Time to Improvise!

We’ve all had the lovely opportunity of experiencing a moment, a day or maybe a weekend when the unexpected found its way into our quilting reality.

 Ah yes, that moment of “Uh Oh” when for mere moments time stops, and you become acutely aware that something is wrong with the current situation.  During that particular period you inwardly talk yourself off a cliff and realize you would have to improvise somehow in the immediate future.  Are flashbacks running past movie clips in your mind as you relive that less than wonderful occasion?  I have had numerous occasions where improvising played a major factor in the success of my day.

I’m Willing to Share ONE Example

“Divide and Design”, one of my all time favorite classes to teach.  I love introducing my students to this amazing method of designing their quilts.  The facial expression of “By Golly George I Think I’ve Got This” that gradually travels its way across everyone’s face is priceless.  However, you cannot bring smiles, and feelings of success to your class when you neglect to bring the drawing templates that are essential to instructing the class.  Listen folks, we aren’t talking overlooking pencils, we are talking about a major component of the Divide and Design tutorial.  

Judy and I looked at one another and deduced that an immediate trip to the nearest Wal-Mart, or K-Mart was of the essence!  We flew by the seat of our pants and did whatever it took  in order to make this class work.

Let the Lisa Improv Show Commence!

Our speedy jaunt had us purchasing cups, plates, and bowls.  These were transformed into my templates for this particular class, allowing me to illustrate my Divide and Design method.  Above you will see that I grabbed a few items in the studio to show that they too could have also been utilized for teaching that class had I had them readily available.  What started out as a panic attack eventually turned into “I can handle this”.   The class went well, Judy and I survived one, of many, winging it adventures.

A Friendly Tip:  Keep Your “Uh Oh” on the Down Low

  Try to remain calm; easier said than done I know.  However, those around you don’t need to bear witness to your oops.  Heck, depending on what the oops is, no one may even realize you’ve improvised in the slightest way!  There is no reason to advertise your fault, we are all human and I big believer of “it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you”.   At one point in time we all need to improvise in way or another.  Whether it pertains to our business or personal life; every now and then we need to fill in the blanks with words, or items we have forgotten.

If You Must, Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

  Do what you gotta go.  If it requires running to K-Mart,or Wal-Mart then that’s what one must do.  Those of us in the quilting world are very creative people!  Use that gift to your advantage when it comes to improvising.  You will be amazed with the ingenuity your creative juices will produce when push comes to shove.   So improvise, improvise, improvise! You might just surprise yourself and actually love what your spontaneity  brings about!

Have you had to improvise, fly by the seat of your pants or wing it to get through a quilting event?  If so I would love hear about your experience.

4 thoughts on “Time to Improvise!

  1. Yes!!! My introduction to quilting was fly by the seat of my pants!!! The first time I attended a quilting class (realize I knew nothing about the world of quilting (0000)) I did not realize you had to bring supplies!! So to save face I said, “Oh, I was planning on buying that here. Where are the supples for sale?” I didn’t even know if they were sold anywhere!!! Meanwhile I had roped my friend into this with me, she was in the same boat as me (knowing nothing about this world). She was in a different class experiencing the same thing as me. Just as I was walking down the hallway to get my supplies I got text from her telling me she needed supplies!!! “Okay, let’s find each other and go find the supplies!” It was very clear to me that the teacher was not pleased with me. I was so embarrassed, it was a very long day!!! I read that list now, over and over!!!

    • Kimberly3014, you are in good company. I can’t tell you how many students don’t bring some of the essentials to class each time. While teachers may not be happy (or good at hiding it), they know it happens and I’m sure that they might have made a mistake or two along the way too.

      I knew nothing about quilting either in the beginning. I thought quilts were doona covers!

  2. Been there/experienced that. Comforting to know this happens to others (I thought/chalked it off to a “senior moment”!!!!!! LOL!) Thanks for sharing…………hugs………….

  3. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone! Yes, on the odd occasion I have done this too despite having a check list of things to take to class. It does throw the whole routine out of whack mainly with the time allotted to each section of teaching. Luckily my FMQ class is run over two days so I can bring in the missing pieces the next day. It’s very hard to hide the visible signs of your heart, blood and soul sinking to your feet when you discover your boo-boo.

    My emergency strategy is to have some snack size Mars Bars on hand to distract the class while I gather my body parts off the floor and formulate plan B.

    You are very lucky to have an assistant to help out. Bless her!

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