Workshops

I love to teach and have 20 years of experience sharing my work through presentations, demos, and workshops. Check out workshop photos from Penland School of Craft 2001, 2006, & 2011, the Orange County Modern Quilt Guild, East Bay Modern Quilt Guild, and QuiltCon Day 1: Get Your Curve On, Day 2: Modern Block Improv, Day 3: Improv Round Robin.

 

References are available upon request or contact me for scheduling or more information.

 Teaching Philosophy

My teaching focus is improvisational process and technique. I use a multi-disciplinary approach for teaching the process of improvisation. I invite students to draw on methods of improvisation from music, theater, drawing, and meditation as well from their every day life –cooking, child rearing and conversation. We all improvise everyday so why not bring it into our quilt making!
Modern quilting is about expanding the boundaries of the tradition without forgetting them. Improvisational patchwork is one of the cornerstones of the modern quilt movement because it drives the evolution of innovative design. Improvisation is not design but the creative process behind design, cultivating and pushing it towards the fresh and authentic.
I offer a unique approach to improvisational patchwork that doesn’t rely on step-by-step instructions for following a pattern. My students walk away with a broader understanding of improvisational process and an internal confidence on how to set their own boundaries, and create their own “scores” for improvisational patchwork. They leave with a comprehensive set of tools empowering them to move beyond beginner level improv to create with an authentic voice.  These tools include multi-discipline approaches to the process of improvisation, improvisational patchwork techniques, and mind tools for accessing their creativity.

2013/14 Workshops

 Mod Mood Quilt, 2-day, 12 -16 hr

Get your curvy-quilty-modern groove on in this improvisational quilt-making workshop. Participants will explore modern approaches to improvised quilt making and composition, develop a personal/intuitive language of color, and learn innovative strip and curve piecing techniques. All skill levels but intermediate and advanced sewers will make more progress. Based on the Mod Mood Quilt-along.

 

Get Your Curve On, 1 or 2 day, 6-16 hr

Get your curvy-quilty-modern groove on in this improvisational quilt-making workshop. Participants will explore modern approaches to improvised quilt making and composition, while learning innovative wedge-strip and curve piecing techniques. All skill levels but intermediate and advanced sewers will make more progress.

 

Bias Strip Curves, 1 or 2 day, 6-16 hr (NEW!)

12761766865_224ceaea82_qIn this workshop you will learn to master the innovative improvisational technique of bias-strip piecing on the curve, with tips on how to flatten internal bubbles in the patchwork when they arise, and how to utilize the technique in both traditional and improvisational patchwork compositions. This is an advanced, original technique that takes time to master but it’s definitely worth the effort. Just imagine the possibilities! Most suitable for intermediate and advanced skill levels.

Modern Block Improv, 1 or 2-day, 6-16 hr

Start with a favorite traditional block pattern and transform it through a series of improvised repetitions into something uniquely modern. We will brainstorm the possible range of alterations and then practice putting our blocks through a series of rhythmic iterations using basic improv piecing and compositional techniques. All skill levels.

 

Improv Round Robin, 1-day, 6-8 hr;  Improv Round Robin Mini-Quilt, 3 hr

An improvisational twist on the Round Robin. Free your creative energy, use up your scraps, and learn the basic skills of improvisational quilt making. At the end of the day you and everyone else will leave with a distinctive quilt top beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. There are no mistakes in this fast-paced class, only discoveries, community, and FUN! Perfect for fist time improvisers. Sign up with your friends! All skill levels.

 

Improvisational Patchwork Doodling,  1 day, 6-8 hr (NEW!)

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Doodling is the model for this playful yet challenging approach to improvisational patchwork. Letting go of expectations, plans or a preconceived outcome, participants will practice building patterns with simple shapes and negative space, while learning basic improvisational sewing techniques. It is a flowing YES, AND “drawing” that accepts and builds on what comes immediately before. Like a doodle it is not planned nor is it random – it’s responsive… and plenty of fun! All skill levels.

Improvising From A Score,  1 day, 6-8 hr (NEW!)

With jazz music, a score, or lead sheet, is used for indicating the basic melody, chord changes, and arrangement of a song without specifying exactly how the song should be performed. Now imagine a score written to perform a quilt! Students will create an improvisational quilt by working from a simple score rather than a pattern. You will learn basic improvisational sewing techniques and leave with the confidence to create your own patchwork scores for future improvisational projects. All Skill Levels.

 

Modern Memory Lane T-shirt Quilt, 1 day, 6 hr (NEW!)

Modern Memory Lane T-shirt Quilt - improvisational patchwork

Break out of the traditional t-shirt logo grid and take a stroll with me down memory lane! We will be mixing our favorite t-shirts with contrasting fabric to create a series of “memory lane” sections. This method creatively fragments the logos, adding visual interest while holding them together in readable paths of color. You will learn various techniques for stabilizing and sewing knits, hand sewing techniques for preserving necklines, and improvisational sewing techniques for layering, cutting, and piecing without rulers or a pre-determined pattern. All skill levels.

 

Everything I Know About Improvisational Patchwork, 3hr

Brainstorm with me as we delve into the fantastic world of modern improvisational patchwork. Creating scores, breaking rules, tips on tapping into personal patterns, being present, overcoming blocks – will all be explored. I will demo basic strip, curve, stack, float, repetition,  flow, bleeding, color work and composition techniques. I’ll share every thing I know and answer all questions in this three-hour whirl-wind tour! Bring your notebooks, cameras and recording devises. No sewing materials or tools necessary. All skill levels.

 

Group Stitching Mantra, 2hr group stitching meditation, up to 40 participants ($450)

Join me on a communal, restorative journey that merges the Eastern spiritual traditions of mudras, mandalas and mantras, with the simple act of stitching. Participants will explore together the rhythm of attention and the creative impulse through  movement, vision, and voice, and will leave with feeling refreshed and renewed. Don’t miss this fun, trippy, group stitching and chanting meditation! All skill levels.

 

Passage Quilting Through Life’s Transitions, 1 or 2-day, 8-16 hr, introductory workshop; 1 or 2-week, intensive workshop

This is a workshop about relationships, past and present. Working with the architecture of clothing and with materials of meaning from everyday life, participants will improvise a quilt without a predetermined pattern. This process will be the vehicle for inner work and outward expression as it reveals and orients the patterns, by which we survive, thrive and transform. All skill levels. More info at PassageQuilts.com.

 

The Rhythm of Attention, 1 or 2-week intensive workshop

Tracking, sharing, and exploring the rhythm of attention is the goal of this workshop, ideal for anyone interested in flow and the creative process. Mornings will be devoted to exploring—through group dialogue, chanting, stitching, writing, and drawing—topics on listening and engagement. Through focused experiential exercises, a variety of approaches to pattern making will be explored. We will move from exploration into practice each afternoon by making improvised quilts without predetermined patterns. All skill levels.

 

Presentations

Improvisational Patchwork and Process, 1hr presentation & trunk show

I draw on the disciplines of drawing, music, theater and life to present a new framework for improvisational quilting –working from a score– that breaks free from the design/pattern/copy paradigm of traditional patchwork. I share tips for developing inner resources that will move your process beyond the limits of design to communicate a powerful sense of presence, discovery and meaning. 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 Spring 2015), student work, and time-lapse video of my process. Trunk show optional.

 

Passage Quilting, 1hr presentation & trunk show

Passage Quilting is an improvisational process about relationships, past and present. Working with materials that carry meaning, memory and emotions, the creative process of Passage Quilting fosters a healing heart. In this multimedia presentation, I review the traditions of memorial and scrap quilting with historical images. I also share stories from my practice which illustrate how Passage Quilting supports the bereavement and growth process we all experience during times of transition. More info at PassageQuilts.com.

 

It’s Daintytime!, 1hr presentation & trunk show

Multimedia presentation of my journey, influences, and process as an artist, quilt maker, teacher, blogger, and craft therapist.With a year’s worth of allowance I bought my first sewing machine when I was 11 years old. I’ve been sewing with devotion and attitude ever since!

 

 

 

Preferred Rates

Workshops: $150/hr, up to 20 participants

Presentations: 1hr – $500

Overnight Travel Requirements: $1000 per day minimum plus transportation, lodging and meals. I am willing to stay in someone’s home as long as I have my own room with a comfortable bed.

My teaching and speaking fees are negotiable. For more information and scheduling contact me.

 

Bio

Sherri Lynn Wood is making her own way as an artist in Oakland, California, where she improvises quilts as a life practice and blogs about it at Daintytime.net. She has an MFA in sculpture from Bard College and was awarded the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors in 2012. She is a Macdowell Colony fellow, a former artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a regular instructor at Penland School of Craft. Sherri has been making quilts professionally and with passion since 1989. Her first book, The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters, is scheduled to be published by STC Craft / Abrams in the Spring of 2015.

 

4 Responses to Workshops

  1. Sandie Scarpa says:

    PLEASE! when is your book going to be out? We are fascinated and inspired.

  2. love your philosophy, Sherri! Would love to explore the kind of improvisational patchwork you talk about, especially the ‘mind tools for assessing creativity’. I think that is an area of improvisational quilting that has not been addressed much. And the group stitching mantra sounds like a blast! maybe one day i’ll get the chance to take one of your workshops. and i can’t wait until your book is done.

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