Monday, February 16, 2015

testing improv

Just over a year ago I was sitting on the couch reading blog posts and making plans for some sewing activities to complete over a week or so I had off work coming up. Sure I had a cupboard full off incomplete projects but I was feeling like starting something new. 

Sherri Lynn Wood had put out a request for quilters to try some of the 'scores' from the book she was writing to help refine her writing, with some of these to be included in the publication. In the spirit of improv I thought 'why not?'

 Each test quilter was sent information about the score they had been asked to try as well as videos showing some of the suggested techniques and suggested creative activities to prompt. I've never really considered my self to be arty and wasn't keen on the planning sections of craft classes at school so I was surprised that I found this relaxing and fun in it's own right but I was confused as to how this would translate to a quilt. 
 When it came time for constructions I turned exclusively to my scrap boxes and cut and sewed - ruler free - for little bits each day. In the end I had a pile of sewed sections and no idea how it was going to go together - and if it did, just what it would look like.

When I lay it all out on the floor I thought that I had made the biggest mess. 

But I embraced the guidance Sherri had given us and kept sewing. And to my complete surprise it looked OK, even with sides that where wavy and a top that was not at all square. So I basted it.

It was at this point I submitted the picture of what I had made for consideration to be included in the book.

I kept quilting it and I was much, much more satisfied with it after I had done that. I love the texture of it after the quilting and I feel like it further brought the sections together. 

I felt out of my depth a lot of the time I was making this quilt and so the enjoyment of the process was heavily tempered by that so I think next time I make a quilt from one of Sherri's scores (and there most certainly will be a next time) I will be a lot more comfortable in trusting the process to come up with something I love. 

I love that each of the quilts that have and will be made from these scores will be unique to the maker. Each decision that is made makes the quilt their own. 

Sherri has more information about the book on her blog here. The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilts can be ordered here from Amazon.