I think by now you may have noticed that I took a couple of improv classes from Sherri Lynn Wood at QuiltCon 2013. Those classes and QuiltCon really pushed my quilting boundaries and I have been experimenting more and more with improvisation. So, when Sherri Lynn put out a call for testers for her new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, I signed up. On nearly the last day, but I signed up.
Each tester was assigned a “score” and we were asked to keep up our projects to ourselves and off social media. We had a forum for questions but we couldn’t share or collaborate. Until now!
My assigned score was “Rhythmic Grid” which Sherri described as a “…method of creating rhythm while introducing the improv patchwork technique of approximate measurement.” Okie Dokie. Let’s see how this turns out.
I built Tempo Rubato row by row and added blocks to the rows using the approximate measurement technique. Approximate measurement is basically lining up the seam lines and free cutting the pieces without measuring or using a ruler. Of course it is impossible to get perfect matches but that is the joy of free cutting.
To finish the quilt, Sherri Lynn’s direction was to add borders which related in some way to the center of the quilt. I attempted to achieve a transparency effect of the orange and blue on top of the gray. The orange worked better than the blue, I think. Definitely need to try transparency again.
I used the walking foot and serpentine stitch in parallel vertical lines. My very first matched binding attempt was inspired by a lecture Debbie of A Quilters’s Table did at the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. The matches are not perfect and they are very much like the improvisational piecing. I like the way the the zig zag line at the bottom left is orange from edge to edge.
- Title: Tempo Rubato
- Size: 40 inches wide x 44 inches long
- Completely free-cut. No rulers were harmed in the making of this quilt top
- Quilted with Bernina 440 Stitch 4
- Quilting thread: Superior Threads So Fine! Color 503
- Tempo Rubato is probably my furthest traveled quilt. Hand sewing the binding was done on the plane to Hawaii
- Seattle Modern Quilt Guild at 2014 Northwest Quilting Expo (Portland, OR)
- Seattle Modern Quilt Guild My MODERN Exhibit at Island Quilter, Vashon Island, WA, January 2015
And, why “Tempo Rubato“? Sherri Lynn wanted us to play with the rhythm of the blocks and “…break out of typical straight set grid….” My interpretation was to stretch and compress the zig zagging line. The musical term tempo rubato refers to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo. A pretty perfect term for what I tried to achieve.