Top 10 Reasons to Sew Ruler Free from Sherri Lynn Wood

on May 1 | in Books, Sewing + Quilting Tips | by | with 174 Comments

Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously presents a new approach to modern quilting. Ten frameworks or “scores” guide quilters to create innovative, improvised modern quilts.

Hundreds of quilters submitted “test quilts” for the book, and Sherri asked participants to evaluate their experience and outcome using the framework/scores process. Sherri writes, “Only 22 of the test quilts were included in the book, but I hope you agree that all of them are worthy examples of the scores, each in their own way. The efforts and critical feedback of the test quilters definitively shaped the content of the ten scores, or flexible patterns, included in The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters.” The 22 example quilts are interspersed with Sherri’s beautiful work, featuring mostly solids and her fabulous collection of vintage 70’s prints.

From the publisher:

    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.

One of the ten frameworks or scores is for Floating Squares. Sherri writes, “The Score For Strings encourages us to find the right balance of freedom and control so that improvisation will flow. Too many limits are restrictive for some. Too few limits will overwhelm others.” You can see some of the many test quilts for this score in the exclusive Floating Squares test quilt gallery. This is just one example of how Sherri’s guidance supports quilters as they develop related– but totally individual– quilt interpretations.

Sherri has her Top 10 Reasons to Sew Ruler Free below. Do you ever sew ruler free? Do you feel total freedom or completely nervous when you slice into your fabric?! In addition to her top-notch advice, Sherri and STC Craft are also offering a free giveaway copy of Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously. (U.S. residents only, please.) Comment below with your thoughts on scores or frameworks for improvisation, going ruler free or info on your latest modern quilting.

Top 10 Reasons to Sew Ruler Free

Set aside your rulers and templates as you work through the project scores in this book. All of the cutting you’ll do for the projects will be by your own hand, guided by expression rather than a ruler. While it may sound scary, it really does make sense when you’re improvising. Here are my top ten reasons to go ruler-free.

    1. Precise measurement slows you down and vectors energy away from improvisational flow.

    2. Ruler-free supports spontaneity and creative play.

    3. Ruler-made lines always communicate the same thing. They never vary in expression.

    4. Ruler-free nurtures authenticity in your work since your “signature” will be revealed in the way you cut, just as it is when you draw.

    5. Your hand-eye coordination will improve. Let go of the crutch and soon enough you will be able to cut perfectly straight 1″ (2.5 cm) strips without a ruler if you want to.

    6. There are more opportunities for happy accidents. Responding to imperfections and/or letting them stand adds beauty and interest to your quilts.

    7. Patchwork construction becomes less familiar without the habit of templates to depend on, leading to a deeper understanding of how patterns work.

    8. It supports flexible patterning since no two sections will be exactly alike.

    9. You become the measure of things and will grow to trust your own authority. Get used to being the ruler instead of depending on one.

    10. You won’t need one to make your pieces fit together and lie flat. And you’ll soon learn how!

The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters includes an entire section of exclusive and innovative ruler-free patchwork techniques, including approximate measuring, strip piecing, wedge-curve strip piecing, bias-strip piecing on the curve, layered-curves, darting, natural shaping and fitting.


Don’t miss other stops on the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously book tour, and find more from Sherri Lynn Wood at Daintytime.

May 4: STC Craft – Score for Rhythmic Grid Gallery
May 4: Plaid Portico – Score for Strings Gallery
May 6: During Quiet Time – Test Quilter Amy Friend
May 8: Wise Craft Handmade – Score for Get Your Curve On Gallery
May 11: Studio Notes – Test Quilter Penny Gold
May 13: Quiltville – Score for Modern Block Improv Gallery
May 15: Peppermint Pinwheels – Test Quilter Stacey Sharman
May 18: Quirky Quilts – Test Quilter Kim McPeake
May 20: PoppyPrintCreates – Score for Patchwork Doodle Gallery
May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke
May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery
May 26: Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery
May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm – Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery
May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery
May 30: Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson

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174 Responses to Top 10 Reasons to Sew Ruler Free from Sherri Lynn Wood

  1. Carol Sc says:

    I have done some ruler free cutting — I found it difficult at first, but it got easier. I really like the quilts in this book and am anxious to try this method again.

  2. ruler free hmmmm never tried it but have made up a pattern as i go….lol kinda the same idea both hoping for a good ending……Well liking your book ty for sharing

  3. Emily T says:

    A framework, or score for a starting point are just what I need! I love all the quilts!

  4. jude says:

    i am very intrigued and would love to win your book! thank you!

  5. Brenda Ackerman says:

    I am so looking forward to reading this book and making a quilt. I have done a small amount of improvised quilt blocks yet never finished for many reasons. I believe that this book would really help me get past that not knowing what to do part. Thank you for sharing and offering this opportunity to win!

  6. Amy says:

    What a cool and interesting concept. Would certainly love to read more about this technique!

  7. Terry says:

    Already do some improv but would love to have this in my library.

  8. Kathryn Laposata says:

    I need a little more play in my life.

  9. Nicole Sender says:

    I’d love to try the improv technique!

  10. janna says:

    Beautiful quilts and so inspiring!

  11. Rhoda Forbes says:

    Wow this books looks so wonderful. I have made a few blocks not using a ruler, but would sure like to learn more. Thank you for being a part of this blog hop.

  12. Brenda says:

    This looks so freeing. Would love to try it!

  13. Lori Smanski says:

    these are wonderful quilts. I would love to learn to sew this way

  14. Becky says:

    I NEED this book!

  15. Jane says:

    This looks like the improv book I have wished for! Great giveaway!

  16. Mandy Adams says:

    The book looks great, it’s all a bIt scary quilting without your tools, but very liberating. I haven’t dared to take the plunge!

    Mandy

  17. RobinT says:

    This sounds like a fun method to try. I can’t wait to try this. Having the book or a workshop with Sherri Lynn would be helpful.

  18. Jodi Gradolph says:

    I’d love to learn something new!

  19. kelli says:

    Ooh, pretty. I love the bright colors!

  20. I’ve made one of these test quilts – I would love to win a copy of this book!

  21. Veronika says:

    I LOVE this! Definitely want to look into this more and try it sometime. So intrigued!

  22. Nesta says:

    I once had the chance to follow a fantastic course and they taught us the joy of being ruler-free! It was so fun! Definitely something to try again and again!

  23. Hilda says:

    I would love to experiment more and go “ruler free!” This is a great giveaway.

  24. Lorinda Davis says:

    I love the idea of having a framework for the improv sewing. Sometimes you need that spark of an idea. This lloks like a great book, thanks for the chance to win!

  25. Joy says:

    I never thought about how free cutting allows you to have your own “signature” – what an inspiring way to put it.

  26. LisaRose says:

    I feel so validated! I dislike rulers and have been working on projects without them. But I have SO MUCH to learn! The curves are a special challenge.

  27. Judy Garcia says:

    new to quilting – would love to try this.

  28. Sarah says:

    I like both improv and traditional “ruler” quilting — each are relaxing to me in a different way.

  29. mary ellen peterson says:

    love this concept. i’ve not made a modern quilt yet, but it is on my very near future to do list… good bye rulers hello creativity!

  30. Penny says:

    Sometimes I sew without a ruler, not usually quilts, usually small things like zipper bags and stuff like that, I make quilted fabric panels and I just sort of go with it and see what happens

  31. Lisa Marie says:

    I’ve made wonky log cabins and improv pieced potholders but that’s the extent of my ruler free sewing. This book looks wonderful and would inspire me to be more adventurous!

  32. Anne says:

    I’d love to add this book to our Modern Quilt Guild library. It would be a fun challenge for our guild.

  33. Ferdal says:

    Thanks for this lovely prize – I want to improve my quilting.

  34. Laura says:

    I would love to win this prize.
    Thank!

  35. Laura says:

    I would love to try out these techniques.
    Thanks!

  36. auschick says:

    Quilting is too precise for me, but this might actually help me enjoy it!

  37. carriem says:

    I’d love to try ruler free (but am a coward) what a lovely resource!

  38. Brenda says:

    Like the idea of just cutting and sewing. Or sewing and cutting. Whatever moves your spirit. The first time I attempted a quilt (more than 40 years ago, out of left over jeans) I had no idea what I was doing, so just cut and sewed and pieced some smaller pieces and then sewed them on until I met myself again. Still have that piece of patchwork. In fact, it is currently on my design wall, having recently run across it in a box of “stuff.”

  39. Susan in Dublin says:

    Can’t wait to try the exercises in the book. I have tried some cutting using the ruler for straight edges without “measuring inches'”. This would be a great way to start using the solids I have been stashing.

  40. Shana says:

    I build ruler – free quilts in my head but I’m too afraid to actually put them together. I would love to read the tips and ideas in this book and be inspired to make my crayons real.

  41. Jess says:

    I love the idea of going ruler-free! I’ve noticed about myself that if a quilt project gets too repetitive or involves too many finicky steps then I’m likely to burn out and quit doing it. So this concept might be just what I need to finish more quilts!

    Jess

  42. Melissa says:

    I’ve done woven backgrounds, that’s about all I’ve done ruler free

  43. Melissa says:

    I’ve gone ruler free in doing a weave background

  44. Beth says:

    I am working up the courage to try improv piecing. I am curious about her techniques for preventing wobbly seams! This is one of my biggest ‘fears’ about improv piecing!

  45. Sunny says:

    I’m a beginning quilter, and this is something I need. I tend to be a perfectionist and am afraid of making mistakes, so I end up holding myself back. Hope to win!

  46. I love to quilt without a ruler! I love the way things look when there’s a lot of the individual quilter showing in the work… Wobbly lines and all.

  47. LINDA says:

    HI, I do prefer ruler free! Most of my top stitching is free motion, the very most creative of all, I think.Thanks for a great giveaway!

  48. karen says:

    I enjoyed a class with Sheri once and the book looks amazing!

  49. Shanna says:

    I love the look of the improvisional quilt, but I get a little scared to try…I’m afraid mine will look a mess! I could definitely use some pointers, and courage!

  50. Kristen says:

    I love all of the quilts here and it makes me want to try ruler free- although I think it’s such a habit that it would be hard to break.

  51. Torina says:

    This is how I used to quilt. Then I started following patterns to challenge myself and give myself a deeper knowledge of quilting, though I refuse to do a repeating block pattern because I think that may kill me. I need a book like this, I think, to bring me back to my quilting roots. Or u just need to burn my patterns and hide my rulers. Hmmm. 🙂

  52. kim says:

    This book looks like a fun addition to any quilters library! I have tried curved piecing recently without rulers and loved it!

  53. Alison says:

    I’m tried going ruler free. It’s nerve-wrecking at first but then…so freeing! I love it. Must do more of it.

  54. patty says:

    I participated in this project, but my quilts did not get picked for the book as there was a lot of quilts to choose from. I have been improv piecing for the last five or six years. I have developed my own techniques and this is pretty much the only way I work now.

  55. I love the look of improv quilting. I do mostly freehand cutting when making my toys but I’ve not yet attempted a large project like a quilt. I think it looks fun!

  56. Cathy Wilson says:

    This sounds and looks like a lot of fun! I’d love to try this!

  57. Emily K says:

    I haven’t gotten the nerve to go “ruler free” yet, but I love the creative outlet it allows for. It seems so freeing to not be tied to rulers and perfect cuts and matched up seams all the time.

  58. Betsey says:

    I took Sherri’s class on Friday in Portland, ME, and loved it! And I did it without a straightedge.

  59. Michele says:

    I love this idea of patchwork as a score of music, variations working within a framework. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  60. Pam Reim says:

    I need to try this but I still love a well crafted quilt of more traditional proportions and measures.

  61. Lisa Garrett says:

    I have not been ruler free but I am very interested in learning.

  62. Danielle says:

    I have so many random scraps that these frameworks whom he be perfect for!

  63. Naomi says:

    I am taking 2 classes with Sherri this summer at QBL (Quilting By the Lake) and I am SO excited! I want to live and quilt more courageously!

  64. Jessica says:

    sounds right up my alley. Even when I use the ruler sometimes you. An easily assume it was ruler free. That’s what I get for not having patience.

  65. beth p says:

    I’ve done some improve piecing but not really sewn too much ruler free. This book looks great!

  66. Rosemary Small says:

    I am obsessed with tearing fabric on the grain. I made a a traditional block quilt recently. To a save a few bucks I made the back from large randomly pieced strips and bits from my rips pile. My husband and I both prefer the random side up!. More organic.

  67. Laura in MD says:

    I’ve done just a tiny little bit of improv piecing but I love the way it looks and would love to explore it some more.

  68. stanleybeagle says:

    oh my goodness, the idea of improv makes me nervous… but then I worry when I make my precise cuts too, so maybe I should try it!

  69. Debby says:

    I love the idea of going ruler free and really just letting the piece speak to me.

  70. Barb says:

    I would love this book because I, too, want to give this a try, but am hesitant. It seems like you learn as you go and don’t worry about “mistakes” but it still overwhelms me a bit. Thanks for the nice post!

  71. Joan says:

    Cool! I’m up to the challenge to try this!

  72. Jeanne Kelly says:

    I just started quilting and am happy to see this more artistic form of quilting – I love to break the rules!

  73. Bridget says:

    Wow! This looks so liberating! I want to go with the flow and create! create! create!

  74. Laurie says:

    I have loads of scraps and the only way they are going to get used is via improv- I don’t have the patience to cut them all up into uniform sizes.

  75. kathyh says:

    I think rulers are what keeps some people from quilting.
    I’ve sewn long enough to just go with the flow, making it up as I go.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  76. Peggi says:

    Oh my gosh, I just LOVE the looks of these quilts!

    Thank you for the opportunity to be the recipient of the giveaway of Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. I recently took a class which featured free form cutting and piecing of wavy lines which was something new to me. I enjoyed that and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for quilt improv in my head.

    Thanks for a great blog!
    Peggi

  77. Liesel says:

    This looks really interesting!

  78. Jenny says:

    This concept would set me free! The book sounds wonderful!

  79. Lauren Suarez says:

    This book looks amazing!! I use rulers a lot but always enjoy myself so much more when I skip the rulers and just go with the flow!! Thank you!!

  80. Jen says:

    That looks like a really fun book!

  81. sangeetha says:

    WOW for someone who is not very structured this book fits the bill. Those quilts look amazing

  82. jessicac says:

    Sewing straight lines is so challenging for me… this would help me accept it!

  83. Jenifer says:

    Just took a class about this. Love her thought process and quilts!

  84. Jessie Hansen says:

    Tip number 5 is my favorite. I once cut 6 yards of Sari silk into 3/4-1″ strips all by hand. I can’t assure you they were any better at the end but I think to think they were. That made some groovy yarn!

  85. Mims says:

    I love the idea of scores instead of patterns. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

  86. Gretchen says:

    I love the idea of going ruler free. I get a little anxious when doing improv work, but the outcome always is more satisfying than slavishly following a pattern.

  87. HeatherK says:

    I would love to learn more! Those quilts are so beautiful and I love “modern”. So far I’ve just been chicken to really go there.

  88. I think I need this book! Improv piecing is hard for me, it makes me very uncomfortable 🙂

  89. cala nanda says:

    I just finally finished off and bound an improve piece I started in a Denyse Schmidt workshop a couple if years ago, and I have to say, this is the kind of quilting that works for me. I don’t aspire to be fussy,but I would like to ho emy design skills, and I think this book could help me do that!

  90. Mina says:

    I love that no quilts are the same. Each piece of work is unique because you cannot duplicate improv work.

  91. Jayne says:

    Love to have this book! I adore, love and am addicted to no rulers (most of the time)! It really is a fun and freeing way to create something one -of-a-kind and super special.

  92. Niechelle Wade says:

    This is wonderful! I sort of had this whole concept hidden inside, thank you for allowing it to break free. Looking forward to experimenting!

  93. sue kaiser says:

    I really want a book like this so I can have some inspiration to improvise.

  94. JMJ says:

    Fantastic quilts, love to give it a try!

  95. cynthia says:

    It’s an exciting thought but I admit to being apprehensive. Would love to read the book, take a deep breath, and jump into improv quilting!

  96. Jeanne S says:

    I go back and forth on ruler free, but I think the ruler free days are a giant opportunity for exploring what other factors besides order make a beautiful quilt. Patterns to me are really skill builders—they allow you to get to the point of achieving a look, and maybe heading in a direction you are going in, but I’m not sure I ever came out with the same thing, because I was heading to a different place by changing the fabric, and swapping out blocks with variations of the skill–the what happens when I do something else with the little pieces I’ve made. Looking at the test gallery photos, I think that the biggest growth that comes out of ruler free is that it forces the quilter to rely on their instincts and use color and value balance to tell a story of share a feeling out of a pile of fabric scraps. I have a love hate relationship with the days I pull out the tiny scraps and make big pieces of fabric out of little ones, because the exercise always has a bit of struggling to see the vision of what works, but almost always the end result is something I love.

  97. FLOR CHAVARRIA says:

    Scary but interesting. I a ocd about precision, so it would be a major change for me

  98. I’m making a thimble blossoms swoon block mini quilt. Is love to learn how to make improved (improv-ed lol) pieces.

  99. Connie says:

    One of the reasons to go ruler free was that soon I’d be able to cut an exact one once strip grabbed my attention. I’m very measurement challenged and can’t believe I could do this one day. That statement alone intrigues me. Making a modern quilt is definitely on my bucket list, but I need some guidance to get started.

  100. Rhonda says:

    I just about hyperventilate when I have to do improv work. I would love to feel better about it and I bet this book would help.

  101. MARY JO says:

    Would love to learn more about the whole creative process

  102. MARY JO says:

    I would love to learn more about the creative process.

  103. JillB says:

    Wow! This looks so freeing! I’ve never made a quilt without rulers, but am really tired of patterns that everyone else is making and would love to give my creative side (who knew I had one?) a boost. This looks like just the thing!

  104. april says:

    I’ve never sewn ruler-free, but I intend to make a crazy free-form quilt one day. I saw a book about free-form quilts last year and it looks really fun. And hard to mess up!

  105. Margie S. says:

    Interesting concept. Would like to learn more about it.

  106. Anita says:

    This is definitely a book for me; it would improve my skills tremendously!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  107. Ellen A says:

    I am too nervous without a ruler! Looking forward to breaking free!

  108. Susanne says:

    I have been wanting to try improv piecing for some time! I’m a former math teacher, so “letting go” of past beliefs that everything needs to be measured and precise has been hard for me to let go. I love the pictures of Sherri’s “artwork”—because that is what I think of free form piecing. Definitely a book I want!!!!

  109. Bethany M says:

    I like sewing ruler free with scraps.

  110. Ruth Lutz says:

    What truly unique quilts! I have never seen anything like them! The concept of “ruler free” is new to me, but the photos of these beautiful quilts makes me want to try this technique.
    Warm regards,
    Ruth L

  111. Tamie says:

    Love ruler free in theory- scares me to death in reality.

  112. Michelle says:

    I’m a quilting newbie. So much that I’m still just reading books, looking for inspiration, dreaming of projects. Can you apply these techniques if your only experience is with apparel? I’d love to try, I see these pictures and keep thinking “how is this quilt constructed?”

  113. Karen A says:

    Ruler free work is challenging and exciting. It’s also a little scary. Better to practice with fabric that might not be your favorite.

  114. Lee says:

    I would love to try some free form quilting! thanks!

  115. Lynda Burns says:

    What an innovative idea. I love the spontaneity.It could be either freeing–or paralyzing!
    But what a rush to try.

    Lynda in Spokane

  116. Karen Caves says:

    What a freeing experience to make a quilt ruler free….would love to try this technique!

  117. Jeanette B. says:

    I’ve only done 1 quilt without rulers and it was large pieces. I would love to have a copy of Sherri’s book. It would probably help me to understand the concepts
    More and give me some confidence and direction.

  118. Mom C says:

    I’m going backwards. I started quilting improv and have moved into more precise methods. I think there is a balance of knowing good technique and knowing when to go with the flow. So now I do both and feel comfortable choosing the method I think expresses what I want for that particular quilt. Looks like a fascinating book. Thanks.

  119. Linda Fleming says:

    Looks like a wonderful book, I look forward to reading it soon.
    Love the examples of the floating squares.
    I admit I’m a bit apprehensive with Improv work but I’m sure working through the scores in Sherri’s Book will increase my confidence and be a great learning experience! To put aside the ruler and not cut every block to the exact same shape and size will be a treat!

  120. Sue says:

    This is something that I would love to try…on a small scale to start, as I am a bit intimidated by the thought of what the final project will look like. As a math teacher, I’m into exact measurement and would love to release the creative being within. Maybe this book would help me be brave enough to give it a try.

  121. Ellen M. says:

    I’m a relatively new quilter yet this is a completely different way of thinking and approaching quilting. I think it would be fun to try, once I got my nerve up! Thanks!

  122. N FL Lou says:

    I tend to be slightly obsessive about measuring, so the idea of a ruler free technique scares the stuffings out of me. At the same time it sounds a little freeing. I think I need this book! The Improv Handbook and Living Courageously in the title of the same quilting book would do me a world of good. A giveaway doesn’t do me any harm either. Courageous quilting, what a thought?!?

  123. Beth T. says:

    I’m becoming more comfortable with improv piecing, but it’s early days for me and ruler-free cutting. I still feel very daring every time I make a cut–which is kind of exhilarating!

  124. jeanette says:

    I’m not sure I understand what is meant by scores or frameworks. I have been a traditional quilter for 30+ years and haven’t tried free form piecing. It sounds interesting and it would definitely be a stretch and stepping outside of my comfort zone for sure!!!

  125. Charlotta Norby says:

    This type of book is perfect for improv. It’s the format Gwen Marston has used in her Liberated Quilting books. To include actual patterns would make no sense, it wouldn’t be improv if you followed a pattern!

  126. Kellie Warren says:

    I meant woobie. Stupid auto correct. That’s embarrassing.

  127. Kellie Warren says:

    oh my goodness, I would LOVE to sew ruler free. The OCD neat freak in me may have a panic attack but, I am inspired by this post and think I am going to give it a try. Lol, I have no idea how to even begin without a ruler. Ha, it will be interesting. It’s like a woodie for me, like my grandbaby and her blanket.

  128. Susan Zakanycz says:

    I like the improvisational way of quilting. I enjoy the freedom of not using a ruler and it allows me to just respond to the fabric, color and shapes!

  129. bookboxer says:

    The only time I made a quilt was when we traced the pattern pieces on cardboard and then onto the fabric and HAND CUT each piece (well, maybe you had folded the fabric so you cut two at once). Without a ruler? Without measuring? Yikes – that’s a real leap of faith for this oldster, and one she’d love to make!

  130. Sherry VF says:

    Wow! I never really thought about creating a quilt totally ruler free. I’ve done sections of a quilt ruler free, like blocks of even or ‘random’ sizes, but never totally ruler free. I’m definitely intrigued. svonfumetti at yahoo dot com

  131. kbo says:

    Refreshing concept with one of a kind results. This is a must have book for reference.

  132. Margaret says:

    I participated in the improv round robin workshop that is featured in Sherri Lynn’s book. It was definitely hard to give up the ruler, but by the end of the day I felt much more comfortable cutting without one.

  133. Jessica says:

    I’m terrified of going ruler free, but you make it sound fun, and this book is inspiration to do so!

  134. Fran Bott says:

    I totally understand about energy being drained away with all the measuring and precision cutting. While I have only done a little with quilts, I do make a few purses. The cutting and preciseness are the worst (hardest) parts. I am all for the spontaneous and free form, now that is a way to be creative.
    I just may have to work on one with all the leftover fabric that i have piling up. it is a great way to be jut me!

  135. Corky says:

    I am trying to use as much negative space as positive space, trying to use more of a mixture of fabrics, especially solids and I’m trying to go ‘ruler free’. Thanks for the great giveaway! I hope traditional quilting hasn’t hampered my improv but it does seem to be more difficult for me than new modern quilters.

  136. Rochelle says:

    Wow! Seems I need to let go of some of my AAA personality!!

  137. I will probably like the scores/frames approach as I dislike exact replicas. As to ruler free, the first time I tried it I felt naked and sure I’d slice my fingers. Once I got over that, I liked the effect. Not sure it is always the effect I want, and I’ll reserve judgment on ruler free straight cutting till I have read the book.

  138. Sarah J. says:

    I did a few pages of improv piecing (but I used a ruler to trim it to square at the end!) in a fabric book for a friend’s new baby. As a newish quilter it was fun to just run with it, and being a small project I knew if I didn’t like it I would just try again! Would love to try it on a larger scale- and I am saving lots of strings and bits of fabric for it!

  139. Sally says:

    I started sewing long before rotary cutting and specialty rulers were available. Guess I’m going back to the beginning with improve piecing, it is very freeing.

  140. Susan says:

    I love this style of quilting and have wanted to give it a go, but am stymied about how to start. I’d love a chance at this book.

  141. Elizabethdee says:

    The thought of cutting without a ruler scares me — which is why I think I need to try it. I tend to follow project instructions almost slavishly and to get very perfectionistic about making everything align. This mindset introduces a little anxiety at each step — silly but true — and makes piecing a love/hate thing for me. The improv approach looks like it would be much more fun! Thanks for highlighting the book and for a chance to win it.

  142. kristie says:

    I just adore this idea of working with some limitations but freeing yourself from strict rules.

  143. Suzanne says:

    i think these reasons would easily translate into a credo to hang on my sewing room wall. I hope to get a copy of the book for closer review.

  144. Laurie says:

    Wow — I love those floaters! I can see how some guidelines and examples would give me the courage to go crazy with improv … I’ll look for this book (unless I win it …)
    Thanks

  145. Kathy E. says:

    What an eye-opener to have such gorgeous designs (free-flowing, I know) without the constraints of rulers and precise measurements. I am totally intrigued by this idea and want to know more! (The book is now on my Mother’s Day wish list!)

  146. Cindy H says:

    yes! I’ve always wondered why you couldn’t just let loose and be creative. This is great!! I love the scores and then let your mind go wild with the rest. You’ll be seeing a lot more innovative quilts after this book!

  147. Mary Ann says:

    Would love to try going ruler free…. It is a bit intimidating

  148. Octavia says:

    I recently jumped into my pile of scraps just to see what would happen. I never “finished” it but it was immensely fun and in the moment.

  149. Ann Taecker says:

    ruler free? A new way of thinking – I love pushing the boundaries of my precision trained brain into new ways of thinking – and working! This will be interesting, and fun! Now, off to the studio…

  150. Cindy G. says:

    I have a friend who quilts and she has a “half stitch” rule when she is piecing blocks. If a seam is off by more than a half a stitch, she rips it out and re-stitches it. While I can understand the effects it would have on the final project if every seam was off by a little bit, it makes me a bit crazy when I see her doing it. And, because I know that she’s right, but can’t imagine being that precise myself, I stay away from any quilting projects that require matching of seams (I like paper piecing and English paper piecing, however). So, going ruler free sounds like it’s just the thing for me (and it could make an interesting challenge for my friend- she’s an engineer, so I don’t know if she could handle the less structured format 🙂 ).

  151. Courtney a says:

    I love the character ruler free gives. So unique and personal. Thanks.

  152. Dana says:

    Thanks for sharing this is my favorite line of sewing book!

  153. Ann says:

    I like the freedom of improv curves. I am interested to read the book and understand what is meant by scores more.

  154. Kathy Hassig says:

    Those are very cool. For me the idea is exciting and scary at the same time!

  155. So happy that ruler free quilting is back!

  156. cynthia says:

    I’ve never tried ruler-free, so maybe it’s about time!

  157. joanne roberts says:

    Thank you for such an inspirational book. I was always afraid to quilt because I’m not very good at measurments. For people like me this book will validate our own way of sewing. Its OK to color outside the lines
    Joanrob8@aol.com

  158. marilyn says:

    The quilts look fabulous!! I love the idea of improv quilting but quite frankly it terrifies me!

  159. carole says:

    This is amazing! I spend my whole working week trying to be precise and perfect and check things off lists, so the idea of my weekend sewing time being completely the opposite is just mind boggling! I’d love a copy of this book.

  160. Jenn says:

    I’m love the idea of frameworks. I find that if I have at least a little structure, I can let go and experiment more. Thanks for the chance to win!

  161. Susan says:

    The “happy accident” concept is just what I need at the moment!

  162. Cassandra says:

    I love sewing improv curves without using a ruler, but I’m not so brave when it comes to attempting straight lines!

  163. Sandy C says:

    I agree that the no ruler idea is scary!! It seems like an interesting idea to try, though.

  164. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to see this book! I just saw a technique for making a quilt that uses precise measurements and cuts, but looks like it has no rhyme or reason when finished. it will be interesting to contrast that to these methods.

  165. Tonia Jeffery says:

    I find it really fun and fast.

  166. Allison C says:

    im pretty structured and improve with rulers can be hard for me, but this is intriguing! Maybe I could outside my comfort zone and learn something new.

  167. Becky Greene says:

    i would love to try my hand at improv. Sewing – it seems so liberating!

  168. usairdoll says:

    WoW! Love all the color and movement. I have not sewn without using a ruler, actually the thought never even occurred to me, hehe. I think it would be a blast to try. I know when I tried thread painting for the first time, it was very “freeing”. Can’t wait to see more!

    Awesome giveaway!

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

  169. It would scare me to death, but maybe the OCD person deep within would be happy to give up control! 🙂

  170. Julie says:

    i have never been good at measuring but I can eyeball things pretty well so ruler free sounds perfect for me

  171. Diane says:

    I need to try this. It might make that stash of fabric I have decrease. I’m often afraid to make a mistake in cutting!

  172. audrey says:

    I would love to give this method a better try. It is really interesting to go ruler-free! This book is on my wish list for sure.:)

  173. LisaT says:

    So excited! I’m taking a class with Sherri tomorrow morning!!! I am ready to go ruler free!

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