Sherri Lynn Wood has been a long time favorite among the Spoonflower crew. Her technique is inspiring and her quilts are breathtaking. We were thrilled when we were asked to take a look at her newest book–The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, along with with gallery of test quilts. Read on for our thoughts on this inspiring quilting handbook and for a look at seven beautiful quilts stitched up using Sherri's improvisational technique. Plus–enter our giveaway for a chance to take home your very own copy of her wonderful new book!
Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters illuminates different aspects of the creative process of quilting that can be improvised upon to make a fluid and free-flowing creative journey from the fabric selection to the final stitch. Drawing on social theories, oral histories, and even improv theatre techniques, Wood offers a holistic view of a quilting process as an opportunity to learn about yourself as a quilter and creator. The techniques illustrated in this work are unconventional–rather than offering patterns and recipes to reproduce some of her signature works, Wood instead provides a score, or a set of loose guidelines, that encourage you to find freedom in limitations. With Wood’s techniques, starting a quilt with a set of rules that are made to be broken is the first step in a creative journey with curves, darts, and dashed-lines leading you to a one-of-a-kind expression of a moment, a finished quilt with a personality and story all its own.
Wood provides "Mind Tools" in the sidebar of her chapters, encouraging readers to find themselves in order to more intuitively and efficiently make creative decisions. These improv techniques encourage quilters to remain open to the possibilities that are presented at each stage of creating the quilt. She tackles the emotional blocks that can stymie creativity (“What if I cut into my precious fabric and end up hating this quilt?!” “I don’t know what fabrics to choose!” And on and on…) by reframing the creative conversation as an opportunity to learn about yourself, your preferences, your materials, and your environment. What happens, for instance, when you allow your seams to lean in the direction they seem to want to go? This collection of exercises and "scores" is a way of quilting to find yourself–even if you find that you are more of a stick-to-a-pattern type of quilter, well, knowing that certainly is worth the read.
We are delighted to share this exclusive gallery of test quilts created from the Score for Showing Up. This score encourages us to boldly mashup a multitude of patterns and techniques to create unfamiliar and unexpected relationships.
Ready to try your hand at improv quilting? We're offering one lucky winner the opportunity to take home a copy of Sherri's wonderful new book! Enter by Friday, June 5th, 2015 for a chance to win. We will contact the winner via email on Monday, June 8th. Good luck!
If you're interested in learning these techniques with Sherri Lynn Wood, check out the dates for her current book tour! There are still spots available at her Quilting by the Lake 5-day retreat in Syracuse, NY July 27-31.
We're starting our week with a little pieced-project inspiration! Just grab some fabric scraps, a needle and thread to get started on one of theses sweet and simple sewing projects. Looking for a new fabric for a project? Browse the beautiful designs created by the community in the Marketplace or take a peek at a few we found inspiring below!
Every handmade project deserves a label to let the recipient know just who made it, and to carry the artist’s name for generations to come. Emma from the Spoonflower help team is here with beautiful label templates that you can customize to make your quilt unique and personalized.
EMMA: It always makes me a little sad when I see a beautiful quilt hanging in a museum with a tag that says “artist unknown”. Labeling your quilt is just like signing a painting–you made it, why not sign it! Especially for gifts and heirloom quilts you’re handing down, a label is an essential addition to any quilt. But quilt labels are a tricky thing to make! Embroidering or hand-writing a label with a fabric marker can take a lot of time, but there’s no need to order a ton of custom labels for just one project. That’s why we’ve created an easy way to create your own custom labels–order just one, or a whole yard! There’s no fancy software required, and we’ve included some templates below to get you started. Read on to learn more!
I decided to make a label for a quilt meant for a friend who’s about to embark on a big adventure. Since it was for just this special quilt, I knew I only needed to order one, and could customize it just for him.
We’ve created a series of templates already sized at 4.5 x 3.5 inches, a great size for a quilt label. If you want to make them even smaller, you can adjust the size once you’ve created your label. To create your own special label, save the template you want to use (scroll to the bottom of the page for more!) to your computer, and log onto Spoonflower.
First, click Create at the top of the page, then select the template file from my computer and clicked the Upload File button. Don’t worry–I give you all permission to use these templates, so you can click the copyright confirmation button without fear!
Once the template uploads, just click the Edit with PicMonkey button on the left-hand side. This will make a open of the template in PicMonkey, a free (and very easy!) editing platform.
With the template open in PicMonkey, it’s time to get creative! I started by adding text to my label–just click on the button the left that says “Tt” to add text. You can pick a font, change colors, arrange, and re-size your text however you’d like.
You can also click the button on the left that looks like a butterfly to add overlays (which work like digital stamps and stickers). Since Oscar is going on a big sailing trip, I picked out a few nautical-themed icons.
Once you’re done adding text, click the Save button at the top, and the X in the right-hand corner to go back to the Spoonflower preview page.
For just one quilt label, select Centered repeat and order a test swatch. For just $5.00, this will get you a single label. If you need more, you can order a fat quarter. This is also the page where you can adjust the size–click the Smaller button until the size listed is what you want. Go ahead and add it to your cart and you’re all set!
You can even add your own images. For this label, I added a picture of my grandpa that I had saved to my computer. Just click on the Overlay button that looks like a butterfly and click Your Own at the top. Then you can use any image already on your computer–photos, logos, even scanned kids artwork!
We’ve included some templates to get you started below, including a few sizes of blank labels that you can open in PicMonkey and edit the same way. Between PicMonkey’s great free tools and images from your own computer, creating your own labels is a breeze!
It’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve when you find yourself in a pinch, and for sewists, it’s their box of sewing notions! The perfect tool or button can really make or break a project, so this week we’re celebrating the art of sewing with an extra special coordinates Design Challenge featuring our favorite notions.
You pick the top ten, and our special guest judge Denyse Schmidt will pick a winner to be featured in an upcoming issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine! So what are you waiting for? Cast your vote now.
Siblings Together is a UK-based charity that promotes positive contact between siblings who are otherwise separated by the foster care system. They organize summer camps and monthly activities throughout the year to allow siblings to catch up and enjoy some quality time together–there's even time for scrapbooking so the kids can remember their experiences.
Siblings Together activities allow brothers and sisters to catch up and have fun!
The work that this organization puts into creating these meaningful experiences and helping children develop and nurture these bonds with their families is nothing short of amazing. When Lynne Goldsworthy of the blog Lily's Quilts learned about Siblings Together, she realized that a homemade quilt, warm and stitched with love, could act as a constant reminder of time spent with loved ones for these campers. Kicking off an effort to collect quilts for each and every camper, Lynne created a Flickr group and put a call out on her blog for donations. Two years into this effort, the response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
A camper receives her very own quilt after Siblings Together summer camp.
Quilters from all over the world have sent beautifully made blankets to support this rolling effort, and this year's drive is in full swing. If you're interested in contributing, please head over to Lily's Quilts to find out how you can help send some love to Siblings Together. You can also visit the Flickr group to see the beautiful quilt donations as they're finsihed.
Each quilt is finished with love and a label to make the gifts extra special.
The generosity of the makers in the Spoonflower community to create handmade expressions of love and support for those in need has warmed our hearts time and again. We are inspired by the work of Siblings Together and the Siblings Together Quilt Group, and we are so thankful that they have allowed us to be a part of this amazing effort by printing up custom labels for each lovingly stitched quilt.
*If you'd like to learn how to design your own custom quilt label, check out this tutorial by Spoonflower team member Caitlin of the Salty Oat blog.
WHAT: Everyone has a little something that helps them when they get in a pinch, and for the sewist, it’s their box of sewing notions! The perfect tool or button can really make or break a project, so let’s celebrate the art of sewing with this week’s extra special coordinates Design Challenge! Guest judge Denyse Schmidt, designer, quilter and author, will pick a winner from the top ten community voted designs to be featured on the pages of an upcoming issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting! Please create four sewing notions-inspired coordinating prints sized to fit on one yard. Previews will be sized as a yard (42″ x 36″).
WHEN: The design deadline is June 24,2014. Voting will take place June 26 – July 2, 2014. The top ten designs and winner will be announced on July 3, 2014.
HOW: To enter, create your own Spoonflower account, upload an original fabric design to the account (sized at 150 dpi and using one of the accepted file formats), and then enter the design in the Sewing Notions contest using the drop-down menu for entering contests. See official rules below for details.
If you find yourself in Raleigh, NC this weekend, come visit us at the Vintage View Quilt Show! Presented by the Capital Quilters + the Carolina Longarm Association, this year’s show features over 400 quilts, 40 vendors, lectures, demonstrations, and lots of amazing prizes.
This morning to start the event, we were honored to see our good friends from Quilts of Valor presenting three veterans with quilts to honor their military service. With so many friends from our local community participating this weekend, we’re so excited to spend our weekend at the show. Please do stop by and say hello!
Veterans receive Quilts of Valor to honor their military service.
We love a good craft book, so what's better than a pocket-sized book for crafters on the go? Today we are offering one lucky winner the opportunity to take home two books written by quilt and craft experts Jodie Davis and Jayne Davis, along with a quilting rubber duckie!
- Pocket Posh Tips for Quilters: This pretty, purse-sized quilting guide packed with helpful tips and tricks will be the new best friend of quilters on the go. It's perfect to have on hand when buying quilting fabrics and materials, or for bringing along to the next Quilting Bee.
- Pocket Posh Tips for Knitters: Knitters take their work with them on the bus, on the subway, on the airplane . . . everywhere. This pretty, purse-sized knitting guide packed with helpful tips and tricks will be the new best friend of busy knitters.
Enter by Tuesday, January 28, 2014 for a chance to win! We will announce the winner on the blog on Wednesday, January 29th. Congratulations to Kerry Alan, winner of our Skirt-A-Day + custom fabric giveaway!