• Category Archives Student Work
  • 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


  • Let it Snow…

    This is a double en tender here. it is of course a reference to the recent snowy weather we’ve had but¬† also refers the sprinkling application process in which you add the fabric confetti by the pinch¬† to the quilt surface.

    I taught my confetti class at Montavilla Sewing Center in Gresham yesterday, braving the roads that were slowly recovering from our winter weather. I had three students, a fourth who really wanted to attend begged off at the last minute, she had farther to travel than the rest of us and felt it was going to be more challenging than she wanted to tackle.

    For the class, I had a handout with two patterns, one was little more than a branch that could be fused and then embellished with confetti foliage, the second option was a simple landscape scene with a tree on the shore of a lake. To my delight, each student came with an idea already in her head or even partially composed. I try to gear my classes to cut across all skill levels from an enthusiastic beginner to an accomplished adventurous stitcher but it always gives me a thrill to see the quilter partially or fully fledged follow their own inspiration.

    Here are the projects that came out of yesterday’s class