Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Improv with Intent: Workshop with Cheryl Arkison

I spent a glorious day at a Cheryl Arkison "Improv with Intent" workshop in St. Mary's, Ontario just over a week ago.  We started out with a playing with fabric exercise. Each table group had a pile of Cheryl's scraps on it and we were told to grab two pieces and sew them together.  Then, pass it to the person on our left.  Then, we added another piece...etc. 
We ended up with several improv blocks that Cheryl displayed on a design wall. Cheryl encouraged all of us to play with fabric on a regular basis and not to always work from a pattern.  Personally, I would rather play than follow a pattern...

We were to bring an idea, or a picture or something that would inspire our improv project for the workshop.  I brought a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.  My husband and I took an in depth tour of Fallingwater near Ohiopyle, PA earlier this year.  We have toured several of FLW's buildings including Kentuck Knob near Ohiopyle, PA, Talliesen in Spring Green, WI, the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, NY and Greycliffe in Derby, NY, as well as his studio in Oak Park, IL.  All of his buildings and the stories that go with them are fascinating.

I started by making a couple of architectural features of the house that stood out for me.

This column of windows is sandwiched between the two chimneys of the house. The chimney fabric actually has a brick pattern on it.

Next, I worked on the stairway that goes down from the living room of the house down to the water.

Here is everything I had on the design wall by the end of the day.

Everyone had a chance at the end of the day to explain their projects and talk about what they were going to do next.  I did not want to go home...I just wanted to keep sewing.

Here is Christine and her blocks that she had done by the end of the day.

Thanks, Cheryl!  I had a wonderful time and can't wait to get working on my project again! 


  1. Looks like you had a fun and productive day! I really enjoyed Cheryl's talk and trunk show.

  2. Boy this looks like a fabulous workshop event!! Love those window. they look so tiny!! hugs, Julierose

  3. looks like a really good workshop and an inspiring day!