Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. On the last Improv Monday, over a month ago, the discussion was about Rules vs. Limits. To refresh your memory, I use limits to set parameters for my improv quilts. Often these limits will sound like a recipe or a musical score. For example...
"Floating Squares" performed by my Penland students, Bev Kates, Mackenzie Bullard, and Lori Solymosi.
A Score for Floating Squares:
- 2/3 yard of a solid
- 1/3 yard of either a stripe or a plaid
- String pieced fabric
- One square of wild card fabric, of any size, given to you by a friend
- Cut all of the solid & the plaid fabric into squares
- Wild card square can be cut into smaller squares
- All squares must be used in the quilt
- Use string pieced fabric as filler to piece the squares together
- Avoid inset seams
In music, a score can be used as a record of, a guide to, or a means to perform, a piece of music. The score documents a musical composition. However each performance of a score is unique and will result in variances.
A full score gives exact directions for each instrument, so there will be less variance in subsequent performances of a Beethoven concerto, for example.
In jazz and improv music, the score is usually a lead sheet providing direction only on the melody, or a chord chart which provides directions on rhythm and harmony, so there is a lot more room for variation within each performance.
I invite you to try performing A Score for Floating Squares. To find you own voice within the score, pay attention to the areas where the limits haven't been defined. For example the SIZE of the squares are open to interpretation. Also where might you deviate from the score, or build on it, to change the composition entirely?
Do you ever think about your quilt process as a performance? Any insights on the concept of viewing a quilt pattern as a score?