Saturday, July 18, 2015

Floating Squares Begun

Four friends decided to study The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood over the next year. Having seen some of Sherri’s quilts, we were impressed with her skill and creativity. Once the book arrived we knew her ability to explain improvisational methods merited serious attention.

Reading through it (several times) is one thing; but actually following each score in order and meeting to discuss our results raises the bar to a much higher level.

I decided to make a lap quilt in order to try several ways of combining the fabrics. Fitting together blocks of different sizes was one of the most interesting skills to me.
All the fabric came from my stash but I chose to use leftovers (slightly smaller than a fat quarter) for the two squares.  Some fillers were larger pieces. I also made a rule that if/when the fabric ran out I could only pull from my scrap bag (not stash.) The smaller pieces would hopefully add some interest.

The blocks finished about 12-18 inches. In hindsight, I think their finished sizes are too uniform.

Here are some of the blocks:


The colors and contrast in this block are attractive but none of the small blue squares overlapped.  The green in the lower right was added to complete the block.


Both colors of squares overlapped much better in this block. You can see where I added different greens and browns when the originals ran out.


All three of these fabrics are leftovers from Propellers and Planes.  


See the triangular wedge of filler to get one section to fit? Including scrap bits is getting easier.


I was very pleased with the way both squares went together in this block.

Floating Squares with Marimekko fabric- detail

The filler is a Marimekko scrap so when I ran out of greens, I cut the dark green Marimekko square to add to this block.

By the end of this exercise, my freehand cutting is straighter and I can estimate the widths needed by eye much better.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Mystic Quilter said...

Wow - serious stuff here! I do admire you for working on this project, I wouldn't have the patience I'm afraid. Hope you'll post as you go along with this.

Ann said...

I don't think of it as serious but I do like learning new skills and ways of working. Over the years I've participated in a few book studies: working through a book with a group over a year. It's a great way to meet wonderful new people and get insights from other people who are seriously trying to learn the same skills. We're meeting monthly (more or less) so there should be regular posts. Thanks for the encouragement.

LA Paylor said...

Ann, we just got back from our trip to Ohio and I was reading your post on my email! I like the black and red one most. I think the synopsis of how you learned by doing was great. As you do it more, you'll learn more too. I was just with a friend in Ohio that studied with Nancy Crow and did repetitive blocks in class, so along with your post I am intrigued with choosing a shape to go with, and doing blocks then making them play well. LeeAnna

audrey said...

This is the block that I made for the test quilts. Very interesting learning to have confidence in cutting freehand! I think this is a fantastic project and I'm so happy to see it being done in prints instead of solids. The addition of your scraps is a really great idea too! I am hoping to do some experimenting with this book myself.:)

Kaja said...

This sounds like a great way to approach the book - lots of fun to share and you'll learn more too. I like this start.

Ann said...

It sounds like a great vacation, Lee Anna. Taking a Nancy Crow class is on my list. If your friend lives in Ohio, that might be easier to work out. One of the women in the group is working with triangles; very different and interesting.

Ann said...

Yes, Audrey, I saw your test quilt. It's fantastic. These are very different from the others I've done. It's fun to wrap my mind around the style and requirements. It will be fun to see what you do with this next.

Ann said...

Thanks, Kaja. I always enjoy working through books like these with others. Everyone is so different; their results are so different from mine. Mind expanding to see what you can do with the same instructions.

Stephie said...

I have just bought this book too! It's full of lots of inspiration. I really like the approach you're taking Ann, working with friends must be so encouraging. I agree with LeeAnna, you're red and black block is my favourite too - I think you've really got them floating there :) What will you do with all the blocks when you've finished, will you put them all together in one quilt? I really look forward to seeing what you come up with - and as ever, am so impressed with how far you've come already!! x

Stephie said...

Ann, I see I still have many posts to catch up on and promise to come back tomorrow as it's 1.20am now! Your New York Beauty is looking superb and I can't wait to read about it! x

Sherri ~ daintytime said...

You are going to town! Love seeing your progress.

Ann said...

I hope you like the book as much as I do. It is better working through with friends - keeps your feet to the fire as it were. I am putting these into one top. I really want to see how you combine several blocks, not just make one. Hope to see yours soon.

Ann said...

I am having a blast, Sherri! Thanks.

Ann said...

I've been traveling, too. Lots to catch up on.