Improv Handbook X-Country Book Tour!

Dear Quilt Making Sisters and Brothers,

The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters is soon to be released on May 5. To celebrate I will be hitting the road June 1-10, to sign books and spread the joy of improv patchwork from Durham, NC to Oakland, CA. I’m in the initial stages of planning the Improv Handbook X-Country Book Tour and I need your help deciding locations.

I am looking for quilt shops, textile/craft museums, or book sellers who are willing to host book signing receptions en route. I will be offering either a short presentation or improv demo performance about improvisational process and patchwork in exchange.

Detail from The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters

Improvise! Creating, Quilting, & Living Courageously, 1hr presentation

Improvisation is at the heart of living creatively. Music, dance, theater, drawing, cooking, conversation, play, child rearing, and even science benefit from the flexibility of mind that improvisational process engenders. We all improvise every day. Attendees will leave with mind tools, tips and a fresh perspective on how to apply improv skills learned in life to their patchwork – and vice versa!


Improvise! Ruler-Free Patchwork Performance, 1hr demo

Basic strip, bias strip, wedge, curve, stack, float, repetition, flow, bleeding, darting, natural fit, approximate measuring, trouble shooting, and composition tips, tricks and techniques for ruler-free patchwork will be demonstrated and performed on the spot according to suggestions received from the audience. It’s an Improv Patchwork Theater Mashup! Attendees are invited (optional) to bring up to a 1/4 yd of fabric scraps for use in the patchwork performance. Venue provides sewing machine, ironing station, and work table.

I haven’t settled on a route yet, but would appreciate host suggestions for these possible locations:

  • Asheville, NC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Montgomery, AL
  • Nashville, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Little Rock, AK
  • Wichita, KS
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Springfield, MO
  • Jackson, MS
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Louisville, KY
  • Paduca, KY
  • Cincinnati OH
  • Chicago, IL
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Omaha, NE
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Boulder, CO
  • Boise, ID
  • Eugene, OR
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • San Lois Obispo, CA
  • Others???

Please comment below with the name of the city and venue recommendations, with contact info if possible — or email me privately. Also comment on the strength of the quilting community in that location, along with contact info of local quilt guilds – traditional or modern – whose members might be interested in attending such an event. Or please forward a link to this post to anyone who you think may be interested and able in hosting an event on the tour.

Thanks for your timely help! I will be announcing the itinerary for the Improv Handbook X-Country Book Tour soon. I hope to meet you there!

This entry was posted in Community, Events and Workshops, The Modern Quilt and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Improv Handbook X-Country Book Tour!

  1. Kat says:

    I realize Seattle is probably too far out of the way for this trip but if you don’t already know of Drygoods Design, put it on your radar for another time! It’s a beautiful store in Pioneer Square (the oldest part) of downtown Seattle. I look forward to seeing your book in person!

  2. alejandrina says:

    Would you come to Central Florida? Orlando area? We have a great guild affiliated with MQG…

    • sherrilynn says:

      I would love to someday. Not on this trip but I so appreciate the request. Perhaps a Florida regional tour in the coming year.

      • Allison says:

        Hi Sherri. We are a modern guild down in the Boca Raton/Fort Lauderdale area and we’d be interested if you ever make a trip to Florida. We also are friendly with many other guilds in Florida that I’m sure would welcome you with open arms. Please keep our contact details and get in touch if you decide to make the trip.

    • sherrilynn says:

      Also – I just responded to a request from Debbe representing the Orlando MQG is that the same guild you are speaking of Alejandrina?

  3. Lisa Gray says:

    I recommend The Cotton Ball in Morro Bay, CA (near San Luis Obispo, CA).

    • sherrilynn says:

      I love San Luis Obispo. That’s a stop close enough to drive to. I will keep this in mind as I plan a mini road trip around California – perhaps this fall. Thanks for the contact Lisa.

  4. Sarah Terry says:

    For Memphis, try the Sew Memphis shop. The owner has taken classes from you at Quiltcon. I just emailed this to her.

  5. Faith says:

    Sewn Studio in Cincinnati

  6. For Memphis, contact The Quilting Barn (owner Pat Vargo). I’d love to attend!

    • sherrilynn says:

      Thank you Julie! I appreciate the contact. Memphis is such a cool city. If I can’t fit it in on this tour I hope I can make it there in the near future. I will keep you posted!

  7. Jill Beitler says:

    Please stop in St. George, Utah. You’ll be driving through between your Salt Lake stop and Las Vegas. We have lots of quilters and quilt stores: Fab Fabrics/Superior Threads, Scrap Apple, or Quilted Works would all be stores that would promote your visit. Classes would be wonderful. Thanks, Jill

    • sherrilynn says:

      Two St. George people! Who knew. Thanks for these great suggestions. My route may take me north and I may miss St. George but the other most likely route could take me through St George. Thanks for speaking up! I will keep you posted Jill.

      PS – If I can’t make it on this tour then I would love to come and visit another time.

  8. Margaret Miller says:

    If you overlook St George UT you will miss a community of quilters that support 7+ quilt shops and host a huge Quilt Show with vendors of 200 displayed works of art! We are on I-15 which you would take to go South to Las Vegas from SLC, Ut. Two shops I would suggest contacting are Quilted Works ( owner Barb Johnson ) with web site or Scrap Apple, who host guests quite often (owner Shirley Baptist). The Dixie quilt Guild (check out our website) would be interested in having you as a teacher in 2017 ; are you interested?

    • sherrilynn says:

      That’s amazing Margaret! It is so exciting to hear about these thriving quilting communities that I was unaware of. I would love to come to St. George if it falls on the route, and it may. Thanks for speaking up I will definitely consider swinging through St. George if I can fit it in. I will keep you posted as the schedule evolves.

  9. Lorij says:

    The Yuba – Sutter Valley Quilt Guild is very active. Their email address is contact them they may be very interested. They are in Yuba City and Marysville California not far from Sacramento. There’s also the
    Sew So Shop,
    787 Plumas Street
    Yuba City, CA 95991
    There are many folks in this area as well as shops that specialize in quilting everything. As I told you when I first spoke with you I’m visiting my daughter but I’ve been to several shows and many of the shops. I don’t think you’ll have a problem if you contact the right folk. Good luck and congratulations on your book.

    • sherrilynn says:

      Thank you for the great leads Lori. Yuba City could very well be the last stop on the book tour since it’s not far from Oakland. Or since it’s so close I may plan a special mini tour to Sacramento and Yuba City and other places in that part of California. I’m happy to hear there is such a vibrant group of quilters in Yuba City!

  10. Christy says:

    So excited to see that Boise is on your list! I will send you a private email with some venue ideas.

  11. Lisa Miller says:

    Modern quilt store in Cinci is Sewn on Madison Rd, Oakley. Hope to see you here!

    • sherrilynn says:

      Thanks Lisa – You are the third person who’s confirmed that Sewn is a good shop to contact. I will keep you posted as the schedule evolves. I really do want to visit Cincinnati if it works.

  12. Lisa Miller says:

    Cincinnati, OH @ Joseph Beth Booksellers. Great location close to downtown with an indie reader vibe. Come visit us! Love to see you. Quilt on & sell some books! .


  13. Reanna says:

    There’s a good quilting store in Eugene called Piece by Piece. There is also a rad re-use store called MECCA ( with a lot of fabric that might be a cool place to do a workshop (though it’s not as amazing as SCRAP in portland (!)

    I don’t know much about the scene there, though they’re very close to Sisters, OR.

  14. Anne says:

    In Boulder you could do Fabricate a modern shop and connected with the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild. Fancy Tiger is another option in Denver. There are actually 4 Modern Quilt Guilds in the general Denver area and Fancy Tiger would be a good central location. Front Range MQG, Denver Metro MQG, Boulder MQG, and Fort Collins MQG

    • sherrilynn says:

      Thanks Anne, I had no idea the Denver area had such an active community. I would like to figure out a way to make it there. Thanks for these terrific leads.

  15. Jen B says:

    Chicago…The book looks great, can’t wait to own a copy! Both of these shops are not too far out of the city, but in different directions & both have hosted events like yours w/good turnouts…Quilters Destination 945 E Rand Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 (847) 506-6410, Patti is the owner. The other shop is Quilters Quest 7440 Woodward Ave, Woodridge, IL 60517 (630) 969-2205, Deb & Bob are the owners. There are a lot of local guilds in Chicagoland, we are very fortunate to have a lot of great shops in our area.

  16. Deborah says:

    How about City Quilter in Manhattan, NY? They have a real modern/urban vibe and centrally located.

    • sherrilynn says:

      Thanks Deborah, I would LOVE to visit City Quilter. I’m not heading through NYC on this road trip but hope to work in a visit there sometime in the next year. Maybe in July after my workshops at Quilting By The Lake in Auburn NY. I appreciate the suggestion!

  17. Sheila says:

    What about Sew Modern on Pico Blvd. in West LA? The owner is Lauren and the LA chapter of the MQG meets there.
    Congrats on the book and have fun on your tour!

    • sherrilynn says:

      Great recommendation Sheila, I will be in LA May 9-11 doing a workshop for the LAMQG and I hope to do a book signing at Sew Modern on that visit as well. Thanks!

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