Improvising From a Score, 8/17


Improvising From a Score, 8/17


with Sherri Lynn Wood

Saturday August 17th, 10-5

Limit 12 students

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With jazz music, a score, or lead sheet, indicates basic chord changes, and arrangements of a song without specifying how the song should be performed. Now imagine a score written for a quilt! Learn basic ruler-free patchwork techniques and how to set limits that support your creative flow. Finding flow not only feels great, it actually quells the urge to plan ahead. Leave with the confidence to create your own improv patchwork scores for exploring flexible patterns.

Tools & Supplies to bring to class:

Large cloth scissors – make sure they are sharp and functional

Rotary cutter and cutting mat – no ruler necessary

Thread – medium gray blends well with everything


Seam ripper

Tailors chalk or marking tool

Hand sewing kit – just in case

Optional - Sewing Machine (studio has machines you can use if you would prefer)

Materials to bring to class:

The basic score calls for three fabrics, but you may end up doing multiple variations.

Bring large ½ to 1 yd in a variety of values, neutrals, shades, tints, brights. Try not to coordinate your selections. Solids recommended.

Estimate amounts according to your goals for the project. Keep in mind your target size, your natural pace and scale, and the time limit of the workshop.

Bring one or two medium to large stash scraps to share with the class.

Don’t fuss over it! Bring a range and quantity of fabrics that best supports your creative flow and come with a make-do attitude and whatever you bring will be fine!

My workshops are structured with an hour of upfront instructions, demos, and brainstorming, after which I set everyone loose to sew. Please be on time to get the most of the workshop. If you do arrive late, simply jump in where we are and do your best. Leaving early is not as critical.

Sherri Lynn Wood is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, as well as arts residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and most recently at Recology San Francisco in 2016. An interdisciplinary artist based in Oakland, CA, she has exhibited and performed locally at The Lab, Southern Exposure, Adobe Books and the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art. She holds an MFA from Bard College and a Masters of Theological Studies from Emory University.

Her 2015 publication The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously (Abrams) provides frameworks for creative exploration, along with practical instruction in stitching techniques and color theory.  Sherri teaches and speaks about improvisational patchwork and flexible patterning at art and craft schools, guilds, and conferences nationally and abroad. See more about Sherri HERE and @sherrilynnwood