Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

Early in 2014 Sherri Lynn Wood made a call for people interested in improv quilting to participate as a tester for her upcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

Being a lover of improv quilting, I was happy to join in and got to work immediately after receiving her written instructions via email on constructing the rhythmic grid quilt.  We were to work without rulers, and to create rhythm while using the improv patchwork technique of approximate measurement.  There were no visuals, or photos….we were to work on the process without ‘patterns’ and create our inspired designs.

I went to my stash and pulled a recently purchased print fabric that I absolutely loved, along with some coordinating solids, starting out with shades of purple.

I began by making squares/rectangles and sashing them.  You can see my version of the rhythmic grid growing in these three pictures:

IMG_1041IMG_1043 IMG_1044

When I got to a certain point, I decided to add on to the quilt top using the same technique but switching the fabric to a different color, red.

As you can see in the photo below, adding the red was a bad (bad!) choice.  At that point, time was running short and I sent in the photo of the quilt top and not being too happy with it!! (because of the addition of the red…..)

improvdan

My quilt wasn’t chosen to be in the book, and I can totally understand why, especially with those color choices (WOW).

So…….After all of the thinking, and time, and work that went into it, I did not want to just toss this top onto the unfinished pile.  (Actually, I did just that, but after several months I pulled it out and began reworking it…….).  I removed the red section from the purple.  I separated the red sections and let those two sections stand on their own.  I added a lot of neutral negative space, quilted it on my longarm, added the binding, and have a finished quilt that I love!!

Now I will introduce to you “All That Jazz”, which was finished in January 2015 and was hung in a local quilt show.

all that jazz.Closeup of quilting:

all that jazz on frame

I cannot wait for the release of Sherri Lynn’s book that happens in a few weeks.  I will definitely be purchasing a copy from her and wish her much success with her latest endeavor!  Thanks Sherri Lynn for letting me be a participant in this wonderful (and much fun!!) process.

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eBates and fabric.com

I recently noticed that if you go through eBates and shop at fabric.com you can get eBates rewards!  Sure wish I had known that many moons ago!

If you shop online at fabric.com, (or amazon, target, best buy, etc.), click HERE and sign up for eBates and get your big fat check!

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Dutchman’s Pipe Vine

We planted a dutchman’s pipe vine the end of May of this year, hoping it would vine out and cover our pergola.

WOW!  This vine has just started blooming and is totally a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!!  Totally.

And, the beautiful butterflies it attracts!

pipe vine

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Ruler Work and Stitch in the Ditch with a longarm

After purchasing my longarm, I pulled all of the quilt tops that needed to be quilted, included some very small ‘partial’ quilt tops.  The quilt shown below was a small square made up of a cut up charm pack of “Dream On”.  I had made another quilt with the same charm pack, and these were leftover pieces that I had ‘apparently’ sewn together (just don’t remember!!).

Surfing the internet one day I saw a picture of an Amish quilt and decided that the style would be perfect for this little square piece which consisted of 2″ squares.

I added significant sized borders and loaded it on my quilt frame, even though it only measured 39″ x 39″, which is perfect for a new baby, I think.

Decided on a piano key border, as you can see in the picture (and you can still see my chalk marks and also the tape holding my thread tails down in the main body of the quilt…..)

dream on border

This was a great lesson in stitch in the ditch and also ruler work.  I’m just getting to know my machine and I’m happy with learning something new and getting comfortable.

Here’s a (lousy) shot of how I drew out the fan shape for the corner of the borders:

dream chalked border

I can’t decide if this is finished or not.  I have rolled the quilt back to the beginning to figure out if I want to add more stitching to the pink border (instead of leaving it unquilted), and whether or not to add more quilting stitches to the spaces in the piano keys.

I quilted the center with ‘loopy clams’ shown by Lyn Durbin in her video.  It turned out pretty darned good.  You can see her video here.

I’ll show the finished quilt in the next week or two and instead of using my iPhone to take photos, I’ll get out our good digital camera so you can see how those loopy clams turned out.  Stay tuned.

 

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