The roots of quilting are grounded upon the “everyday use” principle. The idea that we use everything we have in any way we can so that we can use the product of those pieces. Torn shirts? Outgrown dresses? In this case rags really do lead to riches because from those old, used garments we get a quilt that simultaneously keeps us warm and preserves history through those bygone scraps. Our roots began in improvisation: use what you have. As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work.” Christine Robbins not only reminded her students of the quilting world’s roots, but she guided us back through an exercise based off of Denyse Schmidt’s improv style. We played with scraps, learning not to be fussy, and in that process we found freedom not only to try new things but to get back to the joy of not being so persnickety. Once again, like those quilters before us, we were women in a room, laughing, sharing, and creating something useful and meaningful.