Friday, September 15, 2017

Improv Spikes

Smitten as I am with the improv spike blocks I've been working on, I figured it's high time to share a tutorial. So here's how I make them!

For me, it works well to cut the background pieces to approximately my finished size. Cutting the 'spike' fabric the same size isn't necessary, but doesn't hurt.

Lay the spike fabric on top of the background, right sides together. See top arrow, where spike fabric extends 1/4" past the background. Note the bottom arrow to make sure once you sew your 1/4" seam down the righthand-side of the spike fabric, that there is about 1/4" of the background fabric to the left of the spike.

Sew 1/4" seam along right side of spike fabric.

You can press the spike fabric to the right before or after trimming the background fabric underneath.

Once pressed, flip the piece over.

Lay a ruler over the background portion of the block, lining up so you can trim off the excess spike fabric.

Flip back over right-side up, and you've got a finished spike block!

If  you want your spikes to butt up against each other, trim to the left of the spike so the background extends just 1/4" further - like the red block below. I tend to trim most of my blocks but leave the random one untrimmed and if occasionally there isn't even 1/4" extra there, that's ok too.... just creates a fun mix.

So go explore and see if you don't enjoy improv spikes as much as I do!


  1. filing this away for future reference. yours look so cool!

  2. What size are you starting out with? Or do you choose based on your scrap sizes? Love the look of these.

    1. I usually choose based on scraps or the space I need to fill in a quilt design. The ones shown are 3"x5".

  3. Great tips! My brain just got excited about also randomly creating an inverse spike (making the background the spike). :)

  4. I have a project in mind for some improv spikes! Thanks for sharing your expertise with us Debbie! They look like fun!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this tutorial - I adore these improv spikes and cannot wait to make some of my own!

  7. Great tutorial and one I shall be trying in the very near future!

  8. What fun and the possibilities are endless! Thank you for such a fun tutorial.

  9. Thanks very much! Loving these!

  10. Thank you for sharing your technique!

  11. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Love the look of these. Will be keeping your tutorial in mind for when the time comes that I want spikes for something.

  13. I really love this tutorial, it makes me want to sew a quilt of my own. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!