Improv X-blocks, C-curves, and S-curves

As promised here last week, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my improv class at GSQA last Friday. I always enjoy teaching quilting, but these students were extra welcoming. One lady told me she scheduled my class first, then scheduled around me! Now THAT’S a compliment! And I can return the compliment by saying that they were willing to try every technique I tossed out there.

We began with an explanation of my process. I showed everyone my little scrap buckets, showed the messes that are my scraps, and told them how I begin with small bits and work my way up to the larger pieces. This they handled quickly and easily. So we moved on to pressing and putting some of the improv blocks together to build on the sheets we were making.

By lunch time we had also covered making improv X blocks in a variety of sizes. Matching the second crosspiece is a little iffy, but I have a trick for that. So, after lunch we got into curves.

Curves is when we really had fun. Shallow, easy curves to begin with. Then deeper and deeper curves. Then S-shaped curves. And even a few deep S-shaped curves–depending on independent levels of bravery, of course. Showing students the possiblilities that curves gives is one of my favorite parts of the class. We lay the curved pieces down on a table and I just move them around–side to side, up and down, even lying one on another to show how cutting into the curve can change everything. Of course, some students had to go for it. And the results were stunning! They learned, I learned, and we all walked away happy.

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