When I first began writing The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters I knew immediately that it had to include quilts made by other people. The whole point of improvisation is to follow and discover our unique patterns. I wanted to dispel the notion that there was only one way to interpret the ten project score included in the book. If people tried to recreate the quilts I made for the book I knew they would become frustrated. Improvisational patchwork is like a performance that documents a moment in time. Neither the moment nor the quilt can be recreated. I can’t even recreate my own quilts! Thus it was important to include the unique interpretation of the scores by others.
“Flying Geese” made by Reanna Alder based on the Score For Modern Block Improv: Flying Geese from The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters
So one of the first things I did was put a call out on my blog for volunteers to test quilt the project scores. Over 250 people signed up to make a quilt based on an assigned score without any visual references. About 165 quilts were completed and submitted for inclusion in the book. The range of diversity was fabulous. There were so many unique and stunning interpretations. It was an extremely difficult task choosing with my editor, Melanie Falick at STC Craft, only twenty-two for publication.
“Nene” by Kristin La Flamme based on the Score For Modern Block Improv: Flying Geese from The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters
The test quilters played an invaluable role in shaping the content of the book. They provided feedback on how the scores made sense or not. Based on this I gradually clarified the scores. I got a clearer picture of what kinds of information and encouragement beginners, as well as quilters more experienced with improv, needed to find their flow, overcome obstacles, and do their best work.
As the blog tour for the Improv Handbook unfolds in early May all the test quilts will eventually be revealed online. In the meantime check out these posts by some of the Improv Handbook test quilters. They share their improvisational process as well as their one-of-a-kind quilts.
- Film In The Fridge – Floating Squares Quilt
- The Quilting Edge – Bias Strip Petals Quilt
- Reanna Alder – Modern Block Improv Quilt
- Tropical Fever – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- Andrew Steinbrecher – Get Your Curve On Quilt
- Once a Wingnut – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- Southern Meanderings – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- Fret Not Yourself – Improv Round Robin Quilt
- True Stitches – Strings Quilt
- Laura Hartrich – Layered Curves Quilt
- Deux petites souris – Bias Strip Petals Quilt
- Fee Fi Fo Farah – Floating Squares Quilt
- Capitola Quilter – Bias Strip Petals Quilt
- Bits and Bobbins – Modern Block Improv Quilt
- Sweet Boater Chick – Layered Curves Quilt
- Hand Made Retro – Doodle Quilt
- Little Birdie Quilting – Modern Block Improv Quilt
- The Red Headed Mermaid – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- NYC Metro Mod Quilters – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- High Road Quilter – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- Kristin Laflamme – Modern Block Improv Quilt
- Sandy’s Quilter’s Block – Floating Squares Quit
- When You Love Blue – Rhythmic Grid Quilt
- AZ ÁLMOK VALÓRA VÁLNAK – Get Your Curve On Quilt
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Rhythmic Grid Quilt / Showing Up Quilt