Friday, September 11, 2015

fresh starts {Improv Handbook Score #1}

Improv Score #1

For months now, Sherri Lynn Wood's fantastic book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, has been lounging about on my desk dropping not-so-subtle hints:  relax... let go... be free... be bold... dive in to a new experience!  I've carved out today to get started.

This book is absolutely worth owning if you are interested in improv piecing.  It has an amazing techniques section, lots of inspiring images and 20 quilting "scores" rather than patterns to help tease out your own improv quilts.  I love the subtitle's reference to "Living Courageously."  Um, I'll take a bit more of that, thank you very much!  And, truly, that's how sewing improv makes me feel.  So I've really enjoyed today, in my quiet house, all alone.  Thank you, Friday!  Thank you, grandmas (who have the children)!  Thank you, Sherri Lynn Wood!

Improv Score #1

I've decided to start with Score 1 and plan to work my way through All. Ten. Scores.  I'm stretching myself to follow Lynn's lead, even when it's uncomfortable.  Because that tends to be where the growth hides.  Maybe you'd like to join me?  I won't be kicking through these too fast.  Perhaps in a year and a half or so, we'll find ourselves on the other side with a stack of artistic wonders to use and share.

Improv Score #1

Cutting without a ruler.  Wheee!  It's faster.

Improv Score #1

Limiting myself to only 3 fabrics.  Oh, gosh, that's hard.  I managed to make the white wait it's turn.  But, just barely.

Improv Score #1

Cutting squares without a ruler, without a plan.  Starting to let go.

Improv Score #1

Piecing and trimming off bits as Lynn suggests. Letting my own "line" and my own eye be the judge of what's well.

Improv Score #1

A pause for lunch and for sharing my progress with you.  I do hope you might join me.  For me, improv is the most therapeutic type of quilting.  That's not so for everyone, of course.  We're all different.  But, if you've been hoping to stretch your improv wings, don't hesitateGet the book.  Let's go!

p.s.  I bought myself this book with my Amazon affiliate credits.  The book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny commission on sales made after you click through those links.  Just want to keep you informed, as per my legal duties.  Hope you don't mind!

37 comments:

  1. Love it! I've heard alot about this book but haven't seen it yet. Maybe it's time I get my hands on a copy?

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    1. Yep, you won't be sorry! Many quilting books I just check out from the library, but this one is a keeper and user.

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  2. those colors together make my heart sing! this is a beautiful beginning.

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  3. Thanks for the inspiration, just ordered the book. Can't wait to get to read it and make something :).

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  4. The book is AMAZING :D I can't wait to get to it! Neck deep in baby quilting atm.

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  5. I've done a lot of improv cutting and sewing in the past--and here's the problem: After a while your strips come out so even and straight that they end up looking like they've cut. Honestly, they almost cut themselves perfectly so the improve thing gets lost.
    I like improv but sometimes it can end up looking like just bad piecing. Be warned.

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  6. I have the book and I'm keen to give the scores a try! Just not sure when!! I love your progress so far!

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    1. Ah, I had the same problem! I couldn't get started because it's all so good and I couldn't choose one. The right answer, clearly, is to choose them all.

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  7. I love the book and have been enjoying the tips and techniques. I also plan to start with score 1, hopefully soon.

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  8. Just ordered the book. I'm in.

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  9. I just ordered the book at my Library and looking forward to seeing what catches my eye firs before I buy the book for myselft!! I'm loving the look of your first efforts and deeply intrigued by all you've said - especially in light of where you are in life right now. You are a brave woman and I admire you.

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  10. Oh that is very tempting. I have had the book for a few months and have been wanted to try some of the techniques and working through the books sounds like a great idea. If I can get some obligations done soon I would like to join in ;)

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  11. Your progress up to your lunch break looks great! Sounds like this book for you, is just the right mix of stretching your thoughts & and yet freeing your techniques. I hope you can manage to get a few more child free days, so that you have some time for yourself.
    I do have the book but have not found the time to really have a good look at it.

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  12. I've got to tell you how impressive it is that you don't seem to have missed a beat when it comes to your art/business/blog/work. You talk about stretching out of your comfort zone to do this quilt. When I've dealt with super-stressful events in my life, the last this I have wanted to do is Stretch!! You are an inspiration, Rachel. And I love that your kids' grandmothers live where they can help you and your husband. I'm dragging out my copy of the book as soon as I finish writing this. xxx

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  13. I have had the book for a few months and are desperate to try but scared too. I am in! I will start.
    Very inspiring Carol W crlwilkie@aol.com

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  14. Rachael, I can hardly wait to see what you do with this method. I attended a one day workshop with Sherri and was, frankly, more than overwhelmed. I do know, though, that I need time to process information and sitting elbow to elbow in a one day workshop isn't the place for me to do that. I've also been eyeing her new book and thinking about giving it another stab. So I'll be watching and cheering you on.

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  15. Love these colors! I've seen lots of Instagram posts from her workshops. I've got too many WIPs right now to join in but will enjoy watching your exploration.

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  16. Some things I find on the nets, examples of improv quilts, I do not like.
    They are weird and not restful or pretty
    I always enjoy your style though. I should get this book or one like it, but I am obsessive compulsive (mildly) and this could be a disaster or a good way to let go.
    I would need someone to hold my hand though

    I love the colors you chose, and adore what you have on your wall.
    It is good to have some time so rest your head, and know the kiddies are in good hands.
    You know you need it.
    We are living in stressful times as it is.... my middle sister and I are close and blab it out on the phone for an hour. It really helps to get it out and then you feel fresh.
    I looked at this book on Amazon some of the quilts are pretty - the one with the peach curves in it is my favorite

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  17. Rachel, the link doesn't work. Can you look at it? If I buy it I would like you to get credit.

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  18. This will be wonderful to watch, especially with the Rachel touch :) I've tried a very small bit of improv...and liked it :)

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  19. Love what you are doing so far! I agree, improv is not for everyone, it certainly doesn't come instinctively or easily to me! BUT... I have 'the book' and plan to make a start soon!

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  20. Oh I've had my eye on this book and on tackling improv piecing for a while now!

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  21. I think that a slow paced "Score Along" with a linky party would be fantastic. The bias petal quilt that I made pre-book was possibly the toughest score in there (IMO) and it was secret so sharing and seeing what others create now would be a lot of fun. Love your 3 fabric choice.

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  22. Improv piecing is the hardest best quilting technique I have ever used. There is tremendous satisfaction in looking at a piece that is 100% ME. My creation. When I look at the pieces I have created hanging on my wall I never fail to feel happy and satisfied. I have this book and a Score Along is a great idea.

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  23. Mustard, teal and cream loveliness and improv, my favorite!
    I need to order a few things anyway :)

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  24. I jumped into a little improv this past week, myself. Not exactly within my comfort zone, but like you indicate, after a little while, it starts to become comfortable. I had a person guiding me, though. Sometimes, I just have to be shown! I'll check out that book, for sure! Thanks for sharing. XO

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  25. I've been thumbing through this every so often for months and hoping to dive in once we're unpacked. Maybe I'll join you in a few weeks :) Have fun!

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  26. I've been thumbing through this every so often for months and hoping to dive in once we're unpacked. Maybe I'll join you in a few weeks :) Have fun!

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  27. I've been meaning to try this score! I took a class with her and it was great! I haven't yet finished what I started, but I need to! This looks great!

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  28. I'm a huge fan of improv piecing and this looks like a great book! Clicked through and bought it on a whim. I can't wait to jump in and play. Sounds like you will be working at just my pace. Thanks for the inspiration and fun!!

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  29. I've had the book laying on my nightstand for a while, trying to figure what to do with all of it. Just took a look again last night at the first one and decided that maybe just STARTING that one would be good. I think I've been trying to figure them all out before I started one and it needs to be more of a process that builds, if that makes sense. So yes, I'll play along too. :) It will be a nice bit of a break before I dive back into some HSTs!

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  30. I am in. I want to try using my prints in my improv work instead of focusing so much on solids

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  31. This is one of my absolute favorite books ever! I'm so happy I bought it because I realized that I dislike following patterns and this book guides you to do what works for you and that's what I want! I've already tested out scores 1 and 2 and am working toward those curves! Very excited that you're joining and hope you'll consider joining the FB group for the book too (Sherri Lynn Wood is the admin for it!)

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  32. Wow! Thanks for leading the challenge Rachel. It's really helpful and more fun to work through the process with others so that you can share your surprises and discoveries and your obstacles and blocks - and how to overcome them. I'm looking forward to seeing some of this group's work in the facebook group.

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