Friday, October 9, 2015

A new improv quilt takes form

Improv is . . . setting limits to expand horizons.  
-- Sherri Lynn Wood, The Improv Handbook
My Modern Improv class at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest has evolved from last spring and summer's class, Quilt Improv.  As much as I loved the sample from this past June's class, it didn't feel like true improvisational quiltmaking to me and probably should've been called Intro to Improv.  It was based on 12 block styles that could be mixed and matched to make an improv-style quilt.

"Improv 2-15," from my previous Quilt Improv class
Modern Improv, the newly revamped class, is based on The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood.  The author doesn't use templates or rulers, and prefers cutting with scissors rather than rotary cutters! (I still use mine, as I'm faster and more accurate when using a rotary cutter.)
"Evaluate and identify a personal lexicon
of improv patchwork techniques and shapes,
then juxtapose two or more of them into a
single composition."
-- Sherri Lynn Wood
Sherri's statement above pretty much describes the way I work.  The shape I chose to focus on for my new sample is the curve, and I'm using wedge-shaped pieces and layered curves to create my design.  I've been more indecisive while making this project than I usually am.

Like most improv projects, I don't tend to sketch a design in advance or even think much about it.  I just cut fabric, sew pieces together, slash them apart, and add another piece.  I make lots of these units, put them on the design wall, and try to arrange them into something pleasing.
Too much yellow
Trojan warrior's helmet?
Audition # . . . 47??

Add more light blue (spaces for eye to rest)
The author writes,
Improv is experimenting and getting lost ... eventually you are sure to find your way back, having discovered something new.
I was still a bit off-track (not lost!).  I decided against that light blue and reduced the amount of it at the bottom right.  After all, the solid dark blue already provides a break for the eye:

Unsure about the blue batik at center
of curve, and the shape is still a Trojan warrior's helmet!

Chopped the "helmet" in half, rotated pieces, added light blue AGAIN!
Auditioning continues to continue and will continue to do so until it's done. Soon, I hope!