Improv Fans Mini Quilt

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

Last week I worked on this mini for our Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild exhibit at this year’s The Gathering in Manchester, NH.  Our guild has been asked to create an exhibit that will give a clear idea of what constitutes modern quilting.  So, we are attempting to include only quilts that have alternate gridwork, negative space, solids, improv, bold colors, etc.  For one portion of the exhibit, each member has been asked to make a mini measuring 18″ or 22″ square.  They are to be modern takes on traditional blocks and use only solids.  We were assigned traditional blocks and mine was the Grandmother’s Fan. You can see a sample here.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I decided to take an improvisational approach to the block. I chose a selection of Kona and Pure Elements solids based loosely on the Cotton + Steel color scheme.  I then handcut and randomly pieced a small fan and three larger arcs.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I hand cut curves and sewed the arcs together. I squared up after adding each new arc.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I had my quilting planned from the beginning. I quilted in arcs from the lower left to upper right corner, spaced 1/4″ apart.  Then I reversed the arc and quilted a wide band through the quilt in the opposite direction. I love how the lines crisscross and overlap and form diamonds.

Improv Fans by Amy Friend

I had so much fun with this mini!  While paper piecing is my go to technique, I love to mix it up once in awhile.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other members of my guild come up with. I think it will be a fun portion of the exhibit and ALL members’ minis will be accepted so everyone has a chance to have their work shown in the exhibit.



  1. Amy, that is spectacular! Love the quilting!

  2. It’s so snazzy! I love the colours and the movement! Not to mention the quilting!

  3. It’s beautiful Amy and I love the quilting on it. I am imagining this blown up to be a large throw size or bed size quilt, how dramatic it would be.

  4. Great job, Amy!

  5. That is just cool!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love the piecing and the quilting on this, excellent combo

  7. Love it! Your quilting is fabulous and it adds so much movement to an already striking quilt!

  8. NancyPeach says:

    Amy, this came out so great. Great modern version with all the improv piecing!!

  9. That mini is so awesome! Solids plus quilting makes it totally eye catching!

  10. Willa Downes says:

    Very striking! Great example of what I think of as being modern.

  11. I really like this – the colours, the design, the quilting.. all work together so well to make a beautiful mini 🙂

  12. I love this! When I saw the pic the first time, my thought was, Now THIS is modern quilting! And, after reading this post…I think I got it right and you most certainly did with this fabulous mini!

  13. This is really great Amy

  14. It is so beautiful! Improv piecing is fun.
    Love the palette and quilting

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