Improvising, extemporizing, playing it by ear, making it up as you go, winging it….that is exactly what we did when making the collaborative quilt Ad Libbing. Ad Libbing was a collaboration between Linda Hungerford of Flourishing Palms and myself. It came about when Linda was asked in early 2014 to lecture to Quilt Guild of The Villages, Florida on Modern Quilting. Linda and I had put together a “dog and pony” show about Modern Quilting that we were presenting to traditional quilt guilds and she asked me to join her with this presentation to QGOTV. (You see, I have all the projection equipment so she HAD to ask me.) She also suggested we teach two workshops on making improv quilt blocks. Always being up for anything quilty, I said sure, however I had never made an improv quilt block. Linda thought the slab blocks introduced to the quilting community by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison in their book “Sunday Morning Quilts” would provide the inspiration we needed. After the decision was made, we selected a color palette from design-seeds.com and each set about making 4 blocks each from our stash of scraps. When someone asked what we were going to do with our blocks, Linda replied “I think we should make a quilt and enter it in QuiltCon.” So that is what we set out to do. We attended a Modern Quilt Retreat hosted by Carole Lyle Shaw of the Sarasota Modern Quilt Guild (also our regional representative to the Modern Quilt Guild Board of Directors). At the retreat we made the 9th block and decided how the blocks were going to be placed and how much negative space to have in the quilt. Lora assembled the quilt top at the retreat and Linda took it home to quilt in on her domestic sewing machine, a Pfaff Grand Quilter. The quilting really brought Ad Libbing to life. Lora then bound the quilt, made the label and hanging sleeve. Making the quilt with Linda was fun and challenging as we both wanted to do our best work so as not to disappoint one another. Linda and I met through our blogs, so the collaboration with the modern quilting presentation and making this quilt forced us to get to know one another better.
The quilt was finished in August 2014 and was entered in the Jax Quilt Fest (September 2014), Jacksonville, FL (a non-juried show). We won 1st Place and $500 in that show. Ad Libbing was juried into QuiltCon (February 2015), MQX New England (April 2015) and the Machine Quilter’s Showcase in Iowa (May, 2015). Ad Libbing won a teacher’s award ribbon at the MQS Show, awarded by instructor Patti Buhler. Thank you Patti! It was an honor to be juried in to these prestigious shows.
If you have never collaborated on a project like this, you might want to give it a try. Who knows what YOU will come up with.
Linda and I both did an interview with the Quilt Alliance at QuiltCon 2015 to preserve our quilt story. It was my first video! I actually just watched it for the first time tonight. I was kind of afraid to, but it wasn’t THAT bad. The video, just like the quilt, was ad libbed.
71″ x 71″
Fabrics: Scraps from Lora and Linda’s stashes, White Kona Cotton
Batting: Two layers; one Quilter’s Dream Poly (Request Loft) and one Quilter’s Dream Wool
Thread: 50 weight Aurifil in pale blue
Binding: Single fold bias “no tails” binding
Completed: August 2014
Makers: Lora Douglas and Linda Hungerford
Published: Machine Quilting Unlimited, May/June 2015