September 29, 2021

Winter Frost - Scrappy Improv Quilting

Welcome to my stop on the Scrappy Improv Quilting blog hop! Scrappy Improv Quilting is by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation and it's her second book using her method of creating improv panels and then cutting them up to create quilt blocks. It's such a fun process and I love getting to use my scraps, so you know I wanted to be part of the party to share the book 😊

The projects in the book are all mini quilts, which is great if you're new to playing with improv piecing, but also for anyone looking for a fun, scrappy project. Kelly also includes instructions for making a pillow or a larger quilt, if mini quilts aren't your thing.

I chose to make Winter Frost, which seemed appropriate considering how much I enjoy snow (not that I'm anxious to see any just yet. It's too early in the year, even for me!). Kelly's version of the quilt in the book has an aqua background, so I chose to go very different with this red. I did consider using a green background and using pinks and purples for the improv sections since the layout of the quilt also kind of reminds me of the layout of a formal garden, but making myself a new Christmas quilt won out.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
Only when I was editing the pictures for this post did I realize that I used a pinky-red background for my quilt from Kelly's first book, too! Not only that, but I'm pretty sure they're the only quilts I've ever made with red backgrounds. You can see my Murrina quilt here.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
I found this red incredibly hard to photograph as it always seemed to look either too dark or too light. The contrast between the red and the white probably didn't help, either. 

I used my white and cream scraps to piece the improv panels and I had fun using even tiny little pieces. I discovered in the process that, while I have a shoebox full of white and cream scraps, there's not a lot of variety in there. Because these fabrics often get used for backgrounds, I have a lot of pieces of the same fabrics in all different shapes and sizes.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
Some of the scraps in the box were white or cream with touches of other colours and I mostly didn't use those. One, a white with blue swirly vines, I used with the wrong side up. That muted the blue nicely and let it fit in with the other scraps. Note this is probably the only time I will ever purposely try to tone down a blue!
Winter Frost mini quilt |
Another fabric I meant to use with the wrong side up, but habit got the better of me and I stitched it right sides together. I decided to keep using it right side up, as the blue and grey swirls weren't so dark they were overwhelming. I then made sure to use several pieces of it throughout the quilt, so it doesn't stand out as an odd piece.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
I chose this particular red from my stash because the print kind of reminds me of the patterns frost makes on windows. Because of the quilting, the print is easiest to see now on this corner hanging square on the back of the quilt. The fabric is a basic from Northcott, called Essence, and it comes in lots of beautiful colours.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
This quilt had me stumped for a while on the quilting. The improv sections are lots of different shapes, but they're all part of one thing - a snowflake - so I wanted to keep from using too many different motifs in the quilting. In the end, I chose wishbones and simple lines. 
Winter Frost mini quilt |
Some of the lines have curved ends, some lines are angled, some go right to the edges of the shapes they fill, and they're different distances apart, but they're all basically just lines. The wishbones are in the central octagon and the diamonds in the middle of each side.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
All of the quilting in the improv sections is done with Aurifil 50 wt white thread (2024), which shows up very nicely on the back, where I used the same red Essence as the background.
Winter Frost mini quilt |
Winter Frost mini quilt |
The background sections had me stumped because there are a lot of shapes there, too, and they're mostly irregular shapes. I decided to echo around the improv sections twice, then fill the spaces between the echoing lines with stippling, all using Aurifil 2270.

This shot of the quilt, taken early Monday morning when the light was coming in from the side, shows the beautiful texture all that quilting created. Yes, it does feel as wonderful as it looks!
Winter Frost mini quilt |
I'm looking forward to hanging my Winter Frost mini when it's time to decorate for Christmas! Because it's red and white, I probably won't be able to get away with keeping it up all winter, but it will be great as a Christmas quilt.

There are 22 fun quilts in Scrappy Improv Quilting and there's a quilter making and sharing each one during the blog hop/book party, so be sure to check them all out 😊 

Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Tour Schedule-

8/31- Intro, Single Block Beauties, and Simple Shapes - My Quilt Infatuation

9/7- Seasonal Sensations, Standards With a Twist - My Quilt Infatuation

9/13- Summer BlossomLori @ Crossquilt
           Up, Up, and AwaySandra @ mmm...quilts!

           BotanicsDiann @ Little Penguin Quilts

9/20- Face the SunLaura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
           Full SpectrumJayne @ Twiggy and Opal

9/22- PrismaticAnja @ Anja Quilts
           DownpourNancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

9/27- FunkytownVasudha @ Storied Quilts
           Cherub WingsMichelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

9/29- Chapel WindowKris @ Sew Sunshine
           Winter FrostLeanne @ Devoted Quilter - you are here!

           Star SpangledChristine @ Triangles & Squares

10/6- Birds of a FeatherPreeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
           Fall FoliageSusan @ Quilt Fabrication

10/11- OrnamentalGail @ Quilting Gail
            Churn, Churn, ChurnCynthia @ Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

10/13- Sunset CrossingKate @ Katie Mae Quilts
             Positivity- Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts

10/18- All Dressed UpLinda @ Flourishing Palms
             ShockwaveAnne-Marie @ Stories From the Sewing Room

10/20- Sweet Bee (a bonus thank-you pattern), Finishing, and Wrap-Up - My Quilt Infatuation


  1. Nice job! I have trouble photographing reds too. Ha I love all your quilting!

  2. This is so gorgeous, Leanne. That red really is a beautiful backdrop for the white and cream improv, and that quilting!!! Oh my goodness. It just brings the whole thing to life. Thank you so much for participating in the blog hop!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  3. Looks fantastic! Nice job on the quilting design

  4. Lovely, Leanne. I love how much a print can be transformed when used wrong side up; it's a good idea to keep in mind!

  5. Great design. Great choices for the quilting.

  6. Great idea to use some scraps upside down, Leanne!!! I like your background quilting idea, too--outline twice and fill in with stippling.

  7. Beautiful example of Kelly's pattern, Leanne!

  8. You did a lovely job with this example from Kelly's book. Red is a very striking contrast to the white, and makes for a dramatic statement. I would never have been able to come up with so many red scraps. Guess I've been doing so much scrappy over the past year that I'm actually using-up scraps! Your quilting is pretty too. I appreciate that you're prepared to hang your quilt, having put the triangles on the corners. No doubt, in just a couple months it will be very festive hanging in your house.


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