Monday, May 7, 2012

Breaking Free: Improvisation, Writing, Denyse Schmidt

I had never quilted in my life and here I am going to an improvisational quilting workshop run by possibly quilting's biggest star--Denyse Schmidt. 


What was I thinking? 


Well, Denyse is my dear friend, and she said it would be great for anyone not just sewers or quilters. Neither of which I am.

Most workshops you go to to learn something right? Not this one. You unlearn. And that's what makes it so great.
And it's also what makes it an amazing workshop for writers--or anyone in a creative field. Because it's all about freeing yourself from "the rules" -- "the right way" to do something, "the wrong way" to do it -- freeing yourself from all the second-guessing... breaking free of habits and fears. It's about discovering, exploring, experimenting. And most of all trust. Not knowing what is going to happen next. 

In short, this workshop is all about unlearning. And it's fabulous. 

(Time Out write an article about the workshops: here)

There were three bags of scraps to choose from: small pieces, medium pieces, large pieces. One at a time we chose a piece blindly and sewed it to the next piece we drew out of the bag.

The only rules:
--you have to use what you grab, even if you hate the color and you are certain it will ruin everything

--you have to choose the path of least resistance (don't get fancy--match the piece to the other piece the obvious way)

the sewing machines we used:
It was exhilarating because you were not "in control" and you didn't know what would happen next. But miraculously, by the end of the class, we'd each sewn 5 or 6 squares... and they were all of them stunning. The pieces of material you hated because essential to the design. It all worked. 

Here is what I ended up with, my four squares...
This workshop is a wonderful way to get unstuck, to remember what it's like to play--and then come back to your writing or your art with the same playfulness and trust and discovery.

Thank you Denyse!

To sign up for Denyse's class you can here.

Here are some photos I took... Here's where Denyse sews 
and all her lovely pins
and her inspiration wall (complete with British war poster)
her cool filing cabinets
cool material (everywhere you look is beautiful!)


where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
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