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Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously


Price: $27.50

  • Additional formats:
  • Publication Date: April 28, 2015
  • Imprint: STC Craft
  • Trim Size: 9 x 10
  • ISBN: 9781617691386
  • Page Count: 176
  • Illustrations: 280 color illustrations
  • Rights: World/All

Forget step-by-step instructions and copycat designs. In The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, Sherri Lynn Wood presents a flexible approach to quilting that breaks free of old paradigms. Instead of traditional instructions, she presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure. To help quilters gain confidence, Wood also offers detailed lessons for stitching techniques key to improvisation, design and spontaneity exercises, and lessons on color. Every quilt made from one of Wood’s scores will have common threads, but each one will look different because it reflects the maker’s unique interpretation. Featured throughout the book are Wood’s own quilts and a gallery of contributor works chosen from among the hundreds submitted when she invited volunteers to test her scores during the making of this groundbreaking work.


“Wood offers a series of techniques, guidelines and lessons on color choice for those ready to explore improvisational quilting. Her book is loaded with full-color photos and examples to inspire.”
Dallas Morning News
“Despite how it may ‘seam,’ quilting isn’t all about rules! Quilting can be an exhilarating way to channel your creativity and express yourself. This book is focused more on exploration than explanation—a perfect mindset for beginners!”
Powell’s Books Staff Pick
The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is on my all-time-favorite-most-beautifully-photographed-books list. There is just so much content (176 pages!) and fuel for creativity in here. I’ll be honest, I’m a picture person and I usually don’t read everything in a quilting book. But I sat down with this one and it’s been so interesting. I actually keep it on my coffee table!”
Faith Jones, Fresh Lemons
“I could learn a lot from this book—I want to buy it.”
Kaffe Fassett
“Refreshing, inspiring use of color and pattern and educational—a must-have book.”
Brandon Mably
“The whole look and feel of this book is glorious. You want to turn every page. You want to read it like a novel . . . there are life lessons here as well as quilt lessons.”
Bonnie K. Hunter, Quiltville
“If improv scares you, check this book out because it lets you think about improv in a different way. This book makes you want to let go of control!”
Stephanie Kendron, Modern Sewciety podcast
“One of the best quilting books I’ve ever read. Why? Because this book empowers readers to tap a creative vein and improvise with scissors and a pile of stash fabric.”
Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood, Craft Sanity review
“As someone who enjoys improv quilting, I found myself poring over Sherri’s book day after day, quickly jotting down notes and techniques to try with my next project.”
Lish Dorset, Made & Remade blog
“Wood provides a comprehensive overview of improvisational techniques.”
Library Journal

About the author

Sherri Lynn Wood is an artist working in Oakland, CA. She is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors, and a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow. She has been making and improvising quilts as a creative life practice for twenty-five years, and blogs about it at Teaching credits include Penland School of Craft, QuiltCon, and numerous modern and traditional guilds across the country.