Sherri Lynn Wood will speak on GAAQG Quilt Day, Nov. 19, 2016


Sherri Lynn Wood at Recology, San Francisco CA, 2016. Photo courtesy Sherri Lynn Wood.

by Linda Theil
October 24, 2016

California artist Sharri Lynn Wood will speak at the GAAQG Quilt Day meeting beginning at 9:15 a.m. November 19, 2016 in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. Wood’s one-hour, multi-media presentation is titled “Improvise! Creating, Quilting, & Living Courageously.”

Wood said:

Music, dance, theater, drawing, cooking, conversation, play, child rearing, and even science benefit from the flexibility of mind that improvisational process engenders. We all improvise every day. Attendees will leave with mind tools, tips and a fresh perspective on how to apply improv skills learned in life to their patchwork – and vice versa!

Both of Wood’s workshops for the guild are sold out with wait lists, but space is still available for Glamp Stitchalot, a luxury quilting retreat on Nov. 11-13, 2016 hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics at the Kensington Court hotel in Ann Arbor where Wood will be one of six resident teachers.

UPDATE 11/07/17: Some spots in Wood’s guild classes have opened up. For more info, check “Limited Spaces Open for Sherri Lynn Wood Workshops”.

Of her classes, Wood said:

Let students know not to fret about anything, whatever they bring to class, they can make it work! There is really nothing to do to prepare except come with an open and curious mind.

I’m looking forward to visiting and working with your community!

Wood has just completed a three-month residency in the artist-in-residence program at the Recology recycling center in San Francisco where she exhibited works completed during her residency in a show titled “Afterlife“. In her artist statement for “Afterlife” Wood said:

I am curious about the way patterns inhabit systems of all kinds –relationships, communities, institutions, environments, and territory within myself. I see patchwork as a historically rich medium for modeling the dynamics of pattern formation, and the limits that manifest systems.

This body of work also stems from a commitment to make-do as a way to free myself from the spell of limitless choice. By choosing to work within recognized limits, the act of creating became more fluid, surprisingly synchronistic, and restorative. Making do is not only about solving a problem with what’s at hand, which I find extremely satisfying, it also fostered within me a collaborative, receptive, and improvisational rhythm of attention marked by acceptance, and respect for how things are, with room for what showed up, including mistakes, and deviations from any or all previous plans. It grew my capacity for seeing the materials and responding affirmatively to the work as it emerged.

My goal was not to speak through, of, or for the materials but to speak in conversation with them. In the works presented, I accepted the limits of their salvaged parts, natural shapes and intrinsic lines. I tried to be present and bear witness to the unique and broken characteristics of the discarded objects, which became the portal to their transfigured geometries.

And that’s how I understand resurrection, or life after system collapse. Our transfigured patterns and relationships will unfold through the portal of our shared brokenness. And these new bodies will be strangely familiar and intimately foreign, as we wake together in the afterlife.

Wood is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors, and is a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow. She said that she has been making and improvising quilts as a creative life practice for twenty-five years, and she blogs about her work in her website Her teaching credits include Penland School of Craft, QuiltCon, and many modern and traditional guilds in the US. During her recent artist-in-residence fellowship at Recology, she began work on her second book. Her first book, The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters – A Guide to Creating, Quilting and Living Courageously, released by STC Craft/Abrams in April 2015 has sold more than 10,000 copies. The guild will have copies available for sale at the November meeting.

The GAAQG meeting begins at 9:15 a.m.; doors open at 8:15 a.m. Everyone is welcome; non-members pay a $10 fee, or ask for the sponsorship of an attending member to attend the meeting at no cost.


“Rainbow Cloud Quilt” by Sherri Lynn Wood. Photo courtesy Sherri Lynn Wood.


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This post was written by Linda Theil

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