Remember this post?  Well, I haven’t forgotten about that quilt, but it seems that I can’t stop finding inspiration in food.  Beloved Instagram followers may have seen some vegetable-inspired blocks sprouting up in my feed over the last few weeks.  The idea for these came from a food feature I read in a weekend newspaper.  Vague memory suggests it was something to do with leeks and their multitude of culinary uses.  Whilst the recipes were tempting, the idea of fashioning one in fabric was even more so.  The piece was accompanied by photographs of leeks in various states of undress; whole, chopped, strips, much like the fabric we use in our craft.  One particular image was a cross-section, rings and rings of greenish hue set against the dark wood of the chopping board.  Right there, that was my inspiration.

A few days later I pulled fabric, from stash and scraps, from the creamiest white all the way through the greens to dark emerald.  A colouful mixture of prints and solids.  Then, without any semblance of a plan, I cut…and sewed…and pressed…and repeated, round and round, encouraged with what I was creating,  It actually looked like a leek!  I squared it off and that was it, the first vegetable patch quilt block.

I didn’t see this becoming a huge quilt, just a mini, with some neutral sashing in between the blocks.  I went on a hunt for the most colourful, interesting vegetables.  Next came red cabbage, which turned the attic into something like a demolition site.  You know that feeling when you’re so in the zone?  Threads flying here, there and everywhere; the floor more fabric than wood; the dog a walking lint roller…I have never had more fun!  Improv piecing has well and truly taken hold in my creative conscious and it’s something I look forward to exploring a lot more.  Don’t get me wrong, the red cabbage block was one of the hardest things I’ve ever made, and I look at it now and I see room for improvement, but the process of taking that first scrap of fabric and having no idea what will be sewn to what is so freeing.

The tomato block is the one that I’m most proud of.  The whole thing probably would have been a lot easier to make with the help of paper piecing, but I was enamoured with improv.  I love the negative space, and how the tomato is only partially shown.  Not my original plan I’ll admit, but that’s where the piecing took me.

For the last block, I wanted something that wasn’t a cross-section, but rather a representation of the outside of the vegetable.  Carrots allowed my to include some vertical elements into the top, with splashes of green and brown to break up the orange.  This block was possible thanks to the kind contributions of some Instagram friends.  My orange scraps where lacking and they came to my rescue big time!

Once again,I used Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed for the sashing and border, this time in flax.  This range of fabrics is something I really considering buying bolts of.  They are so versatile and work perfectly  with this style of piecing.  The neutrality of the flax colour really sets the blocks off and gives some nice negative space for quilting.  I need to decide what colour thread to use and then I’ll get started.  I had so much fun making this top!  The quilt police probably would have had me sectioned if they could see some of the things that went on whilst making these, but rules were made to be broken right?


  1. Okay – this is amazing! That cabbage is unreal. Your improv and piecing is so abstract and clear at the same time… wow.

    At my one guild, we have a running joke about those photo-real veggie and fruit prints that we’ve never seen anyone actually use but each one of your blocks would make a beautiful print. Just gorgeous.

  2. Love your fruits and vege blocks! How fun to just take those scraps and go for it with no pattern, just a picture in your head – fabulous!!! Really makes me feel sorry for folks who NEED to have a pattern and wouldn’t DREAM of piecing without a plan drawn out by someone else. Total awesomeness!!!

  3. Wow. Truly beautiful. Improv is something that is still really hard for me. I’m jealous. I hope you are really proud of this because it is stunning.

  4. I must admit, the first thing I thought when I saw the leek block was “Savoy cabbage, cut in half”. And that was before I actually read the post. I love this quilt!

  5. Lovely! It’s great how even though the forms are abstracted, they still scream the vegetables they represent. Very nice work! It’s funny I’ve been thinking of a quilt design inspired by a cut persimmon lately, I just might have to make it now 🙂

  6. Wow, Nick. This is a spot on execution of your idea. You created abstract vegetable art out of fabric! Amazing! I wish my dog were a walking lint roller. She’s a husky so her fur is an entirely extra issue on top of my floors and rugs being covered with thread and fabric from sewing. Glad to have found your blog through Molli Sparkles.

  7. Pingback: A VEGTABLE PATCH QUILT | Quilts From The Attic
  9. Pingback: A SECOND VEGETABLE PATCH QUILT | Quilts From The Attic

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