• Category Archives Classes
  • These posts pertain to my classes

  • From Acorn to Oak

    I am honored to be the ‘Featured Quilter’ at the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland Oregon this September! The show organizers have asked me to display a retrospective of all my work from the earliest quilt to the latest. Those attending the show will get to see some of my early work from when I did not grasp that perhaps a mink coat was not a good material to include on a quilt. My plan is to hang about 50 panels of work in every imaginable style and technique.

    Most of my early quilts are embarrassingly bad and few people ever see them but they are my roots from which all I now do grew. I really hope everyone – especially novice quilters who may feel insecure about their skills – will take heart from seeing my humblest most awkward attempts at making a quilt; sometimes when I look at these old quilts, I am amazed I did not give up in discouragement.

    Over the many (47 at this point) years I have been quilting, I have explored many techniques and styles – traditional to contemporary but with an emphasis on pictorial quilts. This exhibit will be a sampling of all of these explorations from the smallest miniatures to my largest quilts. The show has graciously offered me table space to sell patterns and I plan to supplement this with occasional demos as time allows.

    I will also be offering a couple of classes at Expo, one on Kantha embroidery and the other on small scroll-like wall hangings inspired by the stone pathways in a Japanese Garden that I call Zen Pathways; pictures of these class projects are below. You can get more information from the Northwest Quilting Expo website.

    A kitty in Kantha stitching
    Folk Art cat stitched in the Kantha style
    Ardie’s Kantha Kitty
    Leaf design in Kantha Stitching
    Joy’s Kantha Kitty
    Stacie’s Kantha Kitty
    Mary’s Kantha Kitty
    Kantha Bird
    ‘Under the Ginko tree’ – a Zen Pathway quilt
    Zen Pathway #2

  • Coming in March – Art and Soul Retreat

    On Wednesday March 13, 2019 I am offering an evening class on using natural objects to print fabric and/or paper. Nature offers a variety of source materials – plant materials such as leaves and branches (bare or leafy) and some vegetables yield wonderful designs.

    My favorite nature prints come from leaves. There is such a wide range of shapes, sizes and sometimes intricate details; leaves offer an incredible range of design potential. You can focus on the leaf forms themselves or play with simpler shaped leaves in a variety of arrangements.

    I first experimented with stamping leaves in my younger years, printing them onto exotic Japanese rice papers. I would stamp and press merrily away using the successes to make handmade cards while the ‘rejects’ were chalked up to the luck of the draw. Speaking of which, nature printing is serendipitous, you don’t know how well your impression came out until you lift away the leaf and see the results so it pays to do some test prints to check the viscosity of the paint and how to apply it correctly and keep an open mind enjoying the process. Some prints will be drop dead perfect while others… Even the failures might have a bright future, This collage bird was made onto a backdrop of one such ‘failure’ but look how perfect it was as a backdrop.

    Red Bird collage on maple leaf background print

    It can be fun to play with different textures of fabric, trying everything from flat goods to fabrics with a nap or nubby silks and linens… Once done the prints can be cut up for collage (paper or fabric) or you can print your own yardage. If you are adventurous, you can even press leaf prints onto garments or pieced quilt blocks. If you love applique, you can print leaves to cut out and applique onto your projects for an unusual take on the ‘fussy-cut’ applique method.

    Whether you are a paper artist or fabric artist this will be a very fun class and you will leave at the end with some new ideas as well as some nature prints to play with.


  • Art & Soul Retreats Coming to Portland in March 2019

    Time for some shameless self-promotion! I want to talk about my classes at the Art & Soul Retreat in Portland next spring. I plan to do this in segments devoting a separate blog post to each the better to promote each class individually. My first will be:

    Thread Painting: March 10, 2019; 9am ‚Äď 4:30pm

    This is free-motion quilting on steroids. Though it does take a degree of confidence to plunge into it, the method does not require quite the level of precision that traditional free-motion quilting does for delightful results. In regular free-motion quilting, the beauty lies in individual lines, these lines should be rendered with accuracy to be attractive but Thread Painting is more like coloring or (as the name says) painting.  A skillful hand will yield spectacular results but even a novice with less expertise can create something beautiful.

    In this class, I will offer two options to try ‚Äď a pair of butterflies that enlists a coloring book approach that is suitable for a raw beginner and a songbird that employs a more ‚Äėpainterly‚Äô technique involving layering and blending of colors and textures. Though I recommend a beginner to try the butterflies a confident beginner can try the bird and get good results. I have even had past students create their own bird from a photo to explore.

    The project sizes are small to make it possible to complete the thread painting in a reasonable amount of time, rather than have it turn into weeks or months of work or risk it languishing in your studio as a UFO. The cost of thread for a smaller project is also reasonable; thread is not cheap especially if you want a wide palette of colors. A smaller project will allow you to learn and perfect your technique before tackling a larger, more expensive project.
    If you are still uncertain that you could actually do this, look at what previous students have done in this class. Most of these were all stitched by students who had only a little or no experience with thread painting.
    If you are interested in this workshop, you can find more information at Art & Soul Retreats