We’ve had such a blast with Artful Improv the last two days with the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters and Minnesota Quilters! 20 enthusiastic students cut and stitched and designed some really wonderful quilt tops.

Artful Improv Class in Minnesota October 2018 - Cindy Grisdela

Minnesota Quilters at work October 2018 – Cindy Grisdela

I always enjoy teaching this class and it’s a special treat to be able to teach it over two days. On the first day, we talk about color and techniques to create units for the base of our designs. On the second day, students have the opportunity to really dive into the composition, and we can talk about quilting and finishing too.

Because it’s an improvisational design class with no patterns and no rules (except the ones we define for ourselves), each student’s quilt top comes out different from every other one in the class and different from mine as well. We all have our own quilting history, our likes and dislikes, our color preferences, and all that combines into a unique quilter’s DNA for each person. It’s exciting to see that personality evolve as the designs take shape on the walls.

Here’s a sample of some of the class designs:

MQ and MCQ Artful Improv Designs – Cindy Grisdela

Prints and solids or a combination of the two all work well in these artful designs. There were lots of “happy accidents” where some really wonderful lines and shapes came out in their work that weren’t necessarily planned ahead of time. Some students chose to incorporate all five of my improv techniques, while others concentrated on just on the ones they liked the best or the ones that went best together. Either way, they ended up with some very creative work and I’m sure they will go on to make even more progress when they are in their own sewing spaces at home!

I’m teaching two more classes here this week–Improv Play with Lines and Shapes tomorrow and Playing with Crayons on Friday, plus a lecture on Playing with Color Thursday night–it’s a fun improv week in Minnesota and I’m grateful to the Minnesota Quilters and Minnesota Contemporary Quilters for having me come to visit.