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Classes are like traveling to an exotic land - as Mark Twain once said about travel -

you can lose yourself and find yourself at the same time!

 

To register for any of these classes, you need to print the registration form and mail it in with a check or your VISfA/MC info for the amount of the instruction fee only. Materials fees will be collected at the time of class.

If you are interested in a workshop here and don't live in the area you can find a list of some hotels/accommodations here

Be sure to check out our Events page for other gatherings of interest

Classes for the fall 2019 and winter/spring 2020 are being finalized daily. I'm posting them as the dates get settled and hope to have them all listed here by August 20th.

So check back periodically or sign up for our once monthly newsletter or follwo us on Facebook since I always alert customers to new classes thru those two forums.

 

 

Natural Dyeing Workshop Sat & Sunday July 20th & 21st FULL

Attn all knitters, basket weavers, spinners and felters!

Whether you want to dye reeds, yarn or fabric using plants, bugs or seashells, this will be a fun and colorful way to spend a weekend this summer! You'll learn a ton and also have lots of lovely colors to go home and play with!

In this workshop you'll learn all about the safest and most used mordants - how to use them, why we need them and how they affect your color outcomes - as well as learn about (and sample) a large range of natural dyes that you can grow in your own garden, as well as a few non indigenous to the area but that you can either purchase online or perhaps get from a local wood worker! I'll even share some rare ones from my own stash that I picked up in Morocco this last spring! Wow....you won't believe the colors we'll get.

You'll learn various methods for extracting dyes from the plant material and shifting the colors using pH adjustments with vinegar and washing soda, as well as the different ways fabrics or yarns need to be prepped to make the dyes light and wash fast. So we'll use both cellulosic (cotton) and protein (wool and silk) examples and both yarn as well as fabric.

Included in the workshop will be indigo and also lichen (mammulata) as well as popular ones such as cochenile, brazilwood, alkanet, safflower, annato, bloodroot, madder, and depending on what is growing at that time, potentially Queen Anne's Lace, dahlias, rudbekia, cornflower, carrot tops, etc.

When you leave here, you'll have a notebook full of samples of every color we did in class as well as an understanding of how to then dye them at home on your own. AND....you'll have a chance to throw in a few skeins of yarn (or reeds for baskets), or a yard of fabric to your favorite colors so you can weave a basket or knit a hat with your first batch of natural dyeing!

Instruction fee includes extensive handouts, the sample yarns/cloth used for your notebook, all the dyes, mordants (and propane to keep the pots cooking all day, both days!): $150 Max class size 8

Project Bag with Credit Card/Business Card Holder - Four Japanese Textile Traditions Tuesdays, Sept 24th, Oct 1st, 8th & 15th 5:30 - 7:00

I'm excited about this new workshop I've developed.

You'll learn 4 different Japanese textile techniques while making a drawstring bag and credit card/business card holder!

a simple Japanese Shibori technique for dyeing in indigo

Japanese Sashiko stitching

Japanese braiding/weaving technique of Kumihimo

a simple origami folding technique

Four traditional techniques - dyeing, stitching, braiding/weaving and origami folding! And in the end, you'll have an indigo blue drawstring orihect bag embellished with your choice of sashiko pattern, in which you can carry your arashi shibori origami folded credit card/business card holder!

Instruction includes the cotton fabric for the bag and origami wallet, the indigo, the kumihimo disc (which you keep), yarn for the kumihimo drawstring braid, and a package of sashiko thread with needle! $65

Space limited to 6, so don't delay in registering.

myindigo myindigo2 mnphoto mgphoto

Paint n' Dip Sat Oct 5th 9 - 5 with Maggie Neale and me!

Create 2 gorgeous neck adornments - one silk charmeuse scarf and one wool/bamboo shawl - while learning the basics of two very different dyeing techniques!

During this full day workshop you will learn the fundamentals of silk painting on a 100% silk charmeuse scarf (approx 11 x 54) and then, while that cures, you'll learn a very simple Japanese shibori technique to apply pattern to a 50/50 wool/bamboo shawl (approx 22 x 72) which you'll then dip in the indigo vat to a desired shade of blue!

First, you’ll join artist Maggie Neale and paint a gorgeous silk scarf.

“I have been painting on silk for 25 years and still marvel at its magic.  Each silk piece (when pinned flat out) becomes a “canvas” for an original silk abstract painting”

Using fiber reactive dyes, she’ll guide you thru color mixing, using thickened dyes for printing designs on silk and creating patterns using a semi resist while you explore the “joy of the dance” of the brush as it moves across on silk. 

Then, while your painted/printed silk scarf dries and steams (this takes about 1.5 hours), I will teach you a simple itajime shibori technique and you will fold and clamp a 50/50 wool/bamboo viscose shawl to dip in my indigo vat here to create a bold patterned blue and white shawl!

Two gorgeous and totally different techniques for two different accessories you'll wear (or gift?) with joy!

Lastly, while the indigo shawl cures, we’ll “reveal” the steamed painted silk scarves and after a discussion of the results and how to care for your new scarves, you’ll go home with two new fabulous neck wraps in hand—one to keep and one to gift this holiday season?

Instruction fee: $55; materials fee to be collected the day of class is $50 and includes all dyes, synthrapol, print paste, and both the silk and the wool/bamboo viscose shawl

Silk Painting and Design on Yardage with Maggie Neale Sat & Sun Oct 26th & 27th 10 - 5 each day

Attn: Nuno Felters, Quilters, and Seamstresses!

Why learn to paint or print fabric if you already know how to dye yardage or know where to purchase it for your nuno felt projects, quilts or garments?

Because, it's fun and a creative way to add individuality and uniqueness to your designs.

PLUS, although you may be able to achieve wonderful colors with your vat dyeing techniques for yardage, learning to paint and print fabric will give you much more control of where your colors go, how they blend, AND you can even create specific patterns in a way that you just can’t achieve thru dyeing.

 Plaids or Polka Dots, anyone? Stripes? Abstract Design? You conceive it, let's play!

So join fiber artist Maggie Neale and learn the techniques of silk painting and printing in order to create your own unique abstract designed and/or patterned fabric on silk yardage for nuno felting, quilting or sewing!

Using fiber reactive dyes (good for silk, cotton, linen, etc), Maggie will guide you thru color mixing, using thickened dyes for printing designs on silk and creating patterns using a semi resist to block the flow of dye while you explore the “joy of the brush’s dance” as it moves across the silk!  

During this exciting 2 day workshop, in addition to guiding you thru the creative aspects of color theory and blending, paint application and design as mentioned above, Maggie will share with you the easy system she has devised for stretching the silk (easy enough for you to manage on a utility table at home) . Plus, Maggie will show you how to prep the silk to receive the dye how to steam set it for color permanence, and wash it thoroughly so it is set and ready for you to nuno felt, quilt, or cut and sew when you get home!

Because of the way we pin our silk fabric to paint and print on this wonderful padded surface Maggie has devised, you will be able to paint/print up to 2 yards of 45”  wide fabric at a time. 

So during this two day workshop, you will have ample time to first work a test swatch to experiment with your colors and design ideas while you practice the technique and then you will have time to paint/print  4-6 yds of silk fabric.  

And, as an added bonus, you get a “freebie” fabric because with every 2 yards of silk you dye you get a gorgeous piece of cotton too, since the piece of cotton muslin  we stretch the silk on top of actually receives wondrous color effects as well!

Bring your own white silk to dye (4-6 yards, 45” wide) plus 2 yards of white muslin (or other cotton, if you prefer) to use as a base.

White Chiffon, Paj and uzbecki (Margelin) silks  are available for sale at the shop and, as always, class participants enjoy a 15% discount on the silk purchased for use in class.

Materials fee (to cover the cost for dyes, print paste, synthrapol for washing out excess dye and foam brushes.)   $25 to be collected by the instructor (cash or check). 

Instruction fee for 2 days of creative and colorful fun: $125

And why not stay for another 2 days to nuno felt a finished garment with your yardage -see below!

Open Studio Felting Mon & Tues Oct 28th & 29th 10 - 5 (photos of project ideas coming soon)

Details coming.

Knitted Baltic Wristwarmers Tues Oct 8, 15th & 22nd 5:30 - 7:00 (more pics coming soon!)

Both Norway and Latvia are big on wristwarmers in their traditional folk dress (really all the northern climates seem to be!). Beaded, embroidered, knitted in fancy charted designs - peeking out from below an otherwise plain sleeve for a pop! of color and design. I found them so intriguing. Something about them barely being visible - kind of like wearing a secret that only you know about....until you reach for something and they are revealed!

So intrigued by the tantalizing sense of "mystery" they can evoke -hidden there beneath your sleeve with just the bottom edge peeking out like a hidden treasure - and inspired by the trditional ones that I saw there this spring I've become quite a big fan of this underappreciated accessory!

These are NOT "fingerless mitts" (which come up high on the hand) so they are more wearable as an indoor/all day long accessory to your outfit!

As these decorative (and practical, since you lose a lot of your body heat thru the inside wrist!) little accessories peek from below your sleeve, they are a fun and creative opportunity to add a splash of color and design to your outfit! And knitting them is a great way to learn some techniques, too.

You'll learn one of several different decorative edge techniques (your choice), practice (or learn) correct stranded knitting techniques, explore unusual color combos based on using a color wheel and looking at cultural and regional traditions, and then kint from either a traditional or contemporary pattern that I've charted - so if you haven't worked from charted knitting before, you'll learn that too!

Bring dpns (or circular if you know magic loop) size 2-4 needles (depending on how you knit, so bring them all the first night of class).

Instruction fee includes 100% wool yarn: $55

Needle Felted Wristwarmers Sat Nov 16th 1 - 5 (photos coming soon)

Intrigued by the traditional wristwarmers so prevalent in the folk dress of the Baltic countries I visited this spring, I have been designing some versions that can be needle felted for those who aren't knitters!

These sweet accessories are both practical (since we lose a lot of heat from the inside wrist) and also a wonderfully decorative accessory to add to an outfit!

So whether you have needle felted before - or not - I hope you can join me for the afternoon and learn neede felting basics while exploring color and pattern in making yourself a pair of wristwarmers.

Think ahead to the lovely holiday gifts they could be if you are looking for something special and inexpensive to make your friends and family members!

Instruction fee includes the prefelt, fibers and needle: $55

The next three workshops are for 2020

I list them here so you can "save the dates" and start planning ahead!

Lisa Binkley is an accomplished textile artist who uses stitch to add amazing texture and design to her textile endeavors.

You can find out more about her here.

Join us for the full 5 a day journey of amazing embellishment and stitching in October 2020, and enjoy a 15% discount if you register before New Years Day 2020. Plus, be one of the first to register and you can make it a 7 day indulgence with 2 days of ecoprinting and/or felting beforehand!

Please note that I am offering a 2 day eco-print/felt workshop BEFORE the Dots & Dashes so that if any of you want to come for a longer stay and create some felt or eco print some fabric ahead of Dots & Dashes, you can. This 2 day "Open Studio" is listed below Lisa's classes.

Dots & Dashes: The Language of the Hand-Made Stitch. Save the dates for 2020! - Oct 14 -16 10 - 5

Attn: Felters & Eco Printers in particular! But really anyone who loves textiles and fabric will enjoy this one!

Join artist Lisa Binkley and explore how hand stitching can add texture, motion, line and design to your felt designs or eco print pieces!

Dots, dashes, lines, and other simple shapes have been used throughout history from ancient symbolic languages like Cuneiform through Morse code and beyond to communicate ideas and information. Hand stitching with beads and embroidery thread is a wonderful, meditative, expressive way to create textured and colored dots, dashes, lines, and shapes that can express their maker’s feelings and ideas.


Just as each person has a distinct, recognizable style of hand writing, each artist can develop her/his own recognizable style of visual communication through hand stitching with embroidery thread and beads. The development of this textured “hand writing” or visual communication is the focus of this workshop. Issues explored include line, mass, visual movement, overlay, shading, and positive and negative space. 


  In class students learn, experiment with, and expand on a broad range of hand-embroidery stitches, using embroidery thread and beads both together and independently. So bring along a felted garment, bag or swatches to adorn, or, a piece of Eco Printed fabric that you want to embellish - or join us for the two days prior to this workshop for Open Studio and eco print or felt a piece with me to use in class (see below) to explore the possibilities of Dots & Dashes!


  Each day contains a combination of bead embroidery and thread embroidery demonstrations, viewing examples of technique applications, group discussion, and individual sketch and stitch explorations of ways to develop one’s own visual vocabulary using the techniques introduced in class. Time will also be dedicated to group discussion of works in progress and individual feedback by the teacher that is both supportive and idea-stimulating.

Instruction fee for this 3 day meditative journey:

 

Boro Unleashed in 2020! Save the dates for 2020! Oct 17 & 18, 10 - 5

 Boro mending, kantha cloth, the Quilts of Gee's Bend. Each of these evokes images of old, worn fabrics, simply but beautifully stitched for a new purpose out of need and salvaged cloth. Born of necessity in diverse cultures worldwide, contemporary fiber artists can learn much from these traditions both technically and aesthetically. In this workshop we explore the traditions that created these textiles and then look to them for inspiration in creating new works of fiber art.


  Beginning with pieces of old fabrics—vintage linens, pieces of worn jeans, even bits of blankets or tattered garments—we select, curate, layer, and hand stitch them into new looks and new life. Techniques explored include non-traditional hand piecing and applique, hand quilting with heavier threads, inclusion of repurposed embellishments such as shirt buttons and beads from old jewelry, as well as design considerations in creating our compositions. This two-day workshop is a meditative blend of history, hand work, repurposing, and art making. This class is suitable for all levels of fiber artists. 

Join artists Lisa Binkley in "boro-ing" a range of projects--mending jeans, stitching an apron, working on a wall hanging; making a piece that could be used for a bag or pillow cover

Under Lisa's guidance, you can plan a project with a specific use in mind or use the class time to explore various possitilities and begin a project you would finish at home.

Bring some fabrics/pieces that have special meaning to you - or - hit up Goodwill for some fabrics to upcycle and bring new meaning to them thru the artistry of the stitch!

Instruction fee for this 2 day meditative workshop:

 

Open Studio - Eco Print and/or Felting (with me!) Oct 15th and 16th 10 - 5

Reserved for up to 6 (first come first served) of the participants in Lisa's Dots & Dashes workshop scheduled for the following three days.

For the two days prior to Lisa's Dots & Dashes workshop, I will offer this two day "open Studio" class specifically to those registering for Lisa's Dots and Dashes workshop. The purpose will be to offer my guidance to you thru either Eco-Printing some lovely fabric to use in the Dots & Dashes (Lisa has a lot of experience stitching her eco-prints to bring texture, line and motion to them) and/or felting some simple pieces to embellish with Lisa during the following 3 days!

I will supply instruction on eco-printing using blankets for guaranteed results, plant material to work with, some natural dye color options to add color to your ecoprints (as you can see Ive done in the little animation above) if you like, the propane, mordants etc. You'll need to supply your fabric and or fiber (if you are going to felt) or buy it here.

If you want to felt some art pieces to add surface design to with Lisa, join me and I'll have out a drum carder so we can blend some amazing batts to add color and some texture to start! Or you can lay out a "traditional" piece of felt or small project from merino top that you have.

Since I will be eco-printing and/or felting a piece for Lisa's class these two days, I will not charge for my time or use of the facilities/propane, dyes, etc. This is sort of a free-bie to those joining me for the Dots & Dashes class that want to come here a bit early and create some "canvasses" to stitch on!

Any fiber or silk fabric you purchase for your pieces this day are available at a 15% discount the day of class.

 

 

Stay Tuned for more exciting dyeing, felting, knitting and stitching classes coming in the fall 2019!

 

Nota Bene: You must prepay to confirm your spot in a class. Fees paid to confirm a spot are NOT refundable if you, for any reason, cannot attend. If the class is cancelled by the teacher or store, then a full refund will be issued. Don't register unless you are sure you can participate, but don't delay since most classes fill quickly. In the event you sign up and can't make the class, you are welcome to send someone in your spot, but you are responsible for finding your replacement and making whatever financial arrangements between yourselves.