Slice of Improv Love from Las Vegas!!

It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago is when I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue a career as a fiber artist, teacher & lecturer.  My family and friends had been nudging me in this direction for several years but it was an email from the Las Vegas Quilters that jumpstarted me into this new world of teaching and lecturing about my love of quilting.  After my fun October visit, I was delighted to be invited back to teach a Slice of Improv workshop.

My travel adventures began in the San Jose Mineta airport which included a range of sights and sounds (top left clockwise):  hanging eCloud dynamic sculpture featuring polycarbonate tiles that dance overhead, triangle designs along an airport fitness area, an interactive robot that breaks out into music every few minutes and a fun carpet design that was a great preview of my upcoming Slice of Improv workshop...
San Jose Airport Signs & Sounds
Slice of Improv is such a fun workshop for me to teach.  Everyone shows up with a fun assortment of scraps and we dive right in to improvisational fun!!
Scrap Happy!!
Usually I start out the workshop guaging everyone's experience and comfort with improvisational designs.  This time around there were only 2-3 quilters who had tried improvisational piecing with the majority of attendees taking their first foray into improvisation!!   I was so impressed with everyone's sense of adventure in trying out the variuos techniques and variations!!  They were truly fearless as they tackled intersections, pi shapes, wedges, curves, slice & shuffle and more!!!
Slice of Adventures into Improv!!!
Their guild's photographer, Melodie G, stopped by to snap some action shots from the day which she so kindly permitted me to post.
Slice of Improv Demonstrations
As the day progressed, everyone's collections of blocks started to grow in both number and interest!!  Quite a few were well on their way to having enough blocks to assemble a crib/wall sized quilt!!
Preview of Improv Quilts in Progress by Phyllis & Nancy
Sue R, the workshop coordinator, brought two gorgeous pieces of hand dyed/batik fabrics which she managed to create two mini quilts by the end of the day!  You can see her blocks in progress (top left), which she then cropped to feature the X intersections for her Ten X miniature (right).  She then used all the sections cropped out of her blocks for a companion piece (bottom left).
Finished Improv Mini's by Sue R
We had a few hours to spare before my return flight to San Jose, which was perfect for popping into Sew Yeah quilt shop which was conveniently having a sale on all prints and then off to the Bellagio to check out their Conservatory & Botanical Garden newest "Japanese Spring" display.  This stunning exhibit incorporates 65,000 flowers including foxgloves, tulips, Calla Lilies, roses and more!!  
Turtle Topiary
Chihuly's Glass Sculptures & Colorful Flowers
 The main attraction is the large Kabuki character that stands 28 feet high and 35" in length and is completely covered in preserved roses and hydrangeas!!!
Kabuki Character
Some other highlights from my Las Vegas adventure includes an introduction to gold mining, compliments of my host family, Phyllis & Bill.  I was so enthralled in learning about the process & seeing the tools in action, that we almost forgot about dinner!!  And then a small taste of Las Vegas as I waited for boarding to completing some hand binding to the electric glow of the slot machines tucked throughout the Las Vegas airport terminals!!
Only in Las Vegas!!
What a lovely Las Vegas visit!!  I was delighted to receive several emails from the Las Vegas Quilters, several of which included pictures of their in-progress Slice of Improv blocks & projects (many thanks for the email updates and persmission to include photos Rickie, Del, Nancy & Melody!!)  I was especially touched to receive a thank you card containing a personalized mini quilt featuring a Slice of Pi block made by Sue R!!
Slice of Las Vegas Love!!


  1. What a treat to return to your first venue. You have the perfect workshop to introduce quilters to improv and it's interesting to experienced, too. How kind of them to email you some photos and allow you to share the. With us all.
    Quilting by the light of one armed bandits - that's u inquest!

    1. Unique, not u inquest.

    2. Thanks Ann. I am just delighted to see so many quilters step outside their comfort zone and give improvisational piecing a try!! It is so much fun for me to watch their initial trepidation transform into excitement and experimentation!! And yes--it was a real treat to have a fellow photographer join in and share some pics from the day's adventure!!

  2. I love the slice of pi postcard! So fun!!

    1. The Las Vegas Programs Coordinator is pretty darn creative and incredibly thoughtful. My Slice of Pi postcard is proudly displayed in my studio to remind me of my Las Vegas adventures!!


Post a Comment