Saturday, August 23, 2014

Angle Improv: "where the measurements are made up and the points don't count!"

Piles of strips and scraps: the cast of my Angle Improv class.
While living in Chicago, my college buddies and I enjoyed several live performances at The Second City. [A great date nite or make it a girls nite out.] Second City is where many Saturday Night Live (SNL) comedians—John and Jim Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Mary Gross, to name just a few—got their start, as well as the precursor of the TV version, SCTV.

Toward the end of a Second City performance, the troupe did an improv session [a favorite of mine and my friends] where the actors would take disparate phrases (a place, a career profession, a situation, etc.), suggested by the audience, and build a skit around it. If you've ever seen "Whose Line is it Anyway," you know what this is.

Improv is an unscripted, think-on-your feet, kind of performance—with an unexpected, delightful, entertaining and hysterically comic outcome that the actors cannot plan nor the audience anticipate. This is exactly how my Angle Impov class was earlier this month.
"Oh, what fabrics to choose… what to choose… let's be bold!"
Six courageous, open-minded, looking-for-a-fabric-adventure quilters attended my class. They sewed, sliced and shuffled fabric strips—mostly on faith and in the technique I was teaching.
Slicing and sewing.
The "project" was unscripted (NO pattern). All the cutting and trimming measurements were "made up" and, as Drew Cary would say, "and the points don't count!" 
The classroom design wall. Blocks in-progress.
What fabulous outcomes we had! The diversity of pre-cut strips and fabric scraps—batiks, prints, solids, florals, geometrics—the students brought to class were energizing and colorful. Here is Candy, analyzing a potential block layout on the design wall.
Standing back from the design wall to see the composition emerge.
Batiks were mixed with black/white prints, solids accented a monochromatic collection of prints, sweet florals mixed with stripes and brights.
My "Angle Improv" class at Pins and Needles Quilt Shop.
Photo courtesy of Stacy Slockbower.
I'll have one of my Angle Improv quilts at the upcoming AQS QuiltWeek ChattanoogaSeptember 10-13. And, if you're interested in taking this class, or would like me to teach it at your guild, let me know! You'll be surprised how fun, easy and liberating this technique is.

Whoo-Hoo—nothing needs to match and the points don't count!
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