When I left my apartment on a clear Saturday morning, I had only a handful of expectations about Sherri Lynn Wood‘s Improvising from a Score workshop. I decided the night before that my only goal that morning was to show up with my tools and I would go where the day wanted to take me. I had a stressful and trying few weeks prior to the workshop and I just wanted to engage in something that was going to allow me to make something without internal expectations.
Sherri’s approach to making and quilting feels really refreshing to me. Up until taking her workshop, I had been wanting to spend a lot of time refining my craft, perfecting my piecing and my hand stitching. I was much more focused on further refining what I already knew, rather than exploring. Her workshop gave me the opportunity to learn how to trust myself a little more, to listen to what my creative impulse drove me towards and that a plan doesn’t need to have a predicted outcome.
Something shifted for me that day. I talked in the entry for my previous quilt about the patch work bags I made when I was teenager. Making this quilt felt like that: challenging, fun and engaging. Picking the fabric, using scissors to cut the pieces and fitting them together was a delightful and welcome change to the heavily structured and planned quilts I’ve been making.
I chose to piece this from different shot cottons, various types of Kona and Bella solids as well as some printed quilting fabrics that where given to me by Jess at Threaded Quilting. There’s a layer of washed muslin between the top and the pieced back, which made the hand quilting quick and easy. At 34″ x 43″, it will make a lovely lap quilt for it’s new home with Hannah Jewell in North Carolina.
While this quilt doesn’t feel like anything I’ve made in the past, it has led me to a new way of piecing that is much more compelling to me. While my meticulous planning led to quilts that met my expectations, it has been freeing to drop those expectations and just make.