• Category Archives Classes
  • Holy Mola Batman, It’s Sleeping Cats!

    I teach a lot of classes every year and I’ve been teaching them for many years. Much of the time, my student’s work flies off like fledged birds that make their way out into the world without a backward glance but every so often one returns, all grown up, for a visit.

    Jane's Mola of a Navajo pot.
    Jane’s Mola of a Navajo pot.

    I got two such visits  in the last week, one never flew far from home as it is still waiting to fully develop its wings in a friends studio who I see on a regular basis though this little bird has been modestly out of sight the days I’ve spent there sewing with my friend; I had to ask her to coax it out so I could take this photo; this is my friend Jane’s Mola of a Navajo pot; I created the pattern but she is the first person to actually make it.

    Then, just the other day I was teaching a machine quilting class at the Montavilla Sewing Center in Gresham and one of my students had brought in a quilt she made from a class she had taken from me a few yeas back. Here is Rita’s ‘Let Sleeping Cats Lie’  quilt.

    Kudos to both Jane and Rita and thank you for letting me share your work with everyone.

    Rita's 'quilt - Let Sleeping Cats Lie.
    Rita’s ‘quilt – Let Sleeping Cats Lie.

  • The Green Man

    Folklore and Mythology is rich with references to The Green Man. Known in many cultures, he is most prevalent in Celtic mythology. The Green Man is the male aspect of Mother Nature, he is consort to the Earth Mother Goddess and their union is the foundation of the Pagan May festival of Beltane.

    The Green Man is portrayed as a hirsute man whose locks and facial hair are represented by leaves and branches. Sometimes he is pictured with horns like a stag.

    Once a month, I hold an Art Journal Quilt class in which we explore techniques and design a bit more in the artistic realm than those usually found in quilting classes. A couple of months ago, the assignment was to create a collage of the Green Man starting with a printed or traced face and embellishing it with a collage of fussy cut leaves and flowers. At the last class, a couple of students brought their completed Green Man quilts for ‘Show & Crow’ and I’m posting them here for your enjoyment.

    If you are curious or interested in the Journal Quilt classes, we meet monthly at two locations in Portland – The first Friday of each month at Pioneer Quilts in Milwaukie, and the last Friday of each month at Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville. Contact the shops for details or to register.

    Joy's Green Man Quilt
    Joy’s Green Man Quilt
    Ardie's Green Man Quilt
    Ardie’s Green Man Quilt

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  • Van Gogh By Thread

    This is my latest Embroidery project – Van Gogh By Thread! I gave a class to my embroidery group last month on creating little scenic still life themes with embroidery; for my own project I chose one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings as inspiration. The stitchery was done mainly with six-strand floss (with a little pearl cotton) onto wool felt. The panel, which measures about 10″ tall by 6″ wide, originally started square but ended up wonky with the distortion the stitching created, I probably could have kept it more squared up with a stabilizer beneath the felt but I really like the asymmetrical presentation the way it turned out.

    The entire embroidery was done on the improv – no preliminary drawing, I just picked up a needle and started stitching by eye so my rendering is not an exact reproduction of the painting, just a similar arrangement. It was challenging but fun and I think I’d like to turn this into a class if people are interested. I want to explore more of Van Gogh’s paintings for future projects, maybe one of his landscapes. His work is particularly well suited to this because of the brush strokes he employed – they are perfect to represent in stitching. Once again, I will simply improvise by eye rather than draw out a detailed master plan.

    Van Gogh's Sunflowers improvised with thread.
    Van Gogh’s Sunflowers improvised with thread.