Monday, October 26, 2015

Zephyr {Improv Handbook Score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

All finished!  This is Zephyr, an improv quilt made entirely without rulers (except for the backing and binding) and inspired by the first score of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  Sherri prompts us to reflect and share about our finished works along these lines:

{Surprises}  Cutting and sewing ruler-free actually saves time.  This quilt top came together faster than expected.

{Discoveries}  I work much better once I've settled on a general color scheme.  Although I did enjoy making my first and second "blocks" as I was getting to know the score, I couldn't feel confident about this project until I had committed to colors for the rest of the work.  I didn't want to "wait and see" with my colors.

{Satisfactions}  Limiting my fabric choices made piecing this work almost effortless.  I sat down with cut squares and just sewed and sewed things together, not worrying initially about how groups would join together.   With improv, sometimes every possible answer is a right answer.  In some ways, success is guaranteed.

{Dissatisfactions}  I have this nagging feeling that my quilt looks too much like Sherri Lynn's example from the book.  Both of our quilts have bright, multi-colored schemes dividing the quilt into chunks.  One thing I did differently was use a consistent feature fabric (Zephyr Puff in Mustard) throughout the quilt.  Also our piecing style differs somewhat.  It's not terribly surprising that they came out similar, since I really love Sherri's.  But, I hope that next time I'll land somewhere more unique.

{Next Steps}  It's on to Score # 2 for me.  I'm going to start the project by defining a color scheme to energize myself.  And, I refuse to allow myself to proximate Sherri Lynn's (fantastic) example quilt.  Let's see if I can end up with a quilt that's even more "me."

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Stats

Quilt Top:  Kona Cottons White, Curry, Kale, Caramel, Coral, Gumdrop, Delft and Candy Green, plus one yard of Zephyr Puff in Mustard.
Quilt Back:   Pretty Potent Eucalyptus, True Colors Going Up, Doe Wide Diamond
Binding:  Doe Wide Diamond and Serape Dream
Quilted with a loose, organic grid

Are you sewing along with the scores from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters?  Add a link to your finished project post in the comments here.  We'd love to hear what you found surprising, satisfying and such.  If you're still working, feel free to come back later and share your link!

Also, if you're a Facebook fan you may like to join Sherri Lynn's group for the book.  I'll be posting there too in hopes of connecting with more improv-ers.


39 comments:

  1. Rachel, it's lovely and bold and courageous!

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  2. I really like it. Improv is not usually my thing (I'm a mathematician by training, I like rules), but this really resonates with me. There still seems to be a "pattern" in there somewhere

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Peaches! The "scores" concept of improv is so helpful in that there is direction and yet freedom too.

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    2. For the mathematicians out there. The Score for Floating Squares is based on a mathematical algorithm which produces a flexible pattern, called the "sum of the difference." If you really want to math geek out you can cut your square shapes based on classical mathematical sequences like Fibonacci. Flexible pattern systems can be just as math based as the geometric fixed patterns of "traditional" quilts.

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    3. Sherri -- Total Math Geek envy here! I love your point!

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  3. I love this - so bright and beautiful! You've done a great job, well done!

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  4. Hi Rachel, Your quilt is prettier than the one in the book. (I just checked and verified that)
    This kind of piecing would be so perfect for me. I like doing things a little different.
    I love the way yours turned out. Very sweet. Soft, soothing.
    Massive Love and continuous prayers always

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  5. It's gorgeous! I love the bold colors, they're fantastic!

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  6. This came out beautifully. Congratulations!

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  7. This is so great. I love that you are always willing to try new things and stretch your boundaries.

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  8. I like what you did. I bought the book after you reviewed it. I'm not bold enough to pick my own colors yet...but I have some jelly rolls and thought about doing improv #1 with that or with some coveted Cabbages and Roses pretties that I've hoarded long enough!

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    1. Yes, do it, do it! Also, check out the links in these comments to other versions of this score. They all turned out fabulous! That says a lot for the book, in my opinion, and that improv is reachable for those of us who go reaching.

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  9. I think what I like best about this quilt is that you tossed a single print in to unify everything. It really brings it all together and makes for a truly lovely finished quilt.

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  10. I have just returned from a long vacation and thus have not read your blog for weeks. I also just found out two teens very dear to my heart are breaking their parents' hearts right now. Then I just read about the earthquake in Afghanistan. How hard the world often seems. I do not think I could ever comprehend the struggles you undertake each day with Eleni yet I truly care about you and your family. I care about all these problems. I get through my own family's and my very own problems with faith that life is eternal. I keep praying and trusting and waiting upon the Lord with hope. All will be made well in eternity. It seems such a long time to wait but eternity will be so beautiful we will be so glad we struggled so hard well.

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  11. This is such a beautiful quilt! Very unusual and absolutely stunning.

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  12. This is a really happy quilt ! My version is quite different. And that's the whole point of Sherri's book, isn't it ? You can see mine following that link http://lunalovequilts.blogspot.com/2015/10/improv-score-1-quilt-finished.html

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    1. Both of your quilts are uniquely you, and uniquely interesting and beautiful. And yes that is absolutely the whole point of the book. I'm so thrilled to be reading your discussion and blog posts. Thanks.

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  13. Rachel your color sense (IQ) continues to amaze me... a soft yet lively beautiful quilt!

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  14. I love your quilt it looks great:-)

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  15. You really have me curious about this style of quilting, Rachel. Thanks for sharing yours and your review of the process.

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  16. The quilt looks very tempramental and energizing to me. Nice work. I am looking forward to seeing how your next score based quilts from the book will turn out.

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  17. Here is mine from score 1. i love how everyone who does this gets something so different. http://sewsunshine.blogspot.com/2015/10/bloggers-quilt-festival-modern.html

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  18. This is lovely Rachel - unlike Peaches I don't like rules so this style is relaxed and perfect I think. in saying that I covet and love highly technical piecing - I just prefer to leave it to someone else:))

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  19. You know, it is funny, Rachel, because when I saw the first photo I thought "yep, that looks like Rachel made it!" So, even though you feel like it is too close to the original, I still see you shining through : ). I haven't been able to comment lately, but I just wanted to mention how much I look forward to your posts each Mon, Wed, and Friday. You are such a valuable person and blogger, and if feels like hearing from a friend each time you post : ).

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  20. I think its fantastic! I really like the color scheme and your use of the print fabric

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  21. http://kindaquilty.blogspot.com/2015/10/bloggers-quilt-festival-moms-first.html

    Link to out Floating Squares inspired quilt

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  22. Rachel I'm in love! Can't wait to give this to Kim! I should get it in the mail tomorrow. Yay!

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  23. I love your quilt and reading about your process and evaluation. Can't wait to see how #2 unfolds. Thanks Rachel.

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  24. Ooo, I love how this one turned out! Just lovely.

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  25. I started mine at retreat this past weekend, though I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Working on the blocks this way was both stressful and liberating at the same time. Here's a picture of my WIP: https://instagram.com/p/9TfKPBrJtG/?taken-by=neverjustjennifer

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  26. Rachel, this is awesome! My favorite work of yours lately. I love it! The feature fabric sprinkled into the other colors works beautifully : )

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  27. Rachel, this is awesome! My favorite work of yours lately. I love it! The feature fabric sprinkled into the other colors works beautifully : )

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  28. Isn't it great how everyone's is different, it makes them true works of art! Even though you used bright colors like Sherri, it still looks completely different to me and very you. And I love the echo of squares you created with the grid quilting.
    I had to take a break from mine for a few days but hope to finish the top next week :)

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  29. Sometimes with improv every answer is the right answer resonates with me. I almost always follow a pattern and I usually like the results, but when I see a quilt like yours, it takes my breath away more than the most complicated Mariners compass ever could. I think it comes down to the sense of freeness in the piecing and its reliance on color. I'm going to try my hand at this this week with my Michael miller challenge fabrics. I know it's not the exact rules for the score, but close enough!

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  30. I finished mine! Photo and details here
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/annabellegardner/22784225967/in/dateposted-public/

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  31. Looking at yours vs. Sherri Lynn Wood's I think hers is a little more 60s/70s Mod, while yours feels fresher because of the consistent cream/mustard fabric through out. I can see why you think they're so similar, but really, they have an entirely different feel for me.

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