Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Let's do a little Scrap Slapping, Shall We?

I have a new favorite lecture, and its name is "Give it a Scrap Slap." Kudos to Kelli Fannin, who helped come up with the name; it's both edgy and fitting for what I would loosely describe as a rollicking romp through my scrap bins over a year. Read on for a tighter description of the fun!

I've been planning this lecture since the moment in December 2013 when I found out I was on the Quiltmaker magazine 2014 Scrap Squad. Scrap Squad, for those who aren't aware and have clearly not been reading this blog over the past year, is a group of Quiltmaker readers selected each year to scrap up one assigned project per QM issue, and the projects are then highlighted on the Quilty Pleasures blog. Since I am not a huge fan of "fabric line" quilts (again, hello to anyone who finds this news!) and when I see a magazine project I immediately think "How can I scrap this thing up?", it was really like Scrap Squad was created just for me and it would have been a crying shame had I not been chosen. Thankfully QM realized this, right?

I spent much of 2014 and early 2015 creating quilts to show off to the hoards and masses that I sincerely hoped would flock to this lecture. I started advertising it on this blog and in my newsletters last fall for bookings May 2015 and beyond. As April 1, my first practice lecture date, approached, I was in a total tizz of planning, excitement, and that fabulous mix of ego trip and self doubt known intimately by artsy people the world over. Could I pull this off? Was it going to be as amazing as it was in my head? Would the actual people in the audience enjoy the talk as much as my dining room chairs seemed to when I practiced? As seen in this photo, we can at least surmise they paid attention as the woman in read is staring transfixed straight ahead.

We can also surmise that my hands never stop moving. Ever.
 "Give it a Scrap Slap" is a delightful (if I do say) presentation of not only why I really love a quilt made from as many fabrics as possible, but how a quilt transforms from a pattern in a magazine to a masterpiece, or at least a quilt with some more vim, vigor, and velocity when a quilter takes the bones of the project, adds their scraps and flair, and runs with it. It also shows how each project inspired me to create other quilt projects or designs of my own, based on either the colors I had chosen for the scrap versions or some element of the design taking on a new life and begging to show off. Observe the premise of the lecture:

Start with this, "Pup Tents" by Janice Averill, one of our assigned projects.

Definitely my most challenging assignment. Find out why by seeing me in person!
 Scrap it up and do a little "block rotation and switcheroo-ing." It's a thing. Haven't you heard of it?

Eva does have a head. Really she does.
 Put the whole project away for months because you are so sick to death of flying geese you could swear them off for all time, but eventually become inspired by the basic idea of them, do a little more block rotation and switcheroo-ing (See, told you. A thing.) and voila! A new design entirely.
I call it Harlequin Shake. Again, welcome to the newbies who haven't seen it yet!

April 1 arrived, and with it my Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild meeting. This group of close to 150 members had graciously agreed to the first humans to hear my thoughts on how I had taken the assigned Scrap Squad projects up a notch. Even though I was brutally honest as I walked to the front of the room, warning them that I had "no idea what is about to happen, so brace yourselves," we could not have had a better time. They were so open and accepting not only of my often brazen disregard for proper staid and upright lecture conduct (actually, I'm kind of known for that disregard and it works, so consider yourselves warned) but they were also seriously fascinated by my thoughts on the whole process of being given a project and told to change it, and how I went about each project and made them my own. Not to brag, but what the heck I'm half way there already, members used words like "hilarious, down to earth, authentic and so creative" (actually one member used all of them, so there you go.), "very talented", and "super entertaining." I was blown away, considering I didn't even have to pay them to say these things.

What I was not expecting, but what I absolutely loved about this dry run and I hope it continues for other groups, was all the give and take from the audience. They were not afraid to ask questions along the way, offer what they might have done differently, or suggest names for some of the projects that are still nameless. In all honesty, if I had to describe them as an audience, I'd call them "delightfully rapt" and I hope all audiences will be so! I'll find out soon enough - this lecture is heading to a couple of local guilds in the next two months, as well as flinging itself off to Wisconsin Quilt Expo and Tucson Quilt Fiesta with me in tow over the next 10 months. I seriously cannot wait to start sharing it with audiences everywhere as one booking in, I can already declare this to be my favorite lecture and finest offering and I'm really proud of it. Can you tell?

So how to do you get me to come share the scrappy fun with your group? The best place to start is HERE, where you can read descriptions of all of my programs and workshops and see my current schedule. I'm hugely in favor of guild sharing, so if you have a guild or two in your area who might be interested in discounts or combining your meetings to host me, let's talk! I'll be the one using my hands while we do!

1 comment:

Connie said...

Anxiously waiting to see you in Tucson

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