Thanks for your kind and generous response to Cotton Sophisticate! That quilt was a long labor that still hasn’t quite dawned on me as a finished reality. It bridges quite nicely into today’s post and today’s newly finished quilt, though; their improvisational spirit proudly connect well to the work of my friend Sherri Lynn Wood.
We have a few tasks herein: (0) I’ll gush a little about Sherri Lynn. (1) I need to tell you about her new book. (2) I need to tell you about my brief adventure using a bit of the book. And (3) I need to tell you about my giveaway of the book.
Let’s get started!
(0) About the author: First of all, you need to know that Sherri Lynn is one of the most amazing folks I know. She is brilliant, gentle and kind and produces some badass patchwork of which I’m often jealous. Follow her work on her blog and you’ll be treated to the meditations of an unfailing dynamo of creativity who uses a wide variety of materials. In particular, I’m pretty sure Sherri Lynn is the best polyester patchworker out there right now! You can get the chance to dance with her and hear the lilt of her Southern accent at a retreat in July. She’ll be doing multi-day intensive workshops from the book at Quilting By the Lake in Syracuse, NY during July 24-31. Having participated in a workshop with Sherri Lynn this past autumn, I can highly recommend the experience. Go!
(1) About the book: So…ready for BIG opinions? Yeah. Sherri Lynn wrote the best book on improvisational quilting since our grand guru Gwen Marston liberated us back in 1996. Improvisation is not a technique meant to be taught, in my mind, because the result can be that everyone improvises in the the same way, sadly. But I admire the way Gwen and Sherri Lynn approach this task because they both build confidence and skills in their students and then relinquish control so that each student may express themselves freely beyond the framework they’ve provided.
Get yourself a copy of Sherri Lynn’s book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters! Just do it right now. Unlike the step-by-step pattern-based books on the market today, this is a manual for true expressive quilt art in the improv tradition. She provides ten “scores” with basic building techniques and then tells you to go off and explore the possibilities. A strength of the book is the variety of results. Several test-quilters helped build galleries of quilts illustrating how different quilters making different choices may create lovely things.
(2) About my experience: As an example, consider the score for layered curves. It’s a technique that I’d boil down as stack-and-whack with freehand curves. I tested out the process before taking my sneak peek at the Layered Curves gallery just to get a feel for it. With scraps, I stacked and whacked and practiced sewing curves to come up with this.
Now, if you know my work, then you know that I like to make stuff that looks like it’s been put through a Cuisinart a few times. This process, combined with my phobia of curves, was a little too slow for me, so I sped it up. Why start with fresh yardage all the time? This log cabin (see below) was veering off-course so quickly that I knew it would have to find its life in parts and pieces elsewhere. So why not do some layered curves with it?
Really, I had no idea where I was heading. But straight lines are still curves, of course, and they ended up contrasting dramatically well in my experiment, if I may say so myself.
A scrappy border, some quick dense quilting, and a scrappy binding tied it all together.
This is my favorite bit of the curves, with slivers of crescents and fun.
Here’s the whole quilt.
Were I to do this again, I’d make more of the big blocks to make it bigger and show off the piecing more. But for a quickie, it’s okay, I guess?
(3) The Giveaway: Now, as a reward for sticking with me for this long post today, we’re offering a copy of Sherri Lynn’s book as a giveaway! Just leave one comment before Monday, June 1 at noon for a chance to win. I’ll choose someone at random.
Check out the rest of the blog tour:
May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke
May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery
May 26: Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery
May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm –Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery
May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery
May 30: Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson
Disclaimer: I didn’t profit monetarily from this post. Of course, I don’t use any affiliate links; I bought my own copy of the book; I made the quilt from my own stash. The giveaway book, however, will be provided by the publisher.