Welcome to the blog hop for The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters! When Sherri asked me to make a quilt for this book I was intrigued. I don't usually make quilts for other people's books - I have more than enough trouble keeping up with my own!! But the idea for this book was so interesting to me that I wanted to have a play.
I actually LOVE to make improv quilts, and I've done it for years. They aren't the kind of things that usually make it into MY books though, purely because that's not what I write my books about. My improv quilts are usually things I make for me, that come straight out of my brain with no prodding or direction.
Sherri's book contains 10 chapters, or scores, which are rather like a musical score for jazz - where the beats are provided but there are no notes, allowing the musician to make the music up as they go along to fit the beat. The structure of the chapters is such that a beginner or someone not comfortable with putting their ruler aside could easily follow the score and come up with their own unique quilt. For those more intimate with the idea of less structure being more interest in this style of quilting, the scores provide sparks for the beginning of an idea, or an exercise in beginning with a shape or technique and letting it take you where it will.
I was given the Flying Geese chapter to interpret, which suited me down to the ground because I am a triangles kind of gal. I happened to have a pile of gorgeous metallic gold spots in my studio and when I started playing with them and some shot cottons in pastel colours and all the playful little triangles started skittering all over the place it made me think of a little girl in a dress with pigtails, playing hopscotch. Thus the quilt's name.
I don't use a lot of thinking when I piece improv, and for this quilt I just jumped in, started making triangles or different sizes until I got sick of each size and started throwing them on the design wall in random lines. I loved the curved way the uneven edges made them fall and and that's how they came to be curve pieced into the background.
I really love how it turned out - but it's surprisingly difficult to photograph! And the pics of course don't do the wonderful quilting by Jayne Rennie justice.
This really is a great book. The quilts are wonderful eye candy (especially Sherri's blue quilt on the cover - she used my spots and stripes from my St Ives collection! Way cool!) and it's fascinating to see both Sherri's quilts and the different places the scores led all the test quilters to.
There were 165 test quilts submitted for the book and they only had room for 22, so Sherri has a fantastic online gallery of each score being revealed during the blog hop, in which you can see all of the other quilts made from the scores. It really does show that everything is only limited by your courage and imagination.
Sooooo... go check out all the other stops on the tour, some of them are giving away copies of the book and some have the gallery links in them. You will see some fab quilts, read about some interesting processes and I hope it convinces you to buy this one - it's really very very cool.
May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke
May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery
May 26: Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery
May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm –Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery
May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery
May 30: Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson