Jumping back in here after a roller coaster eight months. We’ll talk about some of that later but there’s a lot happening and even more to come, so let’s get back to business.
I have been doing improv patchwork since my early days of sewing. It has always felt like a type of meditation with fabric to me. I find that it can help me to tune in to how I am feeling and give me a sense of grounding. I have been lucky to have taken many improv patchwork classes from many different teachers, including Denyse Schmidt and Cheryl Arkison. Everyone has a different approach and style that open my mind a bit more the infinite possibilities within this technique. When the opportunity came to bring Sherri Lynn Wood to the workroom, it felt like a dream come true. A very big thank you to Pam at Mad About Patchwork for organizing everything so that our two shops could have this experience with Sherri. The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is one of my favourite quilting books and Sherri’s approach to improv is so incredibly inspiring.
I really loved how Sherri related improv patchwork to our daily improv in life. There are so many important lessons to learn when you sew this way and I can see more and more that I consciously use these lessons when I hit roadblocks in my daily life. I generally feel less stressed and look for creative solutions to make things work no matter how bad things seem and I’m sure it is because of my conscious improv practice.
Commit one step at a time. Be in the present, don’t try to plan ahead.
Yes AND – build on what you have, if you don’t like it, add something so that you will love it
Set limits but feel free to change those if you get bored
Listen to your internal cues
Ruler free – express your own line in your work
I started three really exciting pieces over the course of her classes that I’m really looking forward to finishing. I’ve decided to do wall hangings rather than larger quilts. I challenged myself to only using solids in the first two sessions. I used two of our curated Kona bundles. For the final class I added in a couple prints that I was inspired by that day and worked in leftover solids from the previous days. These are going to be awesome when they are finished. The work that everyone produced over the three days was really amazing to see. Each person interpreted the ideas in such unique ways.
Sherri traveled such a long way to visit us (California!) and I had such a lovely time hanging out and learning from her. If we’re lucky, maybe she’ll come back to Toronto again. If you have the chance to learn from her, you should definitely take it! Thank you so much, Sherri!