Classes-Schedule

Classes have resumed. I currently offer classes at Montavilla Sewing Centers (in Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Gresham), and Sharon’s Attic Quilt Shop in Aloha.

I also offer online instruction on a one-to-one basis or to groups interested in arranging a group class session. Most of my class offerings are adaptable to this format. I am also available for one-on-one tutoring and consultations for your projects. You can contact me at helene.m.knott@gmail.com for more information or to schedule a session.

Montavilla Sewing Center – 429 1st St, Lake Oswego, OR 97034 PH# (503) 635-1353

Montavilla Sewing Center – 4955 SW Western Ave #B, Beaverton, OR 97005

Montavilla Sewing Center – 971 NE Kelly Ave, Gresham, OR 97030

Sharon’s Attic – 2950 SW Cornelius Pass Rd #100, Hillsboro, OR 97123 PH# (503) 259-3475

In addition to traveling and teaching for guilds and retreats out of the area, I also teach a wide variety of classes at a few of the local shops. Below is a chronological listing of my upcoming classes; for more detailed information – hours and class fees – click on the appropriate shop link, check their class calendar, or call them to register.

Lake Oswego Store – Thread painting may be easier than you think; it’s basically ‘coloring’ with thread instead of paint. Confidence with free-motion stitching is recommended for this class, but precise stitching abilities are unnecessary to create a beautiful thread-painted motif. This project has several pattern options – a coloring book-style butterfly in a couple of sizes suitable for all skill levels or a choice of birds requiring a more ‘painterly’ technique and better free-motion stitching skills. Students are also welcome to bring their own designs if they wish to try something unique. Contact the teacher if you wish to bring a design of your choice to stitch. Skill Level: Confident Beginner and up.

January 16, 2024: Sashiko – Montavilla Sewing Center

Beaverton Store – Sashiko is a classic form of Japanese needlework dating back to antiquity. Superficially, it resembles quilting, but the thread is coarser, and the stitches are larger. The resulting work is rustic and often utilitarian, so it is considered more of a country or folk art in Japan than a formal one. There is a wide variety of classical Sashiko designs, but the stitching method can be applied to patterns and designs far beyond the traditional Japanese patterns. In the class, students will learn the basics of Sashiko while stitching a small mat, coaster, or mug rug. Warning: Sashiko can become addictive. Skill level: Beginner

January 20, 2024: Free Motion Magic #1 – Montavilla Sewing Center

Gresham Store – This class is designed to remove the fear of quilting your own quilt; we will cover various quilting techniques and the tools needed to perform them. Students will work with a range of quilting designs and techniques for stitching each design style on practice squares and simple pieced blocks. The samplers to stitch on are small, as it’s best to learn and perfect your skills on a smaller piece before tackling larger projects. Also included is an overview of needles, threads, machine maintenance, and troubleshooting tips for uncooperative sewing machines. Skill Level: Beginner

In the early 2000s, Zentangles were introduced to the art community, teaching those who had never explored doodling in their youth the joys of this improvisational drawing style. It is to Zentangles that we can credit the current wave of excellent coloring books aimed at adults. My philosophy is: ‘If it is a line – it can be quilted’ (well – mostly). In this class, you will learn the playful doodling process with your sewing machine. The design approach is liberating, and you need not be skilled in artistic drawing to enjoy this carefree approach to quilting. Join me and free up your inner child who drew with joy and abandon just for the sheer pleasure it brought. Skill Level: confident beginner – basic free-motion quilting skills are recommended.

January 26, 2024: Lite Your Fuse – Montavilla Sewing Center

Beaverton Store – For many quilters, Applique was one of those methods many chose to avoid. The learning curve to become adept at hand applique is fairly steep, but in the 1970s, fusible webs to ‘cut and paste’ applique hit the quilting world by storm. Initially, there were only a couple of products available, and they resulted in applique so stiff, it was akin to body armor if you wanted to applique a small motif on your shirt. Years passed and new products started to appear, ones designated as ‘Lite’ and ‘Ultra-lite’ along with paper-backed webs (1-layer, 2-layer) and paperless webs. Powders, liquids, and sprays (permanent and temporary)… The choices of fabric adhesives for applique keep growing. Some proclaim they are durable; others say they are soft as a feather; some you can hand-stitch through, while others will break the needle on your sewing machine. How do you choose the best adhesive for what many quilters hope will become a keepsake, if not a family heirloom, to be treasured for years? You could experiment on your own, purchasing this, that, and the other thing. Considering that many of these products are available only in rolls and multiple sheet packages, the investment would be immense, and you may find, as I did only after purchasing an entire bolt of a fusible web, that you just bought a product you would never want to use again. This class is the solution to explore various products, what particular projects they are best suited for, and how to apply them efficiently. If flexible, cuddly quilts are your goal, or you are searching for the most permanent adhesive you can find, or if you want to hand-stitch the edges or adorn it with embroidery, this is your opportunity to try out over a dozen different products and find the perfect one for your applique. In the process, you will make a simple sampler of the different products, labeling them for future reference. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to try out various methods and products at significant savings. Skill level: Beginner.

Hands-on Fusible Applique Sampler

Some of the classic designs in traditional applique quilt blocks are those lovely lacy medallions looking for the world like those exquisite folded paper snowflakes. They can be simple, like those we cut as children at Christmastide, or intricate, like the Hungarian papercuts from Eastern Europe. In traditional quiltmaking, these were meticulously hand appliqued, a skill not everyone has the patience to learn. Never fear; there is a fairly easy way to create these lovely symmetrical medallions by machine – without the stiffness of adhesive web. In this class, you will learn how to draft a medallion template of your own design (or use one of the instructor’s templates) and create a block that can be made into a pillow or be just one of many to make a larger quilt. Those who wish to explore Hawaiian quilting will find this method a nice alternative for a modestly-sized Hawaiian quilt design. Depending on your preference, the edges of the applique may be left raw for a strictly decorative quilt, or finish the edges with satin or blanket stitching for a more durable utilitarian project. Skill Level: Confident beginner – familiarity with free-motion sewing is recommended but not necessary.

February 2, 2024: Embellished Up-cycled Hand-Socks – Montavilla Sewing Center

Beaverton Store – Winter and early spring can be cold, and cold hands do not function very well. Neither do hands completely encased in gloves that must be removed before you can pick up a small object, turn a page, or write your signature. Fingerless gloves are the solution; many styles are available if you want to buy them. If you want to make your own as a style statement, you must have knitting or crochet skills – or maybe not. Getting ready to discard a much loved pair of socks that had developed the inevitable holes in the toes and heel, I slipped it over my hand and discovered that those holes aligned almost perfectly with my fingers and thumb. A bit of deft work with scissors and some lovely rustic hand embroidery with decorative yarns and ‘Voila’ A pair of lovely fingerless gloves with nary a stitch to knit or crochet. And – one lass item in a landfill. In this class you will make yourself (or a friend) a pair of stylish fancy or funky, embellished hand socks and keep those little paws warm without the impediment of bulky covered fingers. Yoa can of course, bring a pair of brand new socks to alter for this or choose a pair of (clean0 pretty socks that have outlived their footie days. Skill level: Beginner – some crude hand stitching skills are helpful but not necessary.

January 20, 2024: Free Motion Magic #1 – Montavilla Sewing Center

Beaverton Store – This class is designed to remove the fear of quilting your own quilt; we will cover various quilting techniques and the tools needed to perform them. Students will work with a range of quilting designs and techniques for stitching each design style on practice squares and simple pieced blocks. The samplers to stitch on are small, as it’s best to learn and perfect your skills on a smaller piece before tackling larger projects. Also included is an overview of needles, threads, machine maintenance, and troubleshooting tips for uncooperative sewing machines. Skill Level: Beginner

This recurring class is held on the first Tuesday of each month (unless weather or other events interfere) and lasts about 4-1/2 hours starting at noon. Years ago, this started as a Block of The Month class based on my Garden Patch Cats blocks, but as time went by, it evolved into a mentored Open Sew where students bring any sewing-related projects they want help with and sew or embroider for a few hours. The class was renamed Attic Cats to pay homage to its origins. Still, the projects can be UFOs from one of my classes, in which case no documentation is needed, or if it is from a different class, pattern, or book, I ask that students bring their original handouts of instructions so I may be better able to help them. A lovely little group has formed over the years, and we keep adding to our numbers. As the projects vary, so do the skill levels from Confident beginner and up.

February 9, 2024: The Quilted Word – Montavilla Sewing Center

Lake Oswego Store – I teach a number of machine Quilting classes, some technique oriented and some design oriented. In this most recent addition to my machine quilting repertoire, alternating unquilted areas paired with extremely textured ones define letters bringing the words into sharp bas relief. In this class, students will choose a word, or a few words – a quote, phrase, or even a monogram, and render the letters in quilting then surround them with quilted texture. This process is an excellent way of adding a title, or a signature insignia to a project or perhaps make the insignia the main focus of the stitching to create a set of monogramed pacemats, mug rugs or add a monogram to a quilted bag. Skill Level: Confident Beginner and up, free motion experience will be helpful.

February 10, 2024: Japanese Stitched Shibori – Montavilla Sewing Center

Lake Oswego Store – Shibori is an acncient form of fabric dyeing, related to the Tie-Dyeing that became popular in the 1960s where fabric was bunched up or twisted and wrapped to create a dye resistant surface that results in random pleated or sunburst patterns. In authentic Japanese style Shibori, delicate patterns are stitched into the fabric and then gathered tightly to create the resist. In addition, the dye traditionally used is indigo which dyes by oxidation so the gathered areas can be used to create more complex designs such as intricate filigree and floral forms, than mere wrapping will. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

February 16, 2024: From Feathers to Fabric – Montavilla Sewing Center

Beaverton Store – Fusing makes the applique a breeze to make these fine feathered friends. Collaged from a variety of fussy-cut fabrics, these birds can be made to look realistic, or composed like bird of paradise in a fantasy tale from exotic paces. The fun lies in the scavenger hunt for seemingly random fabrics that come together to create a bird that looks ready to take wing from the surface of your quilt. there are several bird styles to choose from. You will make one block in class but more may be made later to make a larger quilted wall hanging. Skill level: Confident Beginner.

February 17, 2024: Free Motion Magic #2 ~ Textures – Montavilla Sewing Center

Gresham Store – Allover textures are a key component in creating interesting quilting designs. Allover textures are the orchestra that backs up the soloist when it comes to exquisitely beautiful quilting, enhancing even the simplest of motifs and making them shine. Most quilters are familiar with the ubiquitous meandering ‘stipple’ (the one that looks like interlocking puzzle piece heads) and many quilters achieve this pattern skill and look no further at other possibilities. Don’t get stuck in a quilting rut! This class will help you explore lots of allover texture possibilities and show you how texture can be used to punch up other quilting designs. Previous free motion experience is helpful but not necessary for this class. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

A variety of machine quilting textures

Molas are colorful reverse appliquéd folk art panels from Central America. Usually hand appliquéd with painstaking stitching; they can also be made by a fast and easy method that uses machine reverse appliqué and satin stitching to make these intricate panels a breeze (I call these Mach-Molas). In this class you will have the choice of creating a Mola either way. The resulting panel can be made into a wall hanging, a focal point for a larger quilt, a pillow or incorporated into a bag or garment. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

February 20, 2024: Collage Trees – Montavilla Sewing Center

Gresham Store – There are a variety of ways to render the foliage for trees in a landscape quilt. Following a precise pattern with templates is one way but given a choice, I much prefer the improvisational method of collaging foliage out of assorted fabrics. Not only is this a lovely way of getting subtle shifts in color at texture as you build the foliage by layers, it also uses up bits and pieces of fabric that might otherwise be discarded in a landfill. Utilizing pieces of leftover fabric is the foundation upon which quilting was built and is something near and dear to my heart. The process is also liberating as you cut and contour the colored fabrics and then arrange them on the tree tweaking them until they are just perfect and ready to fuse in place. In the class, students will create a small scenic quilt featuring a lakeside fir tree or a wind twisted pine tree overlooking the ocean. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

The project for this class merges two trending techniques – wool applique and ornate hand embellishment. This class would be perfect for those who already enjoy wool applique and embroidery, but is also a great introduction to quilters who would love to add this to their repertoire of skills. A bonus in this class is learning how to draft the ubiquitous Persian Pickle or Paisley and it is commonly called. These exotic curved teardrop designs originated in ancient times in the Middle East and though the exact symbolism is lost in history, are speculated to represent floral motifs. For those who love hand embroidery, paisley motifs are the perfect form to show off your stitches. The resulting panel can form the center of a special quilt or table topper, or become a pillow. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

Intricate Hand Embroidery makes the Paisley

Years ago, a textile artist friend of mine tried to submit a textile triptych she had created into an art show, it was rejected. She then framed the pieces and resubmitted them, this time they were accepted. This begs the question – does art become art because it is framed? In a traditional quilt, fabrics are stitched together with batting and batting and many relegate them into the category of linens. These miniature scenes are made from fabrics stitched directly to paper with minute details rendered in stitching. They may look complex but the process is really quite easy, very little artistic or drawing skills are needed. Students can work from a kit of a photograph and preselected fabrics or bring a photo and fabrics of their choosing to render one of these elegant little landscapes that are truly ‘Suitable for Framing’ Skill Level: Confident Beginner (familiarity with free motion sewing is a plus)

This class helps students assmble my Story Quilts pattern ‘Let Sleeping Cats Lie’; an array of tesselating cats curled up into bundles of furry kitty love. The commercially available pattern includes basic assembly instructions but the class will provide additional tips and technique shortcuts along with some applique options to make constructing this quilt – the most popular, best selling pattern I have ever created, a breeze. Not a cat lover? There is a dog version of the pattern available featuring 16 different breeds of dogs. Skill Level: Confident Beginner.

This recurring class is held on the first Tuesday of each month (unless weather or other events interfere) and lasts about 4-1/2 hours starting at noon. Years ago, this started as a Block of The Month class based on my Garden Patch Cats blocks, but as time went by, it evolved into a mentored Open Sew where students bring any sewing-related projects they want help with and sew or embroider for a few hours. The class was renamed Attic Cats to pay homage to its origins. Still, the projects can be UFOs from one of my classes, in which case no documentation is needed, or if it is from a different class, pattern, or book, I ask that students bring their original handouts of instructions so I may be better able to help them. A lovely little group has formed over the years, and we keep adding to our numbers. As the projects vary, so do the skill levels from Confident beginner and up.

Demos, demos – DEMOS! I will present three demos at the show on Friday, March 8, 2024. The exact times have yet to be determined; I will post times when they have been scheduled.

Big Stitching & Beyond ~ Sashiko, Kantha, Kawandi, and Boro: Various forms of ‘Big Stitch’ Quilting have overtaken the fiber arts scene for the last decade. This rustic approach to stitching with roots all over the globe ranges from utilitarian quilting and patchwork to exquisite embroidery. Sashiko and Boro are folk arts from Japan, Kantha stitching/embroidery is from India, and Kawandi was brought to Africa from India centuries ago. Join me to see an overview of these lovely techniques, and you might find a new passion to pursue.

WYSIWYG Applique: Some of you early computer users will remember this term that accompanied the first word-processing programs when they began replacing DOS for creating documents. WYSIWYG stands for ‘What You See, Is What You Get’. I love applique and, in particular, fussy cutting prints and textures to add fine details to the applique pieces. This technique, which I have been doing for years, adds more labor to the construction process but is worth every minute it takes. Join me to see how this extra construction step can create sublime effects in even the simplest applique.

Crumby String Quilting: You probably heard of ‘crumb quilting’ and ‘String Piecing’. These two approaches to quilting utilize scraps and return to the very heart of quilting in an era when fabric was too precious to waste. Quilters, from the frugal Amish housewives to the resilient Pioneer women in covered wagons, tucked every scrap of treasured fabrics into their scrap bags and baskets to retrieve and lovingly stitch into scrap quilts that warmed the body and nourished the soul. This technique, which I have become passionate about, combines these two methods to crank out block after block of unique color/fabric combinations in assembly-line chain piecing that can form the backbone of various other block patterns. Do your part to keep fabric scraps from the landfills and onto your family and friends’ beds (or tables and walls).



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