She Shoots, She Scores: Making an Improv Slash and Insert Hockey Stick Block

It was decided at the June meeting for the Niagara Modern Quilters’ Guild that we were going to make a quilt for a boy, perhaps a teen, for our entry into the QuiltCon 2016 Charity Quilt Challenge.  Our inspiration:  Canada’s favourite sport–Hockey.  Our theme:  Improv with intent.

We needed to come up with a way for everyone to improv a hockey block or two, based on some loose design principles.  After giving the idea some thought, and experimenting in my sewing room, I think I have a no-measure process, that was based on Jacquie Gehring’s slash and insert approach to making blocks (as taught in her Craftsy Course).

Here is what my little sample looks like:IMG_3288

If you are keen to give it a try, here are the steps:

CUTTING:IMG_3298Choose a square or rectangle of background fabric, and cut it diagonally from the top to the bottom. This first slash will make the handle part of the stick, so think about the angle you want to make before you start.  Try to leave at least 2 inches from the corners when you make your first slash to leave room for seam allowance.

On the side that will have the blade, about 1/5 of the way down from the top, cut a perpendicular line, which will divide only one of the halves into two unequal segments.

  1. Rearrange them:

IMG_3299This step is confusing but was a solution to minimize waste.  Trust me, it will all work out.


Make the handle insert:  The handle insert should be the width of your desired stick, plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance.  In this project, an insert is a compound strip made up of two segments:  One of background and one of the main color. Make your handle as long as you would like. Cut a strip of background as wide as the handle, and sew these narrow ends together to make your insert with a single seam across the width.


Make the blade insert:  cut a length of main colour a bit longer than how long you would like the blade to be.  I made my blade 25% wider than my handle.  Sew this to a piece of background fabric of the same width, end to end.


Insert Your Inserts:

Now sew segment B to your blade insert.  It will be too long but the only thing you need to worry about for placement is where the seam will fall.  The seam will be where the blade tip ends.  Make sure you leave adequate space for seam allowance.  Trim your dangly ends off flush with the angles of the piece.

IMG_3274Sew the hockey stick insert to the piece above as illustrated.  Be aware of seam allowance, and leave plenty of background above the raw edge. You can trim now, or wait until after the next step.


Now we need to sew the odd piece C to the unit you have made thus far.  This helps us avoid having to match seams to get a long, straight handle.  Don’t fuss over lining it up.  Just sew the long seam and trim it to match up with the angle afterwards.IMG_3279

Sew the long diagonal edge along piece A to the stick.


To minimize shifting, I trim the insert first and line up the two pieces so that the point where the v shape in the fabrics occurs is at my seam allowance width, or it lines up with the needle when I align the fabric on my presser foot.IMG_3280If you are feeling adventurous, join me next time and we can add a puck!


Now get to that Stash and start practicing!!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s