A New Day, A New Score

Got the initial top put together for the Improv. Pinwheels, which, incidentally, seemed to have turned into wheels. Now it's getting an opportunity to simmer while I decide what the border will look like. Not quite ready to stop with this one as it doe...

Got the initial top put together for the Improv. Pinwheels, which, incidentally, seemed to have turned into wheels. Now it’s getting an opportunity to simmer while I decide what the border will look like. Not quite ready to stop with this one as it doesn’t feel finished yet.

Improv. Pinwheels

Also, yesterday saw me diving into another Improv. project. And right after I was so determined to get three other on-going projects up to a quilt top stage first!*sigh  It was one of those days. Put a kaleidoscope to your eyes, turn just a tiny bit and wallah, your whole viewpoint is changed. Yesterday was one of those humdinger of a days where ‘what I thought’ wasn’t quite my reality any longer. Oh the joys of belonging to a large, fairly close-knit family. Things happen because well, there’s a bunch of us.

Score #4—Patchwork Doodle

Which doesn’t mean we have any control over any of it, except perhaps for our reaction. So to settle my jittery, out-of-sync self, I impulsively decided to turn to improv. work. After first buying Sherri Lynn Wood’s ‘The Improv. Handbook’, the intent was to slowly work myself through all of her scores, one by one. Thus far I have only attempted two of Score #1 ‘floating squares’ and numerous tries with Score #2 ‘strings’. The strings of course have been my favorite and where I have gladly stalled out for several months. A place I’m sure to return to because of how immensely satisfying they are to work with.

Anyhoo! About yesterday. Opening the book, I flipped past Score #3 ’round robin’ {don’t have quilting partners to work thru that at the moment} and ventured straight into Score #4 ‘patchwork doodle’, a score I’ve had serious doubts about the validity of. What’s the point of playing with lots of different units in the same quilt. Chaos? The title to that particular chapter is ‘Letting Go of Expectation’ which yeah, completely appealed to my current frame of mind.

The strangely intriguing vintage fabric….

I took a second to think and then grabbed a stack of odd fabrics sitting on the back of the counter.  A smallish chunk of vintage, picnic style fabric {bought at a quilt show a couple years ago} had been luring random bits and pieces over there for months now. Strange color combination to be sure, but I’ve been kinda intrigued with the novelty of it. Why not play instead of carefully plan out? See where it might lead?

The neutral fabric being used here is a really light green fabric that doesn’t want to photograph very well, but I think it will do the job as negative space. As uninspired as the initial results were, I didn’t really care. Honestly. I just needed to cut and sew. No rulers, no plan beyond one unit at a time—no precision or serious forethought. Two improv. rows at a time {one repeated unit at a time} and eventually I reached a point where a subtle adjustment on the design board gave me something to be interested in. Instead of placing the rows together in sets, right now the intent is to move outward from the middle, mirroring unit rows top and bottom. It’s starting to, well…., turn into a plan of sorts? Ha! Only up to and as far as sewing the next set of units! The one thing we quickly learn about improv. is that the outcome is very fluid. And that’s okay.

Being in a mood really helped bring about instinctive decision making, something I’ve noticed {after the fact} two other times in my quilting life. When I don’t actually care, it becomes a gut reaction, something a bit more primal. The thing is, if I were really awake on all fronts, I would have quit after the first unit results and probably tossed it all in the trash, emptied all the fabric pieces back into the proper totes, {what was I thinking!!} and promptly turned to another, much prettier project. Being on auto-pilot definitely got me over the hump of feeling queasy about design decisions and yes, firmly up to the point of considered thought and contemplation. Hmmm…. What do we have here?
I’m so glad to have fabric as a calming effect, working it’s magic and smoothing out the rougher edges of life. Gotta say, in hindsight, yesterday is nothing that’s going to change the course of my life or my love for anybody—one way or the other.