In June, Chris asked us to make improv blocks using her chosen palette of colors in five color families: purplish, red-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and green. I started by pulling solids that were a direct match for the Kona colors she listed for us, then filled in a little with colors that were close. She asked for our signature style improv piecing. I'd love to hear what you think of as my signature style of improv. Since I had just taught Improv Log Cabins I was inspired to make one of my blocks a log cabin.

There are a few things I enjoy including in an improv log cabin, the skinny strip (1/8" finished width), pieced logs, and wonky cutting. And my center "square" was pieced because the scrap of red I had wasn't a rectangle, so I just sewed some blue on to get started. In an effort to create a pieced log I created a strip that I didn't end up liking for my log cabin, so it was the "sourdough starter" for my second block...

I'm not entirely sure why I didn't love the blue and yellow strip for my log cabin, but the curve of it didn't help. In this block I embraced the curve to create smooth improv curved piecing.

I think these both feel like "me", but what are you missing that is part of my signature style? I'd love to hear in the comments.

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Last month, I gave my first in-person lecture in over two years. This month, I traveled for my first in-person workshop since March 14, 2020. I was delighted to be invited to Lompoc, California to visit Quilters Etc. for a lecture and workshop. As much as I love giving lectures on Zoom, it was delightful to hold a mic and speak to 3-dimensional quilters! I shared my Rules and Options of Planned Improv Piecing lecture with the group on Thursday evening.

Saturday I had a group of 16 quilters in class for Improv Log Cabins. I have a new document camera to project my demos to a screen so students can easily see my tabletop from their seats. And I used a voice amplifier system to make it easy for everyone in the room to hear me. Improv Log Cabins is a bit of a choose your own adventure. Students can choose what size and scale they work, if they want to make a single log cabin or many, wonky or not... and the list goes on. I demonstrate a variety of techniques and elements that can be worked into a log cabin of any size. I thoroughly enjoy seeing what students make and the best part for me is that everyone's projects look unique at the end of the day. It was a great day!

I didn't manage to get photos of everyone's work, but here are a gallery of some of the pieces created in class last Saturday.

Beth finished a whole quilt top. And she shared photos of the finished and bound quilt before I had unpacked back at home!

Because I had a day off between my lecture and my workshop, my great grandparents used to live in Lompoc, and Lompoc is about halfway between me and my sister (it was a 4 hour drive for me and a 3 hour drive for her) I invited Jenn to join me for my day off. What a full day. We visited the cemetery where my great grandparents are buried, their old house, and the beach. Then after a brief time playing cards at the hotel we set off to grab lunch, drove to Solvang, and visited Ostrichland! I feel like we packed a much lengthier vacation into our one day together. We even got some time in the hot tub and milkshakes with dinner!

I love running across unexpected art. By L. Regalado and C. Martinez, 2016.

I have such happy memories of visiting my great grandparents as a kid. When I was in college in southern California I'd often go the long way when driving between home and school so that I could detour to visit my great grandmother.

My great grandmother lived in her home until she was 96 years old. The house looks delightful with updates to paint, roof, and landscaping.

We never understood how close the beach was to town since mom never took us there as kids!

I have fond memories of driving past Ostrichland, but this was the first time we even stopped for a closer look and a change to feed the birds.

Solvang, "The Danish Capitol of America."

It's always lovely to walk around Solvang and enjoy the architecture.

Thank you to Quilters Etc. for having me!

I'd love to visit your guild on Zoom or in person. Please reach out with any questions about my workshops and lectures for your group or guild. If you aren't a member of a group, the best way to stay in touch to hear of opportunities to sign up as an individual for workshops is to be on my newsletter list. Subscribe here.

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I am so pleased to share that a recent project I worked on is available to order now. As a member of the Northern California/Northern Nevada SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Region, I had the pleasure of working with Deb Cashatt to create the 134 page catalog for the region's newest exhibition, Prism Play.

Cover design by Deb Cashatt. Cover artwork: Sherri Lipman McCauley, Cara Gulati, Lyla J. Messinger, Sandra Wagner, Anne Burns Johnson, Robin White Koenig, Mel Beach, Susan Gibson Kelly, Libby Williamson, Martha W. Ginn, Aileyn Renli Ecob, Helene Hein.

WIN-WIN-Wind Energy by Mel Beach.

Each of the 62 quilts is featured in the catalog with a full quilt image and a detail image with artist information and artist statement. While I don't have a quilt in this exhibition (I submitted Connections), I was excited to dust off my graphic design skills to do the layout and design of the book. Deb was an amazing partner on the project. She did all the photo editing and provided thoughtful feedback along the way.

Prism Play, an exhibition of 62 monochromatic art quilts, is currently on display at the Peninsula Museum of Art at The Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno, California. This inaugural exhibit runs through July 17, 2022. More venues will follow as this exhibition travels through 2026. Check the N.CA/N.NV website for updates on where it will be exhibited next.

The Prism Play exhibition catalog is available for sale on Amazon.