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Sun, 27 Nov


Online Interactive Workshop

Sunday 27 November 2022: Online Workshop (Improv Inserts!)

Improv-guru & CraftyMonkies fan-fave, Nicholas Ball, hosts another three-hour Online Interactive Workshop: this time he teaches Improv Inserts!

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Sunday 27 November 2022: Online Workshop (Improv Inserts!)
Sunday 27 November 2022: Online Workshop (Improv Inserts!)

Time & Location

27 Nov 2022, 16:00 – 19:00 GMT

Online Interactive Workshop

About the Event

Nicholas Ball - Sunday 27 November 2022 - 4.00pm to 7.00pm (GMT)

Online Interactive Workshop - Improv Inserts!

Introduction by Nicholas:-

The insert technique is the epitome of the quilting mantra “Cut, Sew, Repeat!”. I first fully explored the idea of inserts by way of scrap management some years ago. I found myself drowning in scraps and needed a quick way to reduce them. I began slicing larger scraps with abandon and sought out skinnier strips. Soon after, my obsession with wonky crosses was born! Fundamentally, one-strip inserts are as simple as it gets; take a piece of fabric, make a cut through it, add the fabric strip in between, then sew it all together. The complexity of the design can be changed by how you make the cuts. You can change direction, make them curved, or make several cuts that cross over each other - the possibilities are endless!

What You Will Learn in this Online Interactive Workshop:-

During our exploration of inserts, we will look as some of the many different way this very simple improv technique can be used to create unique and exciting quilts. We will begin with single inserts and learn how to sub-cut them into smaller units which can be useful for so many things - Nicholas loved using them as seeds in the tomato block from his Vegetable Patch quilts. We will then experiment with wonky cross-and-tally blocks, before moving onto to layered inserts, skinny inserts, and finishing with a effective ‘leaf skeleton’ that is wonderfully seasonal and can be made to look like leaves, trees, and feathers.

Skill Level for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

The workshop is suitable for all skill levels. The insert technique is a great introduction to sewing in a more liberated way and is sure to fuel your creativity The technique will provide the beginner with a firm foundation to cutting without rulers, upon which they can expand the technique. More experienced sewists can challenge themselves with thinner, more numerous inserts.

Material requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

  • Fabric Glue Stick (or similar)

Whilst not essential for the workshop, Nicholas's book Inspiring Improv (published by Lucky Spool, 2019) will expand upon some of the techniques learnt and provide many more improv tips and tricks. His original Tally quilt is also one of the 12 projects.

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:-

  • Larger scraps for backgrounds - these can either be an elective mix or a more curated collection of colours.
  • Thinner strips for the inserts - either cut from WOF or from scraps, approximately 1” - 2” wide
  • Some 9” x 22” fat eighths for the leaf skeletons

Please don’t stress about these requirements! They are simply a guide and Nicholas has 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 Nicholas' techniques, so it won’t take long at all if you want to cut your pieces along with him!

This is a technique-based workshop. You will be making inserts units which you will then piece into a finished sampler of larger project in your own time. Feel free to make as many or as few of the units as you like. Don’t feel any pressure to cut up all your precious fabric!

Equipment requirements for this Online Interactive Workshop:-

  • Sewing-Machine
  • Good quality Thread in an appropriate weight for piecing (I recommend 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
  • Seam Ripper
  • 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:-


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: Inserts

    This ticket is for the CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Workshop with Nicholas Ball on Sunday 27 November 2022 (4.00pm-7.00pm, GMT)

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