The “F” Quilt – A Modern Improv Log Cabin

The "F" Quilt an exploration of feelings through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs 

This quilted wall hanging has been a WIP since the fall of 2017! 

It all started as an outlet to just play. No pattern. No rules. Just me and my scraps leftover from my Plus Infinity Quilt

It’s interesting to see a project evolve when you have no end point in mind. 

It’s a liberating feeling and a process that brings me countless joy. 

I also find it fascinating to see what emerges from these play sessions. This time, it wound up being an improv log cabin. 

The "F" Quilt in the wild on a dock in the summer time | Exploring feelings through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs

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There were a bunch of strips of various sizes that were laying on my sewing table and I simply grabbed whatever was calling to me. And made it “fit” as I went. 

The pieced top sat on my design wall for what felt like an eternity! She wasn’t my main project, and since other projects had strict deadlines, this one just kept waiting patiently for me to return to her. 

Close up quilting detail on the "F" quilt | Exploring emotions through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs #handquilted #improvquilting


Why “F” Quilt? Well, when I shared a sneak peek of her on my Instagram stories someone (I wish I remembered who) said it looked like an “F”. And they were totally right! 

As I thought more about this “F” I thought it was totally apropos for what I was feeling. Never mind that my last name is Fraser, so “F” totally fits, but more than that it made me think of all these “F” words – no not that kind, although I do use that one pretty often 😉 

Rather, these words kept swirling around in my mind: 



And the more I thought about it, the more I realized these were all emotions that I had been feeling or thinking about. Funny how life always seems to get channeled into our art, whether we’re conscious of it or not. 

The "F" quilt mid-hand quilting with pearl cotton thread spools scattered | Exploring emotions through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs #logcabin #modernquilt

When it came time to quilting her up, I knew I wanted to focus on big stitch hand quilting with pearl cotton thread (see this post if you’re having a tough time finding some). Since my plan was to make this a wall hanging, I figured lots of texture was in order. 

Once again, I decided to keep it all improv. I had no quilting plan, I just started stitching from the center out and let the flow of the stitches and my mood dictate where and what I stitched. I need to do that again, because it was SO fun! I wasn’t concerned about keeping it to a strict design, and it was beyond liberating. There’s something to be said for quilting without a game plan! 

Moreover, I love where it ended up. It was fascinating to see the stitch work evolve and I even incorporated some curved stitching, which was unexpected but one of my favourite details. 

Corner detail of the hand quilting on the "F" Quilt | Exploring feelings through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs #handquilting #modernquilt

Detail of hand quilting on the "F" quilt | Exploring emotion through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs #improvquilting


Here is a round-up of the materials I used in this project: 

Cotton Supreme Solids in various shades of blue and green from RJR Fabrics 
These are my fave *basting pins 
*Kwik Klip (it really does help!) 
*Hera marker (for plotting some stitching guidelines) 
Thimble (*this is my all time fave) 


Green "F" Quilt hanging next to black shelves | Exploring emotion through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs

What I’m learning as I’m exploring my craft is that I adore being free to go with the flow and just explore. I’m always amazed at how much I love, not only the process, but the final design as well. 

Those who have seen it in person (namely my family 😉), have all commented on the texture and how some of the stitches pop more based on the colour pairing of the fabric and thread. Which is a great reminder that those small details can make the biggest impact. 

Hand quilting stitches on the "F" quilt | Exploring feelings through improv quilting | Shannon Fraser Designs

I hope that you too will consider going free form and just following your design instincts and having fun with where ever the design takes you! 

I’m super excited to be knocking this project off my FAL Q3 list and will be sharing it with Amy's Creative Side's annual Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis. 

Happy quilting!




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