Improv Round Robin ~ Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association

SCVQA, Improv Round Robin

I recently facilitated an Improv Round Robin workshop and spoke at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. When I asked the 300 or so members present at the guild meeting, if they had improvised a quilt, more than two-thirds raised their hands! Improv patchwork is catching like wildfire, even in the long established guilds.

The Improv Round Robin was super fun. I was so impressed by the cohesiveness of the group. You can see by the outcome of their quilts that they listened and responded with skill and courage! Click on the thumbnails to get a closer look.

If you participated in this or one of my other Improv Round Robins, or have organized one on your own with friends, I want to hear about your surprises, discoveries, satisfactions and dissatisfactions! Please share!

If your guild or shop is interested in having me lead an Improv Patchwork workshop for your community I still have room in my 2015 schedule. Contact Me!



Posted in Community, Events and Workshops, Modern Improv | Tagged , | 2 Comments

La supposition où je suis ?


Oui, oui je suis à Paris France!


La ville la plus romantique dans le monde. Paris est beau! Plus venir…


The most romantic city in the world. Paris is beautiful! More to come…

Posted in Personal Heritage, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , | 12 Comments

QuiltCon Choices – Which class to take?


QuiltCon registration is opening soon. Wondering which workshop to take? I’m debuting three improvisational workshops and a lecture based on projects featured in my forthcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, which will hopefully be available at QuiltCon – finger’s crossed! I just saw the first galleys of the book design and it’s so exciting…

Anyway back to QuiltCon choices.


Thursday February 19: 2 – 2:45 PM Improvisational Process and Patchwork

Improvisation is a process of mind at the heart of every great creative endeavor. Music, dance, theater, painting, drawing, design, cooking, conversation, relationships, play, life, and even science benefit, survive, grow, transform, and innovate through the flexibility of mind that improvisational process engenders. We all improvise every day, so why not bring it into our quilt making! This multi-media presentation includes images of classic African-American quilts in the improvisational style, new work featured in The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters (available early 2015), student work, and time-lapse video of my process.


Friday, February 20: 030 Bias Strip Curves

BiasStripCurve-Daisy-72dpi-cropMaster the innovative improvisational technique of strip piecing on the curve with troubleshooting tips on how to flatten internal distortions as they arise. Explore construction methods for incorporating bias strip curve piecing in both traditional and improvisational compositions. This technique will challenge your skill set and awaken your beginner’s mind.

So this isn’t an easy class, but that’s the whole point. The challenge presented by tricky piecing situations is a gateway for improvisation and innovation. Not only will you learn how to strip piece on the curve without the use of a ruler or templates, you will be encouraged to discover, master, and innovate your own unique set of patchwork techniques based on the skills you already have. Take this workshop if mastering challenging techniques and/or working with curves lights your fire!

Saturday, February 21: 512 Improvisational Patchwork Doodling

Patchwork Doodle

Doodling is the model for this playful approach to improvisational patchwork. A doodle is not planned or random, but responsive. You will be urged to let go of expectations and commit one-step-at-a-time as you build patterns with simple shapes and negative space into a surprising composition, utilizing basic ruler free sewing techniques. 

This is going to be a totally fun and playful workshop. You will learn how to create a quilt responsively –a middle path that falls between random scrappiness and planned blocks. All the ruler-free patchwork techniques are easy to master and you get to use scraps. Working with simple shapes outside the structure of the block, will give you a fresh take on patterning. Adding negative space to the simple shapes has the potential to rock the house! Take this workshop if you are inspired by scraps and have the desire to push beyond scrappy to make a quilt greater than its parts.

Sunday, February 22: 513 Improvising From A Score

Score for Floating Squares

A jazz score indicates the elements of a song without specifying how it’s played. Now imagine a score written for patchwork! You will improvise a quilt by altering the limits of a simple patchwork score for floating squares. You will learn basic ruler free sewing techniques and how to create original scores for future projects.

This workshop explores the central concept put forth in the Improv Handbook, working with and passing along flexible patterns, which I call scores. We are used to passing along fixed patterns with the goal of replicating them perfectly. When a flexible pattern is handed on from one quiltmaker to another it is the range of possible variations of a pattern that is transmitted instead. We will learn flexible patterning by making and altering the score for Floating Squares. Take this workshop if you want to learn how to create and share your own flexible patterns. This is Improv 2.0!


BTW – If you can’t make it to QuiltCon, I just signed up to teach two-day, and three-day improv workshops at Quilting By The Lake in July 2015… or invite me to teach at your local guild or quilt shop. I still have dates available in 2015!

Posted in Community, Events and Workshops | Tagged | 21 Comments

Teaching! Spoonflower, QuiltCon and more!

biaspetalquilt-daisyDaisy, ©2014 by Sherri Lynn Wood

I’m on the East Coast for the next two weeks and VERY excited to be teaching at Spoonflower for the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild, at Tabby Fabric and Studio in beautiful Beaufort, SC and for the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.

Check out the event details on or on the new Facebook GROUP for the Improv Handbook. When you join click on “Notifications” in the top right corner under the cover photo and choose “All Posts.”

Also the workshops and lectures for QuiltCon have been announced. They have a very impressive lineup in 2015. There will be a lot of improv goin’ round!  I will post in more detail about the three brand new improv workshops I’m debuting at QuiltCon before registration opens on June 24.

PS> Yes, in case you’re wondering, I must have been unconsciously inspired by the Spoonflower logo when I was making Daisy. It wasn’t intentional it just happened? I don’t know where this stuff comes from ;)


Posted in Community, Events and Workshops | Leave a comment

38,564 words and twelve new quilts!

ImprovHandbook_quiltsWhoopee! Yep that’s how many words I wrote for The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Wow was that a lot of work. I turned in the final manuscript with the help of the my amazing copy editor, Christine Doyle last week! Christine is also a quilt maker and member of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. She really got that my goal was to write a book on improvisational process with project guidelines that didn’t rely on step-by-step instructions or fixed patterns. She calls it Improv 2.0.


Also delivered last week were hundreds of images taken by the super talented photographer Sara Remington with her assistant Nicole Rejwan. I loved working with Sara and her whole team. They are pros and a lot of fun. During our last 9 hr photo shoot, while Sara was shooting images of my hand sewing tools and supplies –thimble, needles, scissors, yarn, thread, and batting, I felt humbled and so incredibly grateful that my creative live was being documented and soon to be shared in such a beautiful and intimate way. I can’t wait for you to see the pictures! I have no doubt that this book will have the most beautiful technique photos you’ve ever laid eyes on -let alone the real beauty shots! How many times did I say the word BEAUTIFUL in this paragraph?


Working with Melanie Falick, the managing editor, and her staff at STC Craft can only be described as a joy. They have taken such good care of me throughout this process. They’ve supported my vision 100%. I’ve now passed the torch on and the book designers are taking the lead. They are shaping the raw material of words and images into a book. I can’t wait to see what they put together. Apparently there will be four passes or design reviews and then it’s off to the printer. Our goal is to launch The Improv Handbook at QuiltCon in February 2015, where I will be giving a lecture (Thursday, Feb. 19 at 2PM) and teaching three workshops (Fri. Sat. Sun. 9AM-5PM) based on projects and techniques featured in the book.


This week I’ve been tying up loose ends. I couldn’t have handled all the details without the help of my smart, sweet and talented intern Lukaza Branfman-Verissmo. She’s an undergrad at the California College of Art and definitely a young up and coming artist to watch. Lukaza helped me with the test/contributor quilting aspect of the book project, by communicating with over 230 fellow quilters directly, and by setting up the online forum and submissions process for the test quilts. Lukaza has finished her work with me and is off on a scholarship trip in July to connect with print making communities in Japan.


Okay well I did it! I’m just happy that I did it! I’m amazed that I did it! I did it with the help of so many, including so many of you. Writing this book challenged me to grow a hundred fold in all directions. I’ve become a better collaborator. I’ve gained in my ability to let go of control and let others help me shape and complete my vision. I practiced what I preached as I wrote and I’m a better improvisor and quilt maker because of it. Even though I’m about as exhausted as I’ve ever been, my mind is full of possibilities for new work and next steps. I can hardly wait!


It’s as if I’ve been on a boat for the last year and a half and I’ve just been dropped off on a new shore in my life. Everything is YES!

PS> I’m moving on Facebook – Move with me.

Join the new Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters Facebook GROUP, and let’s talk improv and patchwork. If you are a fan of my Daintytime facebook page please switch over and join the Daintytime Improv Handbook Group. When you join be sure to click on     “Notifications” in the top right corner under the cover photo and choose “All Posts”and you will be notified of posts by all the members.

FB has cut organic reach for Pages which means you will not be getting Daintytime FB posts in your story feed anymore unless I pay $5 every time I post. So I’ve started a FB Group and will eventually close my FB Page. Actually it’s better this way. Groups allow for more direct exchange between members. I will be moving all events associated with the Improv Handbook and my teaching/lecturing schedule to the Daintytime Improv Handbook FB Group. Membership is open to everyone! Let’s talk improv and patchwork!

BTW:  Also join me on Instagram: @daintytime and Twitter: @daintytime

Posted in Art and Social Practice, Community, My Creative Process, Personal Heritage | Tagged | 27 Comments

What blocks and/or supports your improvisational flow?

Thank You Improv Handbook Test Quilters

First I want to thank the 230 plus people who participated in testing out the project scores for the Improv Handbook. As a group you submitted 164 quilts to be reviewed for the book. Each one of them was amazing in it’s own way. My editor was very pleased and we both felt like this was a good sign that the time is ripe for a book that provides an in depth exploration of improvisational process for quilters.

Because of budget restraints we were only able to choose 22 quilts for print publication. HOWEVER there will be an online forum that will include all 164 of the test quilts submitted so far. Together they are quite wonderful to behold! I can’t wait for you to see them. The online forum will be posted when the book is released in the spring of 2015.

If you signed on but were unable to finish your test quilt for the book deadline, no worries – you have the rest of the year to finish and submit your quilt for the online forum.  Just follow this link: Improv Handbook Test Quilt Submission Form. This is for new submissions only. The 164 quilts already submitted for the book, will automatically be included in the online forum.

What blocks and supports your improvisational flow?

That being said I want to pose a question to ALL the test quilters, AND more widely to EVERYONE who improvises through patchwork or through other creative disciplines.

What are the forces that drive and support your improvisational process and the forces that restrain and block your flow? Many of the people who submitted quilts for the book wrote about feeling stuck, or getting lost, or almost giving up before they were able to move forward with a composition that surprised them and that they ended up loving.

Please elaborate if this is your experience. I would like to hear about what blocked you – both internally and externally. Were you blocked by not having a sense of control? Overwhelmed with choices? Not enough choices? Not having a design wall?… whatever it may be.

Also I would like to hear about the driving forces, internally and externally, that support your improvisational work. Does curiosity or the desire to explore something new drive your exploration?  Does a submission deadline for a show or a book motivate you? Does working in community support your success or does the solitude of your studio help you most? What else?

If there were forces restraining your improvisational flow how did you move past, overcome, or undo those forces to move forward?

Please comment below on your experiences with driving and restraining forces that either support or block your improvisational process. I’m writing about this in the book and would very much appreciate your input. Thanks!


Posted in Craft Therapy, Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv | Tagged , , , | 44 Comments

50! ?

It’s my birthday today and I’m FIFTY years old! How did that happen?


Well no matter. Here I am, still hanging in there, learning something new everyday. I have so much to be thankful for, including family and friends, a strong and healthy body, a wonderful studio and work environment, enough money to meet my needs, a great day job, an amazing supportive community of fellow artists and quilt makers, an opportunity to share my craft with you through my blog and this crazy book I’ve been working on for the last year. Wow!


Anyway I just wanted to say thank you. I promise to get back to blogging more once I’ve turned my manuscript to the publishers in mid-May.

Spring blessings all around!


“Getting older is one of the best things that can happen to a person……see how lucky you’re becoming?” ~ from my friend Dan

Posted in Blogging, Community, Personal Heritage | Tagged , | 48 Comments