About a year ago Natalie asked me to make a small quilt with her new fabrics debuting at spring market. Hand Maker is Natalie’s first collection for Windham fabrics and I love the group!

I am here today to tell you that not everything goes to plan in my studio. I had designed and sewed two tops, and decided neither of them really showed off the fabrics as much as I wanted them too, working with a limited supply of fabric, and time, I decided to improvise my blocks. I cut up the tops into small chunks and added to them until I had 25 blocks each trimmed to 6 1/2″ square, and a 30″ quilt top.

Improvised Hand Maker Quilt by Amy Ellis - AmysCreativeSide.com

As much as I love this piece, this is not the way I usually work! Usually I plan, and calculate everything before I ever get to fabric, but working on the improvised blocks is so freeing and fun. I love that some of them are straight, and others are obviously wonky, it adds to the overall “charm” of the quilt.


To unify all the angles and movement in the top, I quilted it with 1″ circles. I did this with the Prostitcher on my long arm, let you think I’m that much of a perfectionist!

So, do you have a quilt top in fabrics that you love, but a design that isn’t all that exciting? I challenge you to chop it up, try something new, something that excites you and your creativity again!

Hand Maker by Natalie Barnes

Natalie has a Hand Maker bundle for one of you! Tell me in the comments about your improvising experience, and I’ll select a winner next Monday, December 12th.

Happy Making!



PS – there’s more looks at the group and giveaways happening here:

Saturday 03 December
Natalie Barnes + beyondthereefpatterns.com
Sunday 04 December
Angela Walters + quiltingismytherapy.com
Monday 05 December
Tuesday 06 December
Julie Herman + jaybirdquilts.com
Wednesday 07 December
John Q. Adams + quiltdad.com
Thursday 08 December
Latifah Saafir + latifahsaafirstudios.com
Friday 09 December
Rose Hughes + rosehughes.com
Saturday 10 December
Jenny Pedigo + sewkindofwondeuful.com
Sunday 11 December
Cheri Leffler + cherilefflerdesigns.com
Scott Hansen + bluenickelstudio.com
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