieces being the same size. In the new book Nicholas works on various sizes, adding extra strip and contrast. So there are definitely some tweaks and additions you may be interested in, all to be featured in this class...

Introduction/Back Story:-

Some years ago, longer now than I care to remember, I was so excited to have one of my quilts featured in an online e-zine. My first publication! The quilt, titled Drunken Tiles, featured a technique I now call stacks. Fast-forward some seven-odd years and I’m still using the same technique to make visually interesting and unique quilts. I’ve re-made the quilt many times since, even featuring it in my book Inspiring Improv, and each one has been truly unique. That’s the beauty of this technique; it’s versatile, meaning you can use it for all sorts of projects. It’s also super speedy, perfect for that last-minute gift. It really is a great addition to your improv arsenal! When creating the quilts for my forthcoming book Use & Ornament, I experimented with the technique further, using different sized pieces of fabric and adding further interest and contrast through the addition of strips.

What You Will Learn in this Online Interactive Workshop:-

In this workshop, you will learn to take simple squares and rectangles, layer them and slice into them. You’ll learn how to put a spin on traditional four and nine patch blocks, arming you with a technique that is fast and fun, whilst stretching those improv muscles. We will start by looking at the basics of the stacks technique, using similar sized pieces, before moving on to more advanced units of different sizes, adding contrast and secondary areas of interest with strips and triangles scraps, perfect for using up those leftovers from my triangle workshop We will explore the idea of creating a colour gradient using the technique and experiment with the way the units are arranged to add as much or as little randomness as you like.

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

This workshop is perfect for ALL skill levels. What I love most about this technique is its adaptability. From one simple technique, so many different quilts can be created. A beginner can start by making the simpler four patch units, adding more layers and cuts as they get more comfortable with the method.

Material requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Whilst not essential for the workshop, my book Inspiring Improv (Lucky Spool,2019) and will expand upon the techniques learnt and provide many more improv tips and tricks. My new book Use & Ornament expands on the technique and is due for publication this year.

Fabric requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

Whilst difficult to give exact fabric amounts and measurements when sewing in an improvised way, please use the following as a rough guide. Decide if you’d like to make scrappy units, or experiment with solids to create a colour gradient. Or simply bring lots of squares and try both!

For a scrappy version:

Various squares and/or rectangles, approximately 6-8”, in various prints/solids of one colour way, plus a smaller selection of squares/rectangles in another colour way.

Odd scraps/strips of contrasting colours/prints

For a colour gradient:

Squares, cut from 10-12 different shades of one colour. You’ll be looking to create an ombre effect, so solids would work best.

The squares don’t have to be perfectly square, as long as they are all of a similar size, nor do they or the rectangles have to be cut perfectly straight. A layer cake or charm pack would be perfect.

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. As mentioned, they don’t need to be perfectly square, so feel free to use scissors!

This is a technique-based workshop. We will be exploring the stack technique and won’t have a finished project in mind.  Feel free to make as many or as few of the units as you like. You can combine them into a sampler or continue to work on the project after the workshop by adding more units to it. Don’t feel any pressure to cut up all your precious fabric!

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

  • A Sewing-Machine
  • Good quality thread in an appropriate weight for piecing (Nicholas recommends Aurifil 50wt)
  • Rotary Cutter - with a new Blade!
  • Cutting Mat
  • Patchwork Ruler (we can make any size work, but a small 1” x 12” is very handy, as is a 12.5” square).
  • Fabric Scissors
  • A willingness to explore your own creativity!

Tickets for this Online Interactive Workshop (via the Zoom platform) will be limited & allocated on a first-come/first-served basis! If applicable, any free pattern, or other information, relevant to this course will be forwarded to you after booking and approximately 5 days before the course date. The ticket price of £30.00 is based on ONE person attending this crafting class.

This CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop is being broadcast from the United Kingdom and the class time given is based on Greenwich MeanTime (GMT). We advise you check via Google Search (or similar) to see corresponding start-time in YOUR location! Here's a great world time zone reference:-

Ordering MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT Online For Any Class/Workshop!

Please ensure you book your place & order any materials/fabrics/equipment online in plenty of time ahead of course dates.


This class is a live Zoom Workshop ONLY! We are NOT able to offer a recorded Pay-On-Demand video for sale after this event.


  • Online Workshop: Drunken Tiles

    This ticket is for the CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop with Nicholas Ball on Saturday 24 June 2023 (4.00pm-7.00pm, GMT)

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