Inside Out Cabin {Improv Handbook Score #6}

All finished!  This is Inside Out Cabin, an improv quilt made mostly without rulers, quilted by Emerson Quilting and inspired by the sixth 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} This improv score required I choose a basic shape to manipulate.  Committing to a shape was the hardest part!  I may have kept putting it off, but I requested the Carolyn Friedlander collection specifically to make into an improv quilt.  Having set a plan in motion gave me the momentum to start cutting.  In a way much of my experience with this book has been like that - I've set the intention to work through the book and the resulting momentum is pushing me in fresh, new directions.

{Discoveries}  The name "Inside Out Cabin" marks my favorite discovery.  When I first chose this shape for my quilt, I sewed four individual block quadrants and joined them to create the white center cross.  Soon I realized I could sew a log cabin with a very large center square and two layers of log surrounds.  Slicing that cabin and turning it inside out transforms the large center square into the block background.  So fun!

{Satisfactions}  Although Sherri suggested we avoid log cabins for this prompt, as they are a very popular improv shape, I'm glad I did.  I've rarely worked with them, which allowed this experience to include personal discovery, even if the path was obvious to others. 

I'm very satisfied with the finished quilt!  I love how the blocks touch in such an irregular grid so that the teal background emerges as funny-shaped rectangles.  I'm also quite pleased with the pastel colors paired with the rich teal green.  The teal background is unexpected and richly saturated, like a grassy field for these spring flowers.

And then the quilting... what can I say?  Truly, Emily outdid herself!  I asked for linear organic quilting to mimic the lines in Friedlander's fabrics.  I love the texture she created over the teal background.  That's definitely what I had in mind.  But, even more, I admire how she emphasized the white crosses with diverse, linear textures, and then left the pastel patchwork soft and exposed and begging to be petted.  

This type of quilting is .35 cents per square inch at Emerson Quilting, which is Emily's standard custom rate.  A quilt of this size (53 x 66") is $122 for custom quilting, just to give you an idea.  Simple, all-over patterns are .15 cents per square inch, or minimum $75 per quilt.   Very reasonable rates in the industry!

{Dissatisfactions}  Hmm... if anything I am not 100% sure on the white border.  I can't tell if it's adding to the quilt or detracting.  Borders can be fishy like that. 

{Next Steps}  The remaining scores in the book focus on curved piecing.  I'm going to skip score #7 and go onto bias strip curves, score #8.  I need to develop a vision for that project and be inspired by some colors.  I think that's likely to come this fall.  For now I am feeling drawn back to my scraps and more traditional patchwork.


I've listed Inside Out Cabin in my Handmades shop.  You can still find these beautiful Friedlander fabrics from Robert Kaufman at Quilt Sandwich, The Confident Stitch, Fat Quarter Shop and Lark Cottons.