Category Archives: Modern Improv

Ruler-Free Patchwork – Improv Theater Mashup Results

Audience members provided “ugly” fabrics, threw out suggestions, and questions as I improvised a quilt on the spot according to their prompts. Continue reading

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Improv Handbook Blog Hop

A month of insightful reviews, giveaways, process stories, and the debut of 165 test quilts made for The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters. Continue reading

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Improv Handbook Available April 28!

FYI – The release date has been moved up to April 28! The wait is almost over. Continue reading

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Improv Handbook Test Quilters

Over 250 test quilters played an invaluable role in shaping the content of the book by providing feedback on how the scores made sense or not. Continue reading

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18 Quilts Inspired by The Improv Handbook at QuiltCon

A total of EIGHTEEN quilts inspired by scores from the Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters were exhibited at QuiltCon 2015! Continue reading

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QuiltCon Day 3 ~ Quilting From the Heart

How will our exposure to the Gee’s Bend Quilters at Quiltcon change the way we make our quilts, and/or our perception of what quilt making is all about? Continue reading

Posted in Community, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 18 Comments

Improv Round Robin ~ Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association

The Improv Round Robin workshop was super fun. I was so impressed by the cohesiveness of the group. They listened and responded with skill and courage! Continue reading

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What blocks and/or supports your improvisational flow?

Improvisors and quilt makers. I’m researching this question and need your input! Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv | Tagged , , , | 45 Comments

Stitch Modern ~ Improv Round Robin Workshop

I will be facilitating an Improv Round Robin at Stitch Modern on Sunday, February 23, 2014 in Oakland, CA. Register now! Continue reading

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Improv Handbook Test Quilters

It’s not to late to sign up as a test quilter for the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Continue reading

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Announcing The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters

Contribute to the Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters, scheduled to be published by STC Craft, Spring 2015. Continue reading

Posted in Community, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 64 Comments

Talking Quilts with Eli Leon ~ Sarah Turnage

There is so much motion in this African-American improv quilt by Sarah Turnage that it borders on optical illusion! Continue reading

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Upcoming Events & Workshops

I’m happy to announce improv quilt workshops and an exhibition scattered across the country. I may be teaching in your neighborhood soon! Continue reading

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Talking Quilts with Eli Leon ~ Rosie Lee Tompkins

Eli considers this amazing quilt by Rosie Lee Tomkins as one of her best ten AND it has never been published! Don’t miss this exclusive! Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, Reviews, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Talking Quilts with Eli Leon ~ Signature Quilt

With its visual field of deep black velvet and twinkling white stitches this African-American signature quilt is as powerful and mysterious as the universe. Continue reading

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Talking Quilts with Eli Leon

Announcing a fabulous, EXCLUSIVE blog series – Eli and I discuss a different quilt from his African-American patchwork collection each week. Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, Reviews | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Patchwork Scrap Doodling

Scrap Doodling is a playful improvisational patchwork process utilizing fabric scraps without concern over the outcome. It’s like drawing but better! Continue reading

Posted in Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

On Being Judged

Finding and trusting one’s own authority is essential to developing authenticity in improvisational process. Continue reading

Posted in Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , , | 42 Comments

New Workshops for 2014

I’ve added two new improvisational patchwork classes and posted my teaching philosophy to my workshop page. Continue reading

Posted in Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 15 Comments

A Visit With Eli Leon And His Quilts ~ Part 2

Eli Leon has collected over 1000 African-American quilts in the improvisational style and has exhibited them widely but have you seen the seven quilts he’s made? Continue reading

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QUILTCON ~ Day 3: Improv Round Robin

For the Improv Round Robin, 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. Continue reading

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QuiltCon ~ Day 2: Get Your Curve On

Today I taught an improv curve piecing workshop to another awesome group of quilt makers. Continue reading

Posted in Community, Mod Mood Quilt, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

RGB Modern, 2012

I considered the space between warp and weft when piecing these curves with bias cut strips to create this modern improvisational quilt. Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Quilts, Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

a lecture on modern improv quilting at Stitch Modern

I will be presenting a new framework for improvisational quilting that breaks free from the design/pattern/copy paradigm of traditional quilting: on Feb 5 at “Stitch Modern” a quilt show with special events hosted by the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. Continue reading

Posted in Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 5 Comments

dreary on the outside ~ cozy on the inside

The intense red, fuschia, and orange re-purposed wool of this modern improvised take on the log cabin quilt is keeping me cozy on a dreary day. Continue reading

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curve improv quilting and the uncertainty principle

Position and momentum can not be known simultaneously when you are dealing with modern improv curved piecing! Continue reading

Posted in Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

improvising technique ~ curve piecing workshop

Improvisation in design has its limits. Real innovation begins with the improvisation of technique and tools. Continue reading

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I Ching Modern Quilt-along: 14 ~ Advancing

Applied to my improvisational work, this reading tells me not to regret individual decisions and let go of expectations as I make the quilt. Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, Modern Improv, Quilt Alongs | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Color Riot! ~ Mod Mood Workshop at OCMQG

Over the course of two days this curve piecing, improv workshop gradually begins to explode with color and creativity! Continue reading

Posted in Color Palettes, Events and Workshops, Mod Mood Quilt, Modern Improv | Tagged , | 5 Comments

bias and diamond improv patchwork evolution

Watch my most recent bias and diamond modern improv quilt evolve on the studio wall. Quilt in process! Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Sketchbook, The Modern Quilt, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged | 7 Comments

I Ching Modern Quilt-along: 10 ~ Continuing

It was uncomfortable sewing TEN unbroken dark lines in a row. I wanted to CHEAT and control the random process, but continued with integrity! Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Quilt Alongs, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Scrapping

Jumping on the scrap quilting bandwagon – modern improv style! Continue reading

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Putnam-Hauser Linen Quilt, November 2011

Putnam-Hauser Linen Quilt, 2011, 98″ x 110″, machine pieced, hand quilted, linen. The Putnam-Hauser family commissioned this king-sized, modern-improv quilt, made from 100% linen. They live in the Sunset district of San Francisco. We worked together to pick a subtle … Continue reading

Posted in 2011 Quilts, Modern Improv, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Improv Monday ~ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on Improv Monday but I received an email from a reader that prompted me to consider my relationship to expectation, satisfaction (or dissatisfaction), and improvisation. I was pleased to hear that someone reading … Continue reading

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Quilting Xtra Large

Welcome to Improv Monday! I’m working to get this XL KING SIZE done, and I’m making progress! LOVE this large canvas. I don’t know about you but working large changes the way I improvise. My rule of thumb is to … Continue reading

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Improv Monday ~ Pausing to See

Welcome to Improv Monday! View the archive and please join the conversation! After a bang of initial energy, the linen quilt on my wall has remained untouched for almost three weeks… but finally PROGRESS! Many hours of pausing to look … Continue reading

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Improv-ing Not Blogging

Welcome to Improv Monday! View the archive and please join the conversation! This week I’m caught up in actually doing impov instead of blogging about it. So enjoy the WIP pics! Click on the slide show to rotate the images … Continue reading

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Stuck!

I’ve been working on this quilt since mid June and the progress is SLOW… I’m really stuck. It takes me a week to sew on three strips! Where is my flow? What’s holding me back? I have no idea where … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Repetition, Improv, and Trance Quilt Making

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. Traditional quilt making involves a lot of repetition – from the cutting of shape-after-shape out of the cloth, to sewing the pieces together block-after-block, to the in-and-out of … Continue reading

Posted in 2011 Quilts, Modern Improv, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Mod Mood Quilt Performed

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. Last week I introduced the concept of improv quilting from a score, and the Mod Mood Quilt Along that I posted last summer is a score. So this … Continue reading

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A Score for Floating Squares

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. On the last Improv Monday, over a month ago, the discussion was about Rules vs. Limits. To refresh your memory, I use limits to set parameters for my … Continue reading

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The Penland Sewettes ~ 4th of July

How do you like our 4th of July improv pieced flags? We each made a section and then added onto our neighbor’s flags, sort of like a crazy improv round robin. Of course it all culminated in marching for the … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Social Practice, Modern Improv | Tagged | 6 Comments

Day Five at Penland ~ Improv Quilts!

So here are the results from yesterday’s WIP’s. Pretty impressive right? Of course some of these folks were in the studio until 1AM working on finishing their quilt tops. Each is a variation on a traditional quilt block. Can you … Continue reading

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Day Four at Penland ~ Works In Progress

Today my students at Penland worked on a score that I named Modern Block Improv. Any traditional block pattern can serve as the score. Each time it is repeated or performed variations can be made, so that the authentic pattern … Continue reading

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Day Three at Penland ~ Cage, Limits, Scores and More!

It’s nearing the end of day three at Penland and it’s hard to comprehend all that has happened so far. No one’s wasting any time! Day one of the improv quilting workshop began with conversation and brainstorming on the definition … Continue reading

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Day One at Penland

What a great group of students! Eight plus me. Everyone is engaged and excited about the material. Today we brainstormed about improvisation, explored cultural and personal responses to making mistakes, and began working with randomness and decision making. The first … Continue reading

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Rules vs Limits in Improv Quilting

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. The last two weeks I’ve posted about THE RULES. This week I want to talk about limits. Is there a difference between rules and limits in improv quilting? … Continue reading

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THE RULES of Quilt Making

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. The topic of rules is HUGE. Traditional sewing epitomizes feminine obedience.  When I was growing up, home economic was required and there were rules that had to be … Continue reading

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Is Improv Quilting for Beginners?

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. Your comments on improv and courage last week were out-of-this-world fantastic – thank you! Some of you are new to improv, and some more experienced, but all of … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged | 25 Comments

Improv Requires Courage

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. This weekend I experienced improv comedy at the Pan Theater in Oakland, CA. The main show consisted of two actors doing a series of short sketches. Limits or … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged | 23 Comments