cascading pools


I actually haven’t been very productive yet this year (well, that’s not totally true – I’ve tried really hard to be productive, but keep ending up overthinking things and wasting precious sewing time. Alas.) Luckily I can now show you this quilt, which is one I made nearly a year ago, and look productive all at the same time!


I rarely say yes to these kinds of things, but when Sherri Lynn Wood posted that she was looking for contributors to her upcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, I decided to submit a quilt for consideration. I was very much intrigued by the concept for her book, which provides a series of ‘scores’ to guide you to make a number of improv quilts. You already know I’m not much of a pattern-follower. I seem to work better by piecing fabrics improvisationally and allowing the work to evolve as I go. The scores that Sherri provide fall somewhere between the two – giving you certain parameters and a set of guidelines, yet still allowing your work to evolve as you go. I think it’s a really great way to explore a variety of improv techniques (I’m excited to see what type of score she provides for piecing curves).


Don’t worry – I’m not giving anything away by showing you this quilt. It wasn’t selected to be included in the book, but I’m really happy to have made it. The score I followed was a lot of fun, and I really loved seeing how the quilt turned out. [Interestingly enough, I feel like I may have actually been overthinking this quilt – having an idea in mind of how I thought it would/should turn out, and therefore having a bit of trouble letting go and just piecing fabrics as Sherri describes.]

I used some fun fabrics in whites, grays and turquoises, including one of my favorite Maze & Vale prints (that great gray heart print, which is being retired, so if you love it too, be sure to grab some now!). That gray solid is a double gauze and it makes me want to make all the quilts out of double gauze fabrics – so soft (I’ve already been dreaming of a Bespoke quilt, despite not yet having any of the fabric in hand!)


The backing is a solid piece of an Anna Maria Horner print. I usually piece a backing from leftovers from the front, or use a larger piece of one of the prints I used in the quilt top, but this time I opted to go with something different. I like how it adds another fabric to this quilt which uses a relatively small number of prints/solids. (Binding is Kona Raisin, a long time favorite – and one I particularly love with turquoise)


I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Sherri’s book come March. I know I’m going to want to give a few of her other scores a try!

_ _ _

P.S. Thank you to those who notified me of a blog issue, and apologies for those who received strange email notifications and/or noticed random posts about restaurants. It’s being looked into now, and hopefully should be all sorted out soon!


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27 Responses to cascading pools

  1. 1
    Linda says:

    I just love this quilt! I can’t figure out how it went together.

  2. 2
    Beth says:

    I really love your quilt, too! Thank you for giving the heads up about the gray heart fabric, I was particularly admiring it. And, may I say, I also admire your attitude. So many of us won’t even try things (cough, me), and then if they do, they have a bad attitude if they don’t win or get chosen. I love your attitude. I wish the world was like you 🙂 and you certainly did get a stunning quilt for it. I’ll be looking with interest for the book to come out! And here I thought you might be turning into a local food critic, haha!

  3. 3
    Jane says:

    Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that! I always tend to over think everything lately and what a wate of time! Your cascading pools looks great. Kudos.

  4. 4

    This is just the kind of quilt I love – cute boots in your photo too!

  5. 5
    Terri Ann says:

    Your improv style is just wonderful. I’ve never done an improv quilt, they intimidate me. The rasin binding does perfectly frame the quilt, especially against that beautiful winter in Vermont landscape!

  6. 6
    sandy says:

    I love it, I really love it.

  7. 7

    Beautiful quilt! I just love the colors that you used.

  8. 8

    This is such a beautiful quilt, I love everything about it. Could I have your permission to use one of the images on the Modern Quilt Guild, London UK Facebook page and Blog, (we will of course link back to you). We’ve just set ourselves an Improv challenge and this is perfect as some inspiration. Thank you, Colette

  9. 9
    Verena says:

    A perfect wintery quilt – Love it!

  10. 10
    Cindy Pilkington says:

    Such a cool dreamy look to this quilt and the colors are perfect together! I like the quilting which just completes the modern random look. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. 11
    Kelly Cline says:

    As always, beautiful fabric choices!!

  12. 12

    Wow, I really like it! I like how different sections have a distinct color personality. Surprised it wasn’t included! I know she had a ton of contributor options, though. I was very tempted to try a score, but was in the depths of making Angled. Will be eager to see the book too!

  13. 13
    Jo Ann Moulds says:

    I love your submission to the improv quilt book. I would so like to try improv but I always fall back on a pattern. Always afraid I’ll ruin some lovely material and end up with a mess. I’ll look forward to the book.

  14. 14
    Julie Craven says:

    Nice, but I got so cold looking at your wonderful pictures

  15. 15
    Mina says:

    Very nice fabric combinations

  16. 16
    Michelle says:

    Love your version! I worked with this score as well last year and am so looking forward to seeing how others interpreted the same “instructions”. I can’t weit to get my hands on the book!

  17. 17

    Ashley, I LOVE this quilt. We almost chose this one for the book and I kind of wish we did. We actually loved all three of the quilts you submitted and chose the simpler one because it illustrated the score so well. BUT this was definitely my favorite. Thanks for sharing your process and your experience of making it with your community. AND for saying YES to my experiment.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Leslie says:

    This is so beautiful, Ashley! Love the colours and the name is spot on.

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  24. 20
    Julie says:

    I received my copy of Sherri’s book this week. I found your blog when I was looking for other quilts made using the score #1 instructions on google images. I am so amazed at your quilt. Your quilt is so beautiful.

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  26. 21
    Camilla says:

    This is fantastic. Don’t know how I missed it back in January? Love the colours and having a loose score to interpret sounds like a perfect way to approach improv. Like you I often can’t quite know how to start.

  27. 22
    Judy bendele says:

    I love the measured freedom of this quilt. I’ m trying to find and free my creative self

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