Monday, March 14, 2016

Doodle Doodle {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Doodle Doodle, a finished quilt

Doodle Doodle, a finished quilt

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

{Surprises} Doodling is hard for me.  I thought following this score would create a sense of release, being that it is entirely dictated by one's mood, an invitation to follow your own creative rabbit trails.  Instead I kept starting and stopping, second guessing every decision.  The wide open possibilities made me feel lost.  I think this is exactly what some people experience who struggle with improv in general.  The process would have been easier for me if I had set more of a goal or direction from the get go, but that would not have been true to the score.  And, this quilt would never have come to be.

Doodle Doodle, a finished quilt

{Discoveries} Even though my Doodle quilt is chaotic because of all the variation in shape and scale, I was able to soften the noise somewhat by working in color families.  Notice how each house block or whirl block is made up of colors near bye on the color wheel:  orange and yellow, pink and red, etc.  Or I paired a cool color, such as purple, with a cool gray neutral; whereas, my warm pinks go with warm browns.  The half square triangle blocks are also grouped in warms verses cools.  I feel this tactic creates little oases of peace, even if the work as a whole is a riot.

The fabrics I used are all from the Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids collection from FreeSpirit Fabrics.  Amazingly the box set barely looks touched.  I could make so many quilts with these fabrics!

{Satisfactions} My favorite inspiration was to contrast the white/pale gray half square triangles at top left with a flock of dark gray/black half square triangles at top right.  I like how light and dark come together in a hard line.  The clouds really can roll in so fast.  A storm.  A downpour and we're soaking, until suddenly that too is gone.

Doodle Doodle, a finished quilt

I'm also fully pleased with the way the back came together, particularly that I used up nearly every small scrap from the quilt top making and orphan blocks to boot.  Creative economy always excites me.

{Dissatisfactions} I'm fairly dissatisfied with my failure to enjoy the making of this quilt.  I started piecing when Eleni was doing very well, post surgery on one of my work days apart from her.  I wish I was with her that day.  All of the rest of the quilt was made soon after her death.  Probably making something so personal, so emotional couldn't be very enjoyable in that time of my life.  Of course, that doesn't mean it was not an important thing to do.

{Next Steps} This score was about "Letting Go of Expectation."  I think for the first time in my life, I've actually learned how to do that, to let go.  I've found when you do that it's not so hard to live in the moment, for it's clear the moment is all you have.  Along those lines, I haven't thought too much about what I'll do next, even when I'll start the next score from The Improv Handbook.   So, let's just wait and see.  Today is today.

Doodle Doodle, a finished quilt

And today Doodle Doodle is listed in my Etsy shop, along with a fairly scrappy throw quilt that's also wishing for a forever home.  Thanks, friends!


24 comments:

  1. I love the back door and sidewalk on the reverse side. So welcoming. Can you see it?

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    1. Oh, I hadn't seen it before, but I do now. Ha! So fun.

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  2. This is really great Rachel!!! I actually love the back piece the most. Truly stunning xxxxx

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  3. It is a remarkably bright and happy quilt, with so many favorite shapes and motifs...with all the playfulness of a fun doodle doodle!

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  5. You have made a wondrous quilt! I nodded my head very loudly as I read your narrative, as I imagine that I'd have just such difficulty going improv. Yet your result is gorgeous. Well done.

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  6. it's fun and bright and very rachel. the color play is wonderful. it's the kind of quilt you can muse over for hours, time and again. i hope it finds a great home!

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  7. This is such a great quilt to just stare at. I love it.
    My eyes just go everywhere.
    I love solids. One day I will try an all solid quilt - add it to my monsterous list of quilts to make

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    1. as always, Rachel, you are such an inspiration.
      God Bless you and your family.

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  8. I have loved this start to finish so beautiful.

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  9. The colour groupings are very clever and definitely expresses calm in the beautiful chaos - I think it's the perfect storm.

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  10. This quilt is so amazing ~ all those solids and so many different colors working so well together. I used to not like working in solids, but with one quilt I've made and this one turning out so well, I've changed my mind!

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  11. I have appreciated the glimpses into your mind as you journeyed through this process. I think I might have had similar reactions. and you delivered a truly inviting and lovely quilt!

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  12. When you look at this quilt it stirs your emotions. It's probably fitting that you made it during such an emotional time of your life. Hugs.

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  13. doodle doodle dance
    life kept changing your music
    shifting your colors-your emotions around
    but it's beautiful
    you are beautiful

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  14. Has someone scooped the Doodle Quilt up already? I see the scrappy quilt on Etsy, but not the Doodle. Regardless, it turned out beautifully ... pretty much like everything you do. :D

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  15. This quilt is so beautiful Rachel. It amazes me all the more because it was mostly created after Eleni died... You are right, it would be awfully hard to let go and enjoy the improv process and let your emotions have free reign. I think improv quilts really do connect us more with our emotions and am glad you pushed through and made it. I love your analogy about the lighter and darker HST sets and how you compare them to storm clouds rolling in so fast and then suddenly they too are gone. It's a reminder full of hope.

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  16. Your use of those bright solids looks fantastic, really shows the blocks up well!

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  17. Your use of those bright solids looks fantastic, really shows the blocks up well!

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  18. Oh my gosh, I adore this quilt so much. Something about it just sings to me. Wonderful job.

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