Improv

Am off to Quilt Market tomorrow. Can’t wait to take in the exhibition and report back.  Also  have a line of tonals out right now. So I had some projects made for Quilt Market out of a simple doodle made into a fun print. It’s called “Improv”!

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV fabric line by Carol Van Zandt for Andover

IMPROV fabric line by Carol Van Zandt for Andover

I decided to make a quick quilt, and did a spontaneous “stack and wack” technique ( I am told). Once I started doing it I figured it must be an actual thing. It was too logical. No fabric wasted, just cut fabric together and shuffle and sew the blocks. I did a very Improv look of course!

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics

IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, www.thequiltedfox.com

IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, http://www.thequiltedfox.com

Back of IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, www.thequiltedfox.com

Back of IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, http://www.thequiltedfox.com

IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, www.thequiltedfox.com

IMPROV quilt using fabric by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics Quilted by Terri Carpenter, http://www.thequiltedfox.com

Storm at Sea Block sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

Storm at Sea Block sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

Bear Claw sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

Bear Claw sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

Puss in the Corner block sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

Puss in the Corner block sewn by Anna Carloni using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt

I Spy The Alphabet letter patterns by Terri Carpenter using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt, Quilted by Terri Carpenter, www.thequiltedfox.com

I Spy The Alphabet letter patterns by Terri Carpenter using Improv fabric by Carol Van Zandt, Quilted by Terri Carpenter, http://www.thequiltedfox.com

There is more to the story of the I Spy the Alphabet quilt pattern by  Terri Carpenter of The Quilted Fox. We’ll show you in a bunch of projects later on!

I’ll be back after market!  Ta ta for now!

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

Sherri Lynn Wood‘s new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is not like any other quilting or sewing book.  I like the tagline as much as  the book: “A Guide to Creating, Quilting and Living Courageously”. There are no specific projects shown step-by -step, long a formula in sewing and quilting books. That would not work here as it would take the improv out of improv! Sherri Lynn Wood‘s unique solution to this dilemma is a combination of a meditation on improv quilting, and a guidebook to the world of improv, through the use of “scores”.

The “scores” are a way for readers to create their own unique quilts “from a set of parameters as a guide” that act as a  starting point. It doesn’t constrain you from being unique and improvisational, just sets you on a path and you can go where you want.  Never fear, she does cover techniques, both improvisation and patchwork as well as finishing techniques, and she also explores aspects and moods of color in detail. What is quilting without color?

This book is thoroughly original in its format, tone and content. A perfect union to the subject matter of creating original improv work. The photography by Sara Remington is scrumptious.

From The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

From The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

From The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

From The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood

Over 250 quilters signed on to test quilt the ten scores for the book. In the end only 22 quilts made it into the book though all of the quilts undoubtedly informed the final version of the book.  And we can show you some of the other quilts here. And I am sure more will be popping up in modern quilt shows around the country as I have seen many already in the exhibitions at QuiltCon and other regional shows. Here are just a few from the score “strings”. To see more from the strings score than I can show, here is a link to them on Daintytime.

Sunburst Quilt by Tara Faughnan. Oakland, CA.

Sunburst Quilt by Tara Faughnan.

Red Wine and Cheese by Madge Ziegler

Red Wine and Cheese by Madge Ziegler

Line Study # 4 by Drew Steinbrecher

Line Study # 4 by Drew Steinbrecher

Dancing Windmills by Meagan Buch

Dancing Windmills by Meagan Buch

Undoing by Elliot Turnbull

Undoing by Elliot Turnbull

"Untitled" by Tara Faughnan

“Untitled” by Tara Faughnan

Thinking of Spring by Bridget Bower

Thinking of Spring by Bridget Bower

Out My Window by Pam Pollock

Out My Window by Pam Pollock

Japanese String 2 by Heather Cameron

Japanese String 2 by Heather Cameron

You can also visit these sites to hear more about the different techniques shared in the book and see more of the inspiring creations to come out of Sherri’s workshops.

May 4: STC Craft – Score for Rhythmic Grid Gallery
May 4: Plaid Portico – Score for Strings Gallery
May 6: During Quiet Time – Test Quilter Amy Friend
May 8: Wise Craft Handmade – Score for Get Your Curve On Gallery
May 11: Studio Notes – Test Quilter Penny Gold
May 13: Quiltville – Score for Modern Block Improv Gallery
May 15: Peppermint Pinwheels – Test Quilter Stacey Sharman
May 18: Quirky Quilts – Test Quilter Kim McPeake
May 20: PoppyPrintCreates – Score for Patchwork Doodle Gallery
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 (you are >HERE<)
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

Sherri Lynn Wood Improv Round Robin

What a fun day we had the last day of the Stitch Modern 0214 show, having an improv quilting workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood in the middle of the exhibition space.  Techniques were taught, but mostly this was about taking ourselves to places we would never go, working on each other’s quilts, collaborative quilting. We worked fast, and mostly silently, without rulers even.  Fears melted away, instinct took over.  One could not have replicated this experience alone in one’s own studio.  Don’t want to give it all away in case one of these comes to an area near you, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Sherri Lynn Wood kicking off the workshop

Sherri Lynn Wood kicking off the workshop

We took over the whole main room of the Stitch Modern Exhibition!

We took over the whole main room of the Stitch Modern Exhibition!

IMG_2275

As the day came to an end our improv quilts started getting a bit bigger, and one could find many a quilter laying the quilt they just got passed out on the floor and contemplating how to continue the quilting conversation.IMG_2264

IMG_2265

IMG_2270

IMG_2271

IMG_2306

IMG_2272

IMG_2273

 

And in the end, we went outside on a beautiful day and all looked at our work product. We could each see our hand in several quilts!  It was amazing how they all turned out. With all that spontaneity and miss-mash of fabrics, some interesting compositions emerged.  But no mistake about it, this was about process, and the experience of it all, though we all still did get a mini quilt top to take home with us…:)

IMG_2280

 

IMG_2281

IMG_2279

IMG_2278

Final reveal of the silk quilt

Well I think I showed you all the quilt top when I first finished it.  Here are photos of the finished piece, with the quilting and multi-colored binding done. It’s an improvisational quilt, and things are a little wonky, but it was a great learning experience especially working with some different weights of silk that I got in different places. It wasn’t meant to have curves in it, but I had to use my apparel tailoring skills to flatten it out, and I actually like how it created curved lines on things so when I quilted it I did it with big curves.  Has to stop at some point in the fixin’ process, and in the end I kept it all wabi sabi for posterity. IMG_9798 IMG_9807 IMG_9811 IMG_9812 IMG_9814

 

While I’m showing “bright colored things”, might as well show you a line of ten designs coming out on gift wrap with Studio-Seneca Fine Art, sold through gift stores. There are paisleys from my Paisley Sea and Woodland collections, and some designs from my holiday collection “merry, merry” and Patty-O.   Will be selling these myself also in my Etsy store in a few weeks.IMG_1003 IMG_1011

Got my second quilt back and after binding will be taking some photos, AND have my third quilt top about halfway finished.  Moseying along on my “Sew Sundays”!

Improvisational quilting with Sherri Lynn Wood

As part of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s show, Stitch Modern, they had a number of special events. One was a panel discussion on fabric design which I got to participate in which I enjoyed thoroughly, particularly meeting the other designers and sharing notes.  But I have to say the highlight of the whole show, AFTER seeing all the great quilts, was the talk I went to by Sherri Lynn Wood.

As you may know, I am now dipping my hand into quilting, just for the fun and art of it, and I really connect with many of the modern quilts I am seeing out there, and I really like the improvisational quilting style in particular.  I don’t really want to make quilts that look like someone else’s or follow a specific tradition or direction.  In my work, I design all the time for the commercial market, so when I sew I want to sew what I want to sew. Period. So hearing Sherri Lynn Woods speak about the improvisational process was just what I needed to really dig into the improv quilt I had started and make it happen. And I did finish it shortly after.  ….Ahem…. except the binding, but I will post when it is all finished.

Another very cool thing that Sherri talked about was Passage Quilts.   She works with people ” through collaboration, consultation and commission to make improvised quilts from the clothing and materials from everyday life”.  Love this concept. Hits me right in that spot. And she showed us one she made for her mother, Linda Susan Wood (1943-2003) which she describes as a “passage, bereavement, memorial quilt made from my mother’s casual clothes, Sunday dresses, bathing suit, robes and the dress she wore to my wedding”

Sherri is SUCH a good speaker, highly recommend if you get a chance. With a long resume of exhibitions, artist residencies and workshops, and with masters in both fine art and theology, she has a lot to share. Here are a few shots of the quilts she shared that day, but you might want to check out her site, daintytime.net for more!

IMG_9094

Linda Susan Wood (1943-2003) Passage Quilt by Sherri Lynn Wood, 2006, 73″ W X 75″ L

IMG_9096

Color Study 305 by Sherri Lynn Wood, 2008

IMG_9101

RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

IMG_9102

detail of RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

IMG_9104

Negative Space by Sherri Lynn Wood 2012

IMG_9106

Modern Improv Wool Log Cabin, By Sherri Lynn Wood, 2011, 90″x84″