Drawing With Thread
This class takes the idea of the wholecloth quilt and puts a totally modern slant on it. The end result will be a quilt whose design is achieved through free motion stitching and contrast in thread and fabric colour. Around half the workshop time will be spent in practising free motion machine techniques which can be used to create various effects in this type of work. Students can then draw up their own design or work with one of the kits I have developed for this class. Students are encouraged to make further samples so that they can determine the most effective thread and fabric combinations for their project. I have done quite a few trials for my kits and generally have for sale most of the threads used in them. Students working with kits often feel their time is more profitably spent working on the sample fabrics supplied and practising the skills needed for their particular kit before embarking on the finished product. The emphasis is on developing the skills needed rather than achieving the end product in the class although some students do get very close to finishing their piece. Students should have some knowledge and experience in free motion stitching prior to this class. Two day workshop.
See Gallery – Drawing with Thread
Picture Perfect Piecing
This is a class which teaches the process of piecing a quilt from a drawing. Depending on the length of the class, students will cover some or all of the following aspects of the topic:- developing a design for a quilt ( pictorial or abstract), drawing it up full size and adding appropriate lines including registration marks which will enable the piecing of the design; tracing the design onto the wrong side of freezer paper; choosing and cutting fabrics; techniques of piecing the different shapes involved in the design. This class requires patience and is not for anyone who is out for quick results and instant gratification! There is a lot of preparation involved before the sewing stage but it is absolutely worth it. Patience will be rewarded! Two-three day workshop for those with some machine piecing experience.
See Gallery – Pieced Quilts
Machine Embroidery Magic
Discover great stitch techniques to give new dimension to your work.Topics covered include textural stitching; stitching motifs, trims, edgings and entire works on water soluble fabrics; thread painting; stabilizers; stitching on butter muslin and more. A knowledge of basic free motion techniques required. Great fun and very rewarding. Preferably a two day class but some of the techniques can be covered in a one day class.
(textured, collaged surfaces for applique or machine embellishment)
Some years ago I developed a technique using scrap strips of fabric from 1/8in to 1in wide. These were offcuts from straightening fabric for rotary cutting and formed a fabric surface which was further embellished by copious free motion machine stitching. This fun and easy technique is also possible with other shaped fabric scraps and has many, many possibilities. In working on an exhibition piece using this technique I became aware of the possibility of creating interesting surfaces using knitting yarns and specialty threads and so a further range of possibilities opened up. Visually rich surfaces can be created using these ideas and though wonderful in their own right, I see them as possibilities for backgrounds for machine applique and machine stitched embellishment or even for clothing, book covers, bags etc.
One or more backgrounds will be developed during the class depending on the size the student chooses to work on. I suggest around A4 size will give you the opportunity to try a few ideas. Different machine applique methods will be discussed and trialled. A working knowledge of free motion stitching is an advantage One or (preferably) two day workshop.
See Gallery – ZigZag – TripARTite – In A Whirl and Firewheel
Creative Raw Edge Appliqué
One Day Version #1: Students will be shown the technique of creating papercut appliqué designs (based on the same principle as “snowflakes” or Hawaiian appliqué). They are encouraged to design their own pattern but may work from one of my patterns if they choose. Students will then learn the technique of free motion straight stitch embroidery to attach the applique to a background and apply this knowledge in completing their block.
See Gallery – Raw Edge Applique – Essence of Eucalypt, Papercut Poppies
One Day Version #2: Students will experiment with producing “new” fabrics made from scraps from other projects (or even specially generated scraps!) The surface of this new fabric will then be enhanced with generous amounts of free motion machine stitching. These pieces can be further developed with the addition of further raw edge appliqué or machine stitchery.
See Gallery -Raw Edge Applique – Baled Up,The Dance, Rustle, Whisper.
Two Day Version: A combination of the two one day classes so that students cover the basics of applying and enhancing raw edge shapes on day one and develop a work based around scrap fabrics and stitchery on day two.
Three Day Version: A three day version would allow the in depth development and perhaps completion of a creative piece of work.
From the Ground Up
Day One:- sees students learning about procion dyeing and dyeing fabric for use on the subsequent two days. Both gradation dyeing and low water immersion techniques are covered here as well as some shibori techniques.
Day Two:- students can use surface design techniques on their hand dyed fabrics to create even more unique fabrics for inclusion in their work. Techniques could include lino prints, silk screen prints and rubbings. It would be necessary to choose between lino and screen prints before the class as it would be difficult to adequately cover both these topics in one day.
Day Three:- students are assisted to begin developing a work using the fabrics that they have produced.
Note:- the possibility of running this class on three consecutive days is dependent on there being facilities for students to adequately wash and dry their fabrics. Dyed fabrics often demand a lot of washing before they are ready to be used in a quilt.
Procion Dyeing for Quilters
One Day Version: Students learn the technique of gradation dyeing using the plastic bag method. Low water immersion dyeing is also covered where fabrics are dyed in layers to create interesting effects and also where multiple colours can be used on the one fabric. Some basic shibori techniques are also covered in this class. Students will dye 10-12 metres of fabric in this class.
Two Day Version: Further uses of procion dyes are covered in this class. Procion dyes can be thickened so that they are able to be used for screen printing or stamping, they can be painted on to give a watercolour effect or thickened to any degree to give more control over the flow of the colour. Interesting effects can be achieved through spraying the dyes in varying ways, particularly when using foliage in a stencil technique and building up multiple layers of colour.
More shibori techniques may also be covered in this class.
Surface Design Workshop
A four day workshop composed entirely of surface design techniques. Alternatively different topics may be chosen from the descriptions below to be used as one, two or three day workshops.
Procion Dyeing:- Students learn the techniques of procion dyeing as outlined above and can use their fabrics thus produced for some of the other workshops if they wish.
Lino Block Printing:- Students design and cut their own original design in lino and can then print with them on fabric or paper.
Silk Screen Printing:- Simple methods are covered here which could easily be used at home to create prints on fabric which can then be incorporated into textile works.
Transfer Dye Printing:- Experimenting with using transfer dyes intended for use on fabrics with at least 65% synthetic content, this technique can produce striking effects.
Basic Batik Techniques:- students learn to create fabrics suitable for use in patchwork and quilting and learn a range of simple ways to create interesting effects. Cold or hot wax can be used.
Having done one or more of these workshops, students would have learnt techniques which they could do at home as all processes are quite simple and do not require elaborate equipment. They will take with them a range of unique fabrics for use in their projects.
Each of these topics can also be covered singly, some in a one day class. They are all fun and very rewarding.
Paint, Print and Pizazz!
An exciting three day workshop.
Day One:- Have fun creating unique and individual fabrics which look great used in quilts. Fabric paint is applied using rollers, sponges, paint brushes and all sorts of every day bits and pieces.
Day Two:- Design and cut your own original linocut block which can then be used to enhance your painted fabrics or alternatively to create other fabulous fabrics.
Day Three:- Bring it all together using rotary cutting techniques and enhancing the designs with free motion machine embroidery and /or quilting to begin creating a small, original wall quilt or postcard(s).
Can easily be extended to a four day class.
Surface Design Smorgasbord
Five days packed full of techniques for producing highly individual fabrics to use in textile projects. Topics may include frottage, making stamps and blocks to print from, drawing, design, monoprinting, silk screen printing, transfer dyes, dyeing, fabric painting, rusting fabric, discharge dyeing, machine embroidery techniques, the use of sheer fabrics, painted fusible webbing and more.
Once Upon a Theme
Design exercises will demonstrate ways of exploring a particular subject matter and the topic of visual diaries and sketchbooks will be examined. Experimentation with a range of materials and techniques on paper and fabric will produce numerous possibilities for starting points for the development of a work or works (postcard size or larger) based on individual chosen themes.
Emphasis will be on the use of painted and printed materials which will be produced in class, the generation of individual designs, developing confidence to explore and the sheer enjoyment of the process. Play with drawing and painting materials, produce simple printing blocks and pull it all together with the sewing machine. A sense of adventure and knowledge of the basics of free motion machine stitching are all you need. This class is for those who are willing to explore. Prior knowledge of free motion stitching needed. Prior design skills not at all essential. Four or five day class.
(A two day adaptation of Paint, Print and Pizazz)
Have fun creating unique and individual fabrics which look great used in quilts.
Fabric paint is applied using rollers, sponges, paint brushes and all sorts of every day bits and pieces. Then experiment with simple printing techniques to enhance your painted fabrics and create other interesting elements to be used in small postcard sized textile artworks.
Free motion machine stitching will be used to enhance the pieces which can be mounted on card and framed, even sent to a special friend through the post!
Students should have prior knowledge of free motion stitching. Two day workshop.