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 | 28 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 , , , | 45 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

Open Call For Mod Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilts

Mod-Mood Quilt curvesThis is an open call for quilts based on the Mod-Mood Quilt-along, or my workshop, Get Your Curve On. We are looking for one or two interpretations of the Mod-Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilt to publish along with my most recent interpretation in the Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters, to be published by STC Craft/Abrams in Spring 2015.


If you are an alum of  the Get Your Curve On workshop or you have made a Mod Mood Quilt based on my tutorial then PLEASE SUBMIT your quilt for review and possible publication. If you started one and it is currently in your unfinished projects bin then now is the time to pull it out and complete it. The submission process is free and will remain open through March 25, 11:59 PST.

I know there are a lot of wonderful mod-mood, wedge strip-pieced curve quilts out there and I want to see them! Please pass this open call to people you know who have made or are in the process of making one.

If you have the time to make a stripped-pieced wedge curve quilt based on the methods in the Mod-Mood (Get Your Curve On) Quilt tutorial by March 25 then please go for it!

Important Dates

  • March 1- submissions open
  • March 25- (11:59 PM PST) submission closed
  • April 1- quilts chosen for publication (notificated date)
  • April 18- quilts due in Oakland, CA for photography
  • June 30- quilts returned to maker
  • Spring 2015- Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters released, ALL submitted quilts posted in online forum
  • If your quilt is chosen for publication, you will be notified by April 1 and will be sent all the information you need to ship your quilt to Oakland CA by April 18 for photography. The publisher will pay shipping costs up to $50. The quilts will be insured while on site at the photographer’s studio.  You will receive full acknowledgement, and a complimentary copy of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.
  • If your quilt is not chosen for print publication it will still be included in an online forum. You will also be entered into a drawing for copies of the book, and some special hand-made thank you gifts from me. There may also be other publication/exhibition opportunities still to be determined.


Posted in Community, Current Giveaways, Mod Mood Quilt | Tagged | 2 Comments

Stitch Modern ~ Improv Round Robin Workshop

I’m pleased to announce that I will be facilitating an Improv Round Robin as part of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s 3rd annual Stitch Modern on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at the Piedmont Center for the Arts.

This is a fantastic workshop for first time quilt improvisors and for people who have never made a quilt before, as long as you can operate a sewing machine. If you are interested in attending please register here.


This workshop will be photographed for Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters which will include a marvelous chapter on the Improv Round Robin with instructions on how to organize and facilitate one with your friends or for your guild.

If you live in the Bay Area be sure to check out the Sew Modern exhibition and schedule of lectures and workshops! It’s all happening in February.

Posted in Community, Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Improv Handbook Test Quilters

Vintage 70's Fabric


The Improv Handbook scores are finally out to all of my test quilters! You guys are awesome. I had over 160 responses and I enjoyed reviewing your skills and preferences, reading every one of your comments, and visiting your media sites.  Thanks for all of the kind words and support.

I was so impressed with the talent and the enthusiasm – to see a range of masterful quilt makers and improvisors, along with the excitement and willingness of beginners ready to jump right in! I was happy to discover the work of some of you for the first time and to have the support of many longtime blog friends!

I can hardly wait to see what you all come up with and again I can’t thank you enough. Your questions and feedback on the scores and process are invaluable to the success of the book.

It’s not to late to participate ~ closed

If you want to be a test quilter visit the call for contributor quilts for more information and fill out the questionnaire.  I will hold the door open for test quilters until February 1st. Late comers will still have a month and a half to finish their quilts by March 25. Definitely sign up if you think you can swing that deadline.

Posted in Blogging, Community, Modern Improv, Quilt Alongs | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Happy Holy-Days!

With deadlines looming and working hard on my first publishing adventure, I wasn’t able to take the extra time to join my family in North Carolina this Christmas but they came to me in September. Any special time set aside to be really present with family or friends is a treasured holiday or “holy-day” in my book. Here’s a sweet video celebrating my family’s recent visit.

I hope your recent days have been filled with simple moments of existence and presence with friends and family.

Posted in Personal Heritage | Tagged , | 6 Comments