Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Exploring Collaboration: part 4

Today is the fourth installment of Exploring Collaboration, a series of blog posts offered up twice a month by Karen Bolan and me. We've really enjoyed sharing our thoughts with you and look forward to future conversations about collaboration with many fellow quilters.

For this week's exploration of collaboration, I have a specific idea that you might try with a group of friends.  Hopefully the world will soon begin to open up again and we will be more able to join with fellow quilters on retreats, for quilting days, workshops and other in person activities. Here's a collaborative activity you and your group might like to try! A friend and I came up with this idea a couple of years ago (pre-pandemic). It will work best with a group of 4-8, if you have more just split into two groups!

To begin this activity, each participant arrives with an already completed 24" block. For my example, we each start with an improv log cabin. They can be wonky (or not), symmetrical (or not), prints, solids, you name it. The important thing (for ease) is that all of the beginning blocks are 24" square. Each person also needs to bring a 2 1/2" strip of their "signature fabric" cut into 4 6" rectangles.  

Participants should be seated in a circle of sorts so that projects can easily be passed from one to the next. First up, everyone passes their block to the person next to them (clockwise passing works well!) Now take the block you have received and cut it into 16 equal 6" squares. If you have a 6"x24" ruler this will be easy to do!

Now gather up the squares you have cut and pass them to the next person in line.

Mix up the squares you have received. Randomly choose four of the squares, add one of your signature rectangles to the mix and sew them into a strip (you can insert your rectangle anywhere you want. In this example, the orange strip between blocks 3 & 4 is the signature strip).

Now pass your strip and the remaining squares to the next person. Repeat the strip sewing activity until each block is in four strips. Can you find the four different signature strips in the photo below?

The next person gets to rearrange the strips into a pleasing arrangement of their choice and sew them all together.

Return the completed, reconstructed block to it's original owner to be quilted and bound. 

It would be fun to try this activity with other kinds of blocks too! If you try it, I hope you'll share your process and results with me on Instagram @ellynz.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

This sounds like a lot of fun; a nice "guided" method of trying collaboration with a small group.