Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve managed to find a bit of free time over the last week (why is Summer always busier than I anticipate?), and I used it to finally crack into Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook. It seems like forever ago that I was relaxing at the pool flipping through this book after QuiltCon…only 4 months though.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is on my all-time-favorite-most-beautifully-photographed-books list. There is just so much content (174 pages!) and fuel for creativity in here. I’ll be honest, I’m a picture person and I usually don’t read everything in a quilting book. But I sat down with this one and it’s been so interesting. I actually keep it on my coffee table!

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I knew the first project I wanted to try to tackle in this book was one of the curve quilts. I went through a bit of color-paralysis but decided on some monochromatic segments. Mostly solids with a few coordinating, low volume prints mixed in.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It was a somewhat messy, but totally freeing process. VERY fun. It did not take too many hours to finish these segments.

Improv ala Sherri Lynn Wood : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I need to make more. Should I add more colors? Stick with this palette? Now is when I begin to over think it. I’m a bit nervous about how it’s all going to go together, but the instructions have over 10 pictures so I think it should go well. I’ll share more as I create!

+++ Update! +++

There are a couple supplemental resources for those of you working with this awesome book. First, the Test Quilt Galleries ~ 165 quilts made by testers during the book writing process. Amazing!

Second, the Improv Handbook Facebook page. This is a space where Sherri Lynn Wood and other quilters actively share their process.

I hope you are inspired!

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks

It’s always a fun opportunity to submit a block for Quiltmaker‘s 100 Blocks magazine series. Volume 7 was just released and I’m very excited to have a design included on this round! It will probably come as no surprise to regular readers here that I created a paper pieced star design. I’m nothing if not predictable, right? (You can find my paper piecing tutorial here.)

When I was selecting the fabrics for this star, I was torn. Blocks can always look so different depending on fabric placement. I really wanted to showcase this variety by making another block with the same templates, but using another fabric layout. Over the weekend I created this block.

Same pattern, but the effect is totally different. Cool, right? These blocks have 8 paper pieced components. Here is one quadrant sewn up:

I hope you will check out the magazine at your local craft and bookstore! It’s also available as a digital download.

Off Centered Improv

Off Centered Improv

Next month I’m lucky enough to be leading a sewing workshop at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. I grew up in Cincinnati and my family all still lives there, so this will be a really fun opportunity for me to hang out with all the talented modern quilters in my hometown.

Off Centered Improv Top

The guild was really great and left the decision as to what we would be working on up to me. I love improvisational quilting so I thought that would be a fun technique for everyone to explore. This is our class sample ~ improvisational log cabins.

Off Centered Improv Center

These blocks are a bit similar to the pillow I made Jennifer last October. You can see the work in progress below.

Improv Piecing

I broke down the log cabins by warm and cool colors, incorporating a bit of grey and just a small amount of prints.

Off Centered Improv Pre-Quilting

The border is a black and white Alexander Henry crosshatch.

Off Centered Improv Bottom

I quilted this mini quilt with randomly spaced organic lines. They are all around 1/4″ apart, but I didn’t mark or measure. I used my walking foot and slowly moved the fabric back and forth ever so slightly as I quilted.

Off Centered Improv Workspace

This new quilt has a home above my new computer workstation in my sewing space! For more information about the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, you can contact them through their blog or email them at cincinnatimodernquiltguild (at)