What blocks and/or supports your improvisational flow?

Thank You Improv Handbook Test Quilters

First I want to thank the 230 plus people who participated in testing out the project scores for the Improv Handbook. As a group you submitted 164 quilts to be reviewed for the book. Each one of them was amazing in it’s own way. My editor was very pleased and we both felt like this was a good sign that the time is ripe for a book that provides an in depth exploration of improvisational process for quilters.

Because of budget restraints we were only able to choose 22 quilts for print publication. HOWEVER there will be an online forum that will include all 164 of the test quilts submitted so far. Together they are quite wonderful to behold! I can’t wait for you to see them. The online forum will be posted when the book is released in the spring of 2015.

If you signed on but were unable to finish your test quilt for the book deadline, no worries – you have the rest of the year to finish and submit your quilt for the online forum.  Just follow this link: Improv Handbook Test Quilt Submission Form. This is for new submissions only. The 164 quilts already submitted for the book, will automatically be included in the online forum.

What blocks and supports your improvisational flow?

That being said I want to pose a question to ALL the test quilters, AND more widely to EVERYONE who improvises through patchwork or through other creative disciplines.

What are the forces that drive and support your improvisational process and the forces that restrain and block your flow? Many of the people who submitted quilts for the book wrote about feeling stuck, or getting lost, or almost giving up before they were able to move forward with a composition that surprised them and that they ended up loving.

Please elaborate if this is your experience. I would like to hear about what blocked you – both internally and externally. Were you blocked by not having a sense of control? Overwhelmed with choices? Not enough choices? Not having a design wall?… whatever it may be.

Also I would like to hear about the driving forces, internally and externally, that support your improvisational work. Does curiosity or the desire to explore something new drive your exploration?  Does a submission deadline for a show or a book motivate you? Does working in community support your success or does the solitude of your studio help you most? What else?

If there were forces restraining your improvisational flow how did you move past, overcome, or undo those forces to move forward?

Please comment below on your experiences with driving and restraining forces that either support or block your improvisational process. I’m writing about this in the book and would very much appreciate your input. Thanks!

 

Posted in Craft Therapy, Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

50! ?

It’s my birthday today and I’m FIFTY years old! How did that happen?

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Well no matter. Here I am, still hanging in there, learning something new everyday. I have so much to be thankful for, including family and friends, a strong and healthy body, a wonderful studio and work environment, enough money to meet my needs, a great day job, an amazing supportive community of fellow artists and quilt makers, an opportunity to share my craft with you through my blog and this crazy book I’ve been working on for the last year. Wow!

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Anyway I just wanted to say thank you. I promise to get back to blogging more once I’ve turned my manuscript to the publishers in mid-May.

Spring blessings all around!

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“Getting older is one of the best things that can happen to a person……see how lucky you’re becoming?” ~ from my friend Dan

Posted in Blogging, Community, Personal Heritage | Tagged , | 48 Comments

Open Call For Mod Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilts

Mod-Mood Quilt curvesThis is an open call for quilts based on the Mod-Mood Quilt-along, or my workshop, Get Your Curve On. We are looking for one or two interpretations of the Mod-Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilt to publish along with my most recent interpretation in the Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters, to be published by STC Craft/Abrams in Spring 2015.

SUBMIT YOUR MOD-MOOD (GET YOUR CURVE ON) QUILT

If you are an alum of  the Get Your Curve On workshop or you have made a Mod Mood Quilt based on my tutorial then PLEASE SUBMIT your quilt for review and possible publication. If you started one and it is currently in your unfinished projects bin then now is the time to pull it out and complete it. The submission process is free and will remain open through March 25, 11:59 PST.

I know there are a lot of wonderful mod-mood, wedge strip-pieced curve quilts out there and I want to see them! Please pass this open call to people you know who have made or are in the process of making one.

If you have the time to make a stripped-pieced wedge curve quilt based on the methods in the Mod-Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilt tutorial by March 25 then please go for it!

Important Dates

  • March 1- submissions open
  • March 25- (11:59 PM PST) submission closed
  • April 1- quilts chosen for publication (notificated date)
  • April 18- quilts due in Oakland, CA for photography
  • June 30- quilts returned to maker
  • Spring 2015- Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters released, ALL submitted quilts posted in online forum
  • If your quilt is chosen for publication, you will be notified by April 1 and will be sent all the information you need to ship your quilt to Oakland CA by April 18 for photography. The publisher will pay shipping costs up to $50. The quilts will be insured while on site at the photographer’s studio.  You will receive full acknowledgement, and a complimentary copy of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.
  • If your quilt is not chosen for print publication it will still be included in an online forum. You will also be entered into a drawing for copies of the book, and some special hand-made thank you gifts from me. There may also be other publication/exhibition opportunities still to be determined.

 

Posted in Community, Current Giveaways, Mod Mood Quilt | Tagged | 2 Comments

Stitch Modern ~ Improv Round Robin Workshop

I’m pleased to announce that I will be facilitating an Improv Round Robin as part of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s 3rd annual Stitch Modern on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at the Piedmont Center for the Arts.

This is a fantastic workshop for first time quilt improvisors and for people who have never made a quilt before, as long as you can operate a sewing machine. If you are interested in attending please register here.

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This workshop will be photographed for Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters which will include a marvelous chapter on the Improv Round Robin with instructions on how to organize and facilitate one with your friends or for your guild.

If you live in the Bay Area be sure to check out the Sew Modern exhibition and schedule of lectures and workshops! It’s all happening in February.

Posted in Community, Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 3 Comments

Improv Handbook Test Quilters

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Thanks!

The Improv Handbook scores are finally out to all of my test quilters! You guys are awesome. I had over 160 responses and I enjoyed reviewing your skills and preferences, reading every one of your comments, and visiting your media sites.  Thanks for all of the kind words and support.

I was so impressed with the talent and the enthusiasm – to see a range of masterful quilt makers and improvisors, along with the excitement and willingness of beginners ready to jump right in! I was happy to discover the work of some of you for the first time and to have the support of many longtime blog friends!

I can hardly wait to see what you all come up with and again I can’t thank you enough. Your questions and feedback on the scores and process are invaluable to the success of the book.

It’s not to late to participate ~ closed

If you want to be a test quilter visit the call for contributor quilts for more information and fill out the questionnaire.  I will hold the door open for test quilters until February 1st. Late comers will still have a month and a half to finish their quilts by March 25. Definitely sign up if you think you can swing that deadline.

Posted in Blogging, Community, Modern Improv, Quilt Alongs | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Happy Holy-Days!

With deadlines looming and working hard on my first publishing adventure, I wasn’t able to take the extra time to join my family in North Carolina this Christmas but they came to me in September. Any special time set aside to be really present with family or friends is a treasured holiday or “holy-day” in my book. Here’s a sweet video celebrating my family’s recent visit.

I hope your recent days have been filled with simple moments of existence and presence with friends and family.

Posted in Personal Heritage | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Announcing The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters

An Official Announcement

I’m pleased to officially announce the upcoming publication of my first book!

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THE IMPROV HANDBOOK FOR MODERN QUILTERS: A Practical Guide for Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood is a comprehensive guide on the process of improvisational patchwork quilting, which includes 10 project scores, innovative sewing techniques, tips for accessing intuitive color, and mind tools for creating with fearless spontaneity. Scheduled to be published by Abrams Books under the imprint of STC Craft / A Melanie Falick Book in Spring 2015.

How The Improv Handbook Came About

I began working with a literary agent in November 2013 on a detailed book proposal.

In March 2013 we submitted the 50 page proposal to a handful of publishers. I was thrilled to have phone interviews with a majority of the editors representing the publishing houses and received several offers. The most exciting part of this process was hearing how each editor would emphasize different aspects of my proposal to fit the publisher’s mission of reaching it’s particular audience.

Once the offers came in it was really a tough decision to choose one, but ultimately I decided to work with Melanie Falick at STC Craft. She designs some of the most beautiful craft and lifestyle books on the market today. Melanie edited my friend Sabrina Gschwandtner’s book KnitKnit, and Denyse Schmidt’s latest book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. In the next couple of years I know that STC Craft will be publishing books with Spoonflower, Kristine Vejar at A Verb For Keeping Warm, and Heather Jones. STC Craft creates books that highlight the unique visions of their authors.

The Improv Handbook Concept

Improvisation is a fundamental process at the heart of every great creative endeavor. Music, dance, theater, painting, drawing, design, cooking, conversation, relationships, play, life and even the discipline of science benefits, survives, grows, transforms and innovates through the flexibility of mind that improvisational process engenders.

The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters provides a comprehensive framework for fostering improvisational skills through the discipline of patchwork quilting.

The 10 patchwork projects featured in the book are organized as “scores” or “games” rather than as patterns. A score or lead sheet, common to improvised musical traditions such as jazz, is a set of notations or parameters within which the improvisation is free to take shape. In the discipline of improv theater a game defines the set of limits in which an improvised and unscripted scene unfolds.

Each quilt score is designed holistically to illustrate a) approaches and methods from different improvisational disciplines, b) innovative sewing techniques particular to improvisational patchwork, c) design considerations and exercises, and d) mind tools for fostering fearlessness, presence and curiosity.

For instance one project asks the reader to think about doodling as a method for improvisation, by introducing the techniques for building a quilt with simple shapes, while also encouraging a mindset of acceptance. Another project will get you thinking about the design element of rhythm by posing a puzzle to be solved, while teaching skills for ruler free measurement.

My goal for the Improv Handbook is to teach improvisational patchwork in a way that encourages authentic expression. To this end, along with my interpretation of each score, the book will feature one or two quilts by other people to illustrate the infinite range of possible outcomes that improvising from a score allows.

As an example the Mod Mood Quilt is written as a score to interpret, rather than being presented as a pattern to follow, and you can see a range of interpretations of the Mod Mood Quilt score here.

Participate! A Call for Test Quilters

Here’s how to participate

  • January 1 – Register to participate as a test-quilter.
  • February 1 – Open registration to participate closes. Scores sent out to test-quilters.
  • March 1 – Information about contributor quilt submission process will be sent to test-quilters.
  • March 25 – Images of finished quilts based on the scores provided are due and will be considered for publication in the book. Submitted quilts will be reviewed and chosen for publication by me and the editorial staff based on how well they illustrate an alternative yet recognizable interpretations of the quilt score provided.
  • April 1 – Makers of the chosen entries for the book will be notified.
  • April 15 – Chosen quilts will need to be quilted, bound, shipped to and received in Oakland by this date, for photography.  The publisher will pay for round-trip shipping by USPS Priority Mail to Oakland, CA.
  • Makers of the chosen entries will be completely acknowledged in print, and will receive a complementary copy of the book.
  • The makers of non-chosen quilts will be entered in a drawing for complementary copies of the book and other thank-you prizes hand-made by me.
  • There will be an online forum showcasing ALL of the test quilts with the release of the book in Spring 2015.
  • There may be exhibition opportunities for the test quilts, but there is nothing on the calendar at this time.

 

Posted in Community, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 60 Comments