QUILTCON ~ Day 3: Improv Round Robin

I ran out of blogging steam after my third day of teaching improv workshops at QuiltCon, but I’m finally back in Oakland, settled into my routine, and ready to report.

With each workshop, I approach the improvisational process from a different discipline. For the Improv Round Robin, which is essentially communal, we followed the cardinal rule of improv theater  –no matter what fellow performers say or do always affirm and build on their actions to keep the skit going.

It turns out that this is also a great way to succeed at conversation. The best conversations unfold when participants work together to affirm and build or say “Yes And…” In the next conversation you have notice how quickly a “Yes But…” will kill the exchange.

During the Improv Round Robin, students are encouraged to think about improvisation as a conversation. They are asked to listen for the conversation laid out in the patterns made by the people who worked on the quilt before them, and then respond in turn by affirming, joining and adding to that conversation, before passing the quilt to their neighbor for the next round.

If you look at the results above closely, you will see that some conversations are more coherent than others. At the end of the workshop many of the students noted that as in life, some quilt conversations are easier to join and participate in than others.

All of my QuiltCon classes and students were awesome! They (you) worked hard and I think it shows. Can you believe that all 26 of these beautiful round robin quilt tops were made in just six hours?!

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13 Responses to QUILTCON ~ Day 3: Improv Round Robin

  1. Pingback: Stitch Modern Workshop: Round Robin Improv with Sherri Lynn Wood | East Bay Modern Quilt Guild

  2. Pingback: Zebra Quilt | mildly gifted

  3. Nancy L says:

    oh man! that is exactly what I needed to see today! there is a place in sacramento that provides transitional housing to young homeless families… and there is a 6 month old that just arrived. and I am inspired to transform this big pile of scraps into a warm quilt for him! like spinning straw into gold.. thank you once again for lovely inspiration. wish I could have been there.. those women look like fun!

  4. Reanna says:

    These are great — what are you going to do with them?

  5. Evonne says:

    I do so love the conversational and collaborative nature of each of these. Others would definitely add a dash of a different style and signature to your piece. I find each of these pieces strangely moving, like a document with different signatures or a time capsule. I think they really capture the gesture of each person who touched it. Like their unique handwriting or something. I think it’s also a process of letting go, of giving up control. They look less rigid than a predetermined pattern. I myself find improv quilting or improv composition so difficult. Difficult to let go and difficult to “be free”. We’ve been too well trained to color within the lines!

  6. Cleta says:

    I would love to take this class from you. The quilts are colorful and amazing.

  7. john wiercioch says:

    What a great plethora of interesting colors, patterns, textures and beautiful smiles! Clearly you have a gift for unlocking the spontaneity and vitality in everyone with whom you work, Sherri! I hope they signed you up for next year!

  8. Mina says:

    These look great. This is the class that I want to take next time as it looks so much fun and creative.

  9. Looks like a bunch of happy customers with some wonderful quilts. Sounds like SO MUCH FUN!

  10. mjb says:

    There’s a beautiful variety of designs here

  11. Gillian says:

    What an amazing workshop. The quilts are incredible, so full of colour and life.

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