Finish: Crayola Sunset 28

I’ve been bitten by the improv bug lately, and I’m happy I get to share a small improv finish with you all!


The Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild did a “Crayon Challenge” swap over the last couple of months. Everyone who wanted to participate picked three crayons at random, and then created a mini based on the colors they chose. It was okay to add some neutrals, but the quilt should be predominantly the colors chosen.


I’m always excited for an excuse to get out of my color comfort zone, so I happily played along. I was looking forward to a challenge, so I was actually a little bummed that I chose yellow, orange and scarlet. As my friend said, only I would manage to pull an analogous color scheme! It’s okay, I got over being bummed pretty quickly. πŸ˜‰


I knew I wanted to do something with improv, and I just so happened to have purchased a Kona bundle of yellows to reds that has been collecting dust for ages. So I decided to finally cut into them and create a sunset inspired quilt.


For the design, I actually was inspired by this Quilt Design a Day design I made a couple years ago, and used the idea of a color progression in my own version as well. I wanted the impression of a gradient, but didn’t keep everything in strict color order to give it a more organic feel.


With all the color, IΒ wantedΒ a neutral to bring in some contrast and make the colors stand out more. I was originally going to add white, but then I tried it with the charcoal and I liked how it referenced the dark Crayola branding on the crayons.


For the quilting, I used three colors:Β red, orange and yellow of various brands. The quilting is 1/4″ straight line with a walking foot.

Overall I was really happy with how it turned out! My one critique is that I like the proportion of the columns in the original design a bit better, and in the mini they felt a little wider than I would have liked. Notes for the future!


This design is super fast to put together, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of these in the future. And minis in general. I love how fast minis are but then never know what to do with them when I’m done.



Name: Crayola Sunset
Dimensions: 15″ x 16″
Fabrics:Β ~13 Kona solids
Back: Stash stuff
Desire to make more improv minis: 8/10


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I love comments, and respond to each one!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

28 thoughts on “Finish: Crayola Sunset

    • anne Post author

      Saw it and am hoping to do an email deep cleanse this weekend because holy cow I’m so behind! And thank you for the kind words! I have another top done and a mini in-progress playing with improv. πŸ™‚ Totally hooked.

  • Cathy Berman

    So bright and cheerful! And great job balancing the weight of different colors. How could you not know what to do with it?! Hang it up. Really no small wall space? Then hang multiple together. Vertically, horizontally, in a grid. Give me your minis and I’ll hang them up πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Cathy! The one large wall space I have is covered in my design wall, but you’re probably right, I could find other places to put them. πŸ™‚ But for the most part I’m experimenting with things and don’t necessarily want to hang the final product. I’ll just send those to you if you want them. ^_^

  • Iris Penwarden

    I was interested in your comment comparing the proportion of your columns in both examples here. So I took another look ..
    When looking at your earlier work I found myself leaning forward and squinting a bit to take in the darker fabric colour transitions. Then I scrolled to the orange and yellow mini and my eyes popped open! πŸ™‚
    Maybe the “crayola” columns are wider – you would know, but to me the “crayola” columns also appear wider by virtue of their brightness, if that makes any sense. To my engaged eyes, the width fits; so do the charcoal accents.

    Thanks for the fun exercise, Anne.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks for your in-depth response, I really appreciated reading your take on it! What I was attempting to reference was that in the original design, the columns felt skinnier because they were so much taller than they were wide. With the mini, it wasn’t so tall so they feel (to me) a bit out of proportion. I sort of wanted a 4th column, but I also recognize I’m being incredibly picky. lol
      Thank you so much for the kind words. πŸ™‚ I do enjoy the bright colors quite a bit more!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Yvonne. πŸ˜€ I originally had a design that included a lot of background white, but it felt blown out. So it kept getting whittled down until it was just the strips. Then I tried the grey and was like “Ahhhhhh yes.” Hahaha sometimes I really have no idea what I’m doing. But I guess that’s the joy of improv. πŸ™‚

  • Susie Q

    I appreciate the whole “story” of how you came to this quilt. Step by step. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out…. the quilt is great.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Susie! I like to write out the design story because I find it useful when I revisit the designs later to remember what I was thinking at the time. πŸ™‚ I may not always AGREE with past self, but at least I have my defense ready! lol

    • anne Post author

      Ahhh, thank you!! πŸ˜€ It wasn’t really forward thinking on my part so much as back-justifying. hahaha I liked it with the charcoal and was like “oh it’s okay to include that because of the label! Phew!” lol

  • kitty

    I like that Quilt Design a Day a lot and the proportion of those columns works very well with the dimensions and the spirit of the finished design. As for your critique on the proportion of the columns in the mini ( I love this mini!) I think the situation there is very different. Not only the dimensions of this little quilt, but also the orientation of the strips make this a different design with its own proportional balance. I think it’s perfectly okay the way it is.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Kitty! I am being pretty nitpicky about the column width, I admit and you bring up a good point about how it is a different situation. The vision I had in my head had thinner columns, and I think four columns (instead of 3) would have been a closer fit to that vision. But who knows, it may not have worked well with four columns! Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile what I have in my head with the finished piece and see it for what it is vs. what I wanted it to be. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      You should! It’s a really fun challenge. πŸ™‚ Not everyone enjoyed it as much as me (the person who got two browns and a purple was really not enjoying it for instance πŸ˜‰ ) but it’s fun to get pushed outside our comfort zone once in a while. πŸ™‚

  • Elana Goldberg

    I like this idea of using crayons as inspiration. I never tire of my box of 64 somewhat sharp crayons. The kids can use the stumpy ones, but my intact set stays exclusively for me. I also wonder about this mini-quilt phenomenon. It’s lovely to make quick quilts, but without the ability to wrap yourself in them…what are they for?

    • anne Post author

      I love the look of a fresh box of crayons! And it’s a really fun way to get a start with color. πŸ™‚ I’ve actually been recreating the challenge at home by randomly picking paint tubes and using that set of colors in my quilts. πŸ™‚ Only when I get stuck for a starting point, but it’s a great way to get going again.
      I tend to use mini quilts as a way to explore an idea and see if it will work without committing to a huge quilt. But yeah, once I know one way or the other, not quite sure what to do with the resulting quilt. πŸ™‚ Hanging them up does seem to be an option, I suppose! lol

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ It was really a fun challenge! I’ve been avoiding signing up for things because I’ve been so busy, but I couldn’t let that one pass me by. πŸ™‚

  • aquilterstable

    Hi Anne! Can I use a photo from this post in my upcoming newsletter round-up of improv quilts? I’d link back here of course!

  • Lisa

    I’m coming here from A quilters Table newsletter. I love your quilt. The colour progression is great and I love the balance in the piece. Charcoal is the perfect neutral in this piece.