This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend my Guild's workshop on Improv Piecing taught by Val from Purple Boots and Pigtails. I was excited and terrified by the prospect of improv piecing. You read about people who are freed by the process, who throw away patterns for the creativity of piecing something original and all of their own.
Let's be real here people, I love me a pattern. I feel creative through patterns and am ok with it. Am I less of a creative person because of it? Who knows, but I really don't care. I like what I like! That being said, I wanted to challenge myself, step outside of the proverbial comfort zone and try something new.
Our first piece was trees. Val wanted us to piece a tree. Not scary, until it became clear that I would not be provided with measurements. Just cut a trunk about "so big". You want me to do what? But how do I know if it will work? How will I cope without my ruler? I wanted to sneak up to the teachers table and measure her sample. Legit right? NOT! I needed to break out!
So we had trees, and I did not spontaneously combust, my ruler did not hold a grudge, things were looking up. Then a house was born...and a churn dash...all bravely without measurements. But then, things really started to cook. Letters!
This was when I found my groove. Truth be told, this is really why I wanted to take the class. I want to make word quilts and wanted to know how to piece letters. By the time letters came I had put my ruler under the table and was slicing randomly. I felt awesome! The whole process gave me hope - hope that I could be creative without a pattern!
These are all of the components that we made in class. Next step will be to make some "joiner" pieces and make this into something. It may be a wall hanging, it may be a quilt. Who knows? My ruler doesn't know, and is wishing me luck!
I have to thank Val for such a wonderful class. This was her first foray into teaching and I think she was sweatin' it! But she was born to be at the head of a class, I can't wait for the next one.
Are you a pattern girl, improv girl? Either way, have fun out there!