Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sherri Lynn Wood and improvisational duets?

Sherri Lynn Wood is a quilter who uses improvisation in her piecing and quilt construction, or as she puts it 'improvises quilts as a life practise'. You can learn more on her blog If you scroll back a bit, you can read how she applies her insights from a course in improvisational theatre to her life and quilts.
She is currently writing a book about her improvisational piecing and looking for quilters to try out her projects. Our styles are very different, but as a musician myself, (and a quilter who never follows a pattern!) I was intrigued and volunteered.
This post is manly for Sherri as she asked to look at applicants' blogs. Since I haven't been blogging very long, I thought I'd put up some past pieced pieces, to show when I am not dyeing, printing or machine quilting, I do actually do some piecing!
Sherri, if you get this far, I hope you enjoy it - as I hope the rest of you do too!
Catching the curve - a first piece in curved piecing
 This was one of my first forays into curved piecing, using an idea by Ann Johnston in her book The quilter's book of design. Slightly curvy strips are sown together to make blocks. Using a 'stack and wack' approach, the blocks are cut with  gently curving 'V' shapes before reassembling.

Blue and Brown Boundaries
 This piece basically uses 2 colours - a bright turquoise and a russet brown. The variations come from 'dulling' each dye by adding differing amounts of its complementary. I admit that there is a touch of gold which I did not dye!

The piecing is entirely improvisational - there was no plan at all. A real, have rotary cutter - will travel and make it up as you go along - approach. Each piece is outlined in a bias of the complementary colour and the pieces assembled in ever increasing sizes.

Here is the next piece using the same technique. The dyes are a scarlet and charcoal and I've livened things up a bit with a touch of silver. This time, the bias insets vary in size and also have their own curves.

Sunset Trees 2

Autumn Trees 1

 Tray dyeing provides the backgrounds for a series I did on winter trees. Biased insets give the tree outline. Cutting the tree free-hand with a rotary cutter makes sure that each tree is unique. I've finished them off by quilting a free-motion leaf motif.

Nine Lives
This piece started off life as 'ten not quite green bottles, hanging on a wall', but the more I looked at the pieced 'bottles' (now the bodies), the more all I could see was cats. In the end, I gave in and appliqued heads and tails and 'Nine Lives' was born.
Nine Lives - detail
The cats' bodies and the blocks are cut free-hand with a rotary cutter. The quilting is meant to be a kind of stone wall. There are also a few mice hiding around - but not on this detail.

Improvisational piecing - work in progress
No curves for once. This is really inspired by using up scraps - with a splash of gold because even scraps can be special. I've got quite a lot more, so not sure yet how this will end up, but there will of course, be some quilting. I'll post about it when I get there.


Thanks for dropping by

Hilary Florence


  1. Wau die Katzen sind der Hammer. Very nice, Love the cats.
    Grüße Sylvia

  2. Love love love those cats, reminds me of the cats I used to see in Vienna in the art shops. Cheers Glenda