Improv Circles

During this two-day class, learn to cut and sew free-form circles. No templates or appliqué required! The result is a lively, curvy set of irregular rings and arcs that can be combined in a wide variety of ways. Especially good for quilters interested in exploring their ability to improvise with shape and color. 

The first half day is focused on acquiring the skills needed to cut and sew arcs. In the second half day, students learn more about the language of color, form, and pattern, and then use this language to improve their feedback skills. By providing feedback on their own work as well as that of their classmates, students expand their ability to make informed decisions in the process of improvisation.  

Advanced beginners and intermediate quilters. 

Goke's Circles

Ladders, Stems, and Stairs

Barbara teaches a two-part quilt class, Ladders, Stairs, and Stems: Improvisational Piecing. The subject of the class is an improvisational cutting and piecing technique that can be used by quilters and other textile artists to create a variety of intriguing shapes.   Participants learn how to cut and sew a curving, stem-like form using a simple, 4-step process. For quilters interested in learning or expanding their free-cutting skills,  it is a chance to master a slightly twisty geometric pattern which can be incorporated into pieced designs of all kinds. The quilt pictured here, Anatsui #3, is composed of these forms.

Parchment Circles


Improv Alphabet

Participants learn how to construct pieced letters and make them into a classic quilted grid (see photo). Letters are formed using the specific design principles of just a few letters; these can then be generalized into techniques that allow students to make the entire alphabet without templates or appliqué. Especially good for quilters interested in exploring their ability to improvise with shape and color.

The first class focuses on technique: the “how-to” aspect of constructing the letters. During the time between sessions, participants practice the technique and gained mastery. The second session emphasizes how to increase visual movement and texture through the use of scale, value, and pattern. Quilters are encouraged to learn from their own work as well as that of their fellow students.