An Improvised Quilt

By Cameron

It feels like I started this quilt years ago, but truly it's probably more like a single year, and now I'm very proud to have finished it. I followed the first project - or "score" - in Sherri Lynn Wood's excellent book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

I loved every step of this quilt. It was liberating, confidence building, and, well, fun. Piecing the top following Wood's process goes quickly. After picking your fabrics, all the cutting and piecing is done quickly, following your intuition. 

My favorite part of all was hand quilting. I didn't mark any lines or plan anything out. I just kept stitching in the same pattern until I was tired of it or felt that the quilt needed some variation. If it's possible for a process entirely under my own control that happens very slowly over a number of months to be thrilling, this was. 

The top is pieced from shot cottons and scraps of an ikat (HERE are many similar options). The back was entirely scraps. I used wool batting - which is such a dream to work with - and quilted with Perle cotton in a wonderfully florid red-orange.

Whether you're a seasoned quilter curious about improvised quilting or a total beginner, I wholeheartedly recommend An Improv Handbook.  If you're not sure that you can get into a scrappy improvised look, come take a peek at the gorgeous and very diverse quilts featured in Sherri's book and I'll be sharing another, very different quilt made with her process as soon as I finish it!