Monday, July 6, 2015

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters Blog Hop - part deux- and a Giveaway!!

It was December of 2013 when I first heard of Sherri Lynn Wood. A guild member had suggested her as a speaker. Curious, I popped over to her blog to check her out. I hadn't done a lot of improv quilting up to this point (that was about to change!) and was intrigued by her quilts. It just so happened she was putting a call out to quilters to test some ideas she had for her upcoming book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters





I'm a hand raiser. I said yes. A week later I was given my assignment.

I was to test her Bias Petals  score. Sherri gave us some general guidelines and links to helpful videos. Then it was up to us to create.

From the beginning, I knew I would improv piece the centers of my petals. 






From there, I figured I'd arrange them in a flower shape and call it a day. 



Eh, it's okay. Not great. I took the shapes to my design wall. There they were, all lined up like little kayaks. Or surfboards. 



This felt right. 

I'd love to say that the rest was smooth sailing (see what I did there?) But it wasn't. How to fit an oval peg into a rectangular hole, or something like that. I struggled for a while. Tried some things, ripped them out. Then I quit. ("I don't have time for this. I don't owe her anything. She doesn't know me. She'll have plenty of other testers.)

And after I talked myself off the ledge, I figured it out. 

But really, it wasn't until I got to the point of squaring up the rectangles, that I felt comfortable again. That's what improv (and this book) will do to you. Push you out of your comfort zone, make you try new things, make you make things you don't like, until you get to the other side and realize you love what you made.

Here's my quilt: Surf


I took a picture. Sent it off. Hoped for the best.

And a few months later got this email from Sherri Lynn: 

Thank you for submitting your quilt, "Surf". We love it and would like to publish it in the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. There were 164 amazing submissions and 22 were chosen for publication. Congratulations! 

And there you have it!

Here's my page in the book ( I'm neighbors with the awesome Sarah Fielke I might add!)



About that giveaway.....would you like to win a copy of the book?

Just leave a comment about improv piecing. Love it, hate it, never tried it, etc. For an extra chance, follow me on instagram, then come back and let me know.  A winner will be chosen July 13th. Please make sure I have a way to reach you by email.

Please visit these other quilters included in the blog hop:

July 1: The Quilting Edge by Marianne Haak with giveaway!
July 6: Heather Kojan Quilts with giveaway! (you are here!)

Thanks for visiting and good luck!


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50 comments:

Pat said...

Great job, Heather. Your quilt makes me want to go surfing (well, maybe not but I like it). I would love to have a copy of this book; thanks for the chance.

Diane said...

Great job Heather! I already have the book, since I am so intimidated by improve quilting. I think it will really take me to the next level. Congrats on your quilt being chosen!

Diane said...

P.S. I follow you on Instagram. Thanks for the giveaway.

Gill said...

Congratulations - I love 'Surf'
I haven't tried improv - yet!!

LynneP said...

LOOOOVVVE Surf! The petal design is the one I am most intrigued by.
Thanks for the chance to win!
jlpfeffer@gmail.com

FiberAntics said...

Surf gets a big thumbs up from me! Nice job, Heather, and glad you talked yourself back into the project. The blue background really does it for this quilt! I'll be right behind you on the Improv Testers Blog Hop this coming Wednesday, July 8. Congrats again on making it into Sherri Lynn's fabulous book. --Veronica

Suze said...

I adore your Surf quilt. I'd love to have the book and be challenged to try improve. I'm one that usually follows a pattern to a T - even when I think there is a mistake. Congrats on your publish. I'm thrilled that you are a hand raiser and met the challenge.

Linda B said...

I love that they look like surf boards. The technique is appealing - I want to try it myself! Great work, and thanks for the book opportunity.

Debbie said...

I love improv piecing. I'm most confident when I'm working that way. I have the book, but I haven't tried any of the scores yet. Our guild hosted Sherri Lynn last year and I really enjoyed the class.

Jessica said...

I love improv and I need this book. I love your interpretation of the leaves. :) Awesome, Heather! It's beautiful.

Sarah Terry said...

love love love the improv! its so much more fun, even when you have to figure something out.

tac73 said...

Like improv piecing as well as mixing it with traditional.

debk said...

I love Surf. I'm a new devotee to improv and am definitely hooked.

Sarah Fader said...

I adore improv! So much fun to get lost in the process! Plus, I am not a person who is exactly...exact. So crisp corners and precise seams are not my forte. So great to have "permission" to let go! By the way I LOVE your surf quilt.

Heather J said...

I've tried improve and hope to get more relaxed about doing blocks in this style. Your book looks awesome and I love how your surf quilt came together.

Heather J said...

I follow you on IG already. :)

lindaroo said...

I've made some timid attemps at improv. This book would really give me a boost!

alli said...

Hi Heather. Seeing your beautiful quilt has convinced me to get the book and finally try some curved piecing--if I'm not the winner of the giveaway! :-)

Kathryn said...

I've been trying improv on small projects, like placemats. It's a start!

Ella said...

I go through phases where I love improv and where I don't. Thanks for a chance to win the book!

Kris said...

I love it. It is confusing at times and freeing at others. :)

Robyn Werberig said...

So far I've made 2 quilts - both improv. It just feels more accessible and inviting to me than patterns. The book looks wonderful!

Maureen said...

(mprov piecing is a challenge for me. This book may save me. Do like your "surf" quilt.

Diane said...

I am a rank beginner with improv quilting, and could use all the help I can get. I get the willies, just trying to not match my points. Took me 3 days and 7 or 8 attempts to make a wonky 9 patch block. Those petals could push me over the edge. LOL I do hope I win this giveaway. This old quilter would love to learn a new trick.

Lisa Marie said...

I have done only a little improv piecing (mostly on pot holders) and have enjoyed it. I would love to learn more and try some things currently out of my comfort zone. Your quilt is great, and how wonderful to be in the book. Congratulations!

barbara woods said...

i've done some when i was trying to make some thing else , does that count?

Mindy said...

I'm usually a symmetrical person, but at lunch one day at work, I happened upon some improv blocks. I couldn't wait to get home to try it! I finished a crib-size quilt from start to finished, binding and all, in one weekend. I loved it. Definitely out of my comfort zone, but it turned out so cool! I already follow you on Instgram.

suemac said...

Love your surfboards. I do love improv but I have not done any recently. Need to make some more fabric from my scraps.

Cherie St. Cyr said...

I love improve piecing and the idea of just the instructions without visual cues thrills me...turquoise is my favorite color! Cherie

Beth said...

I love improv piecing. I always think it will be quicker and easier, and find that it takes longer, is more challenging, and that I love the process and the outcome so much more than anything else I do.

Beth said...

I follow you on Instagram, where I am @wordygirl11.

MJ Snyder said...

Your surf quilt is adorable and your process refreshing. This looks like a terrific book. Looking forward to seeing your next creation! MJ snyder

Sweetdreamsquilting said...

Improve piecing intimidates me! But you inspire me to step outside my comfort zone and give it a try.

Jen Beatty said...

I enjoy it as it gives me a break from "the rules".

Jen Beatty said...

I follow on IG, thanks!

Erin McSweeney said...

i've never really tried improve piecing...something I think could be rally enjoyable though

erin2470@hotmail.com

CurlyGirlMom said...

I still haven't tried improv piecing, but it's definitely something I WANT to do. I just haven't been quilting very long yet. I WILL do it though... ;) (I've only made 4 tops so far and while technically none of them are improv, I feel like all my quilting is done by the seat of my pants. I hate hard and fast rules and don't want to read directions so much while in the midst of a project. I like to see what someone else has done, how they did it and then kind of figure it out as I go.

Allison CB said...

Wow - these are awesome quilts! Have not tried this technique (yet!!) but so inspiring!!!

Betsy said...

Love them all. Of course I want the book! If I don't win maybe we can do another swap. Hopefully I'll have something to swap. :-)

Anna said...

I don't do it often, but love it when I do. It's so freeing, but usually I have a very specific pattern in mind when I make things. My best compromise is to make something that's improve and set it into a background that is anything but. I like the modern birches pattern for that, for example.

Elizabeth said...

My first quilt ever was an improv-pieced one. I am glad I started with it because I had resisted quilting for years because I thought it would be too precise for me.

Sarah said...

Improv is my favorite kind of quilting! I love making the decisions as i go.

AngieSue said...

Love it - want to try it!

MadHappyCrafter said...
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MadHappyCrafter said...

sorry about that delete: Congratulations on getting your quilt chosen for the book! I love your improv piecing of the leaves/petals, and the placement and colors you chose. I've tried improv piecing, and want to do much more! Thanks for the inspiration; I'd love to win this book.

Ellee said...

I'd like to try improv piecing. Freedom from rigidity. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

KMSC said...

I've never tried improv quilting but I'm eager to give it a try. So I would love to win a copy of the book to help me get started. Thanks for the chance to win.

iwan wan said...
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Karen said...

I so appreciate your honest description of your process. Improv is my friend, but I still get stuck and have to put things away for a while before they make sense again.

Shasta Matova said...
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