Anything Goes Class

Taught one of my most fun classes this weekend…major fun for me, but the students had lots of work to do! The class title is Anything Goes With UFO’s and it’s truly an easy way to learn and play with improvisational piecing. We discussed the thought processes in different approaches to creating improvisationally…is it really improv if you have a design all sketched out? Aaaah…is the design process the same as the free-form techniques?

Mary-starting with these UFO's...

To me, they are separate processes. I prefer to make free-form elements and then combine them using a design wall after I have a goodly amount of pieces with which to work. Some people do sketch out or pre-plan what they want to have and use their freely cut shapes to get to that plan. There are those who create ‘chunks’ of color and pick and choose as though they were adding paints from their palette.

Working towards this...

Every single one of these approaches is right! There is no one way that’s better than another, or more correct.

Kathy-thought she knew which direction she wanted to go...

Left with elements done, but planning on much more design wall time.

You need to enjoy the process and use the method that leads to the results you desire. What is so valuable to me as a teacher is that I can see students using all of these processes in a class and point them out to the other students. You never know what will strike a spark with someone, what you might see someone doing that might inspire you to try something different.

Barb1 had an idea of what she wanted when she came. She did blocks to learn methods, but then stuck with her original plan of blues and greens and more linear strips.

Barb2 had a lot of fabrics from many projects that really ended up working well extended color palette. Lots of small pieces that added complexity to her final(?) design plan of strip assembly.

No one finished a piece in class…they all spent as much time thinking as they did sewing. I could see the design wheels turning as the day moved along and I feel that everyone is headed for a wonderful piece when they do finish…and I think they all will finish! It was a class to use up UFO’s after all, not to create more!

I love teaching!


8 thoughts on “Anything Goes Class

  1. I really hope to take one of your classes someday-I want to work this way but I need you to hold my hand while I cut into stuff! Maybe then I can tackle it on my own.


    • The closest I’ll be to you this year is Wichita KS in July, unless you are headed back to Ottawa around the first of May. We’ll be stopping in Utica on our way back from Iowa. I would love to teach you how to work this way–it’s so very, very easy and freeing!


    • It was interesting for me to see the students work in different ways and becoming comfortable working improvisationally. Making those first free form cuts is scary and then at some point it turns into just fun, fun, fun!


  2. I really like your process. Even though, I usually work from sketches, the process in my head would work the same with improvisation. Looking for balance and line. Using the UFO’s as your pallet, you are forced to look for elements that fit the best composition.


    • You are a deep thinker and your process is far from the way I work…maybe that’s why your designs flow together better. I work away and then try to ‘fix’ things later. No plan is usually my plan!


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