Northeast Fiber Arts Center

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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.

 

 

Project Bag with Credit Card/Business Card Holder - Four Japanese Textile Traditions

Tuesdays, Sept 24th, Oct 1st, 8th & 15th 5:30 - 7:00

Just 1 spot open!!!

I'm excited about this new workshop I've developed. And I guess it is timely, since apparently, "Project Bags" are all the rage right now!? I've always thought they were handy, but I guess if you follow pinterest or knitting podcasts there has been a recent surge in interest in them!

What makes this one so special? Not only do you end up with a great project bag for socks, mittens or a hat sort of project, you'll learn 4 different Japanese textile techniques while making this indigo dyed drawstring bag with a bonus credit card/business card holder! Here are the 4 techniques you'll learn (and have fun with!):

a simple Japanese Shibori technique for dyeing in indigo

Japanese Sashiko stitching (also a HUGE thing right now)

Japanese braiding/weaving technique of Kumihimo

a simple origami folding technique

That's four traditional techniques - dyeing, stitching, braiding/weaving and origami folding! And in the end, you'll have an indigo dyed project bag embellished with your choice of sashiko pattern cinched with a lovely kumihimo drawstring!

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.

Eco Print a Scarf Just 2 spots open!!!

Sat October 12th 10- 3

Learn the basics of Eco Printing while designing a lovely silk charmeuse scarf (approx 11 x 72).

Instruction fee includes all the mordants, accessories, propane and the silk scarf: $65

 

myindigo myindigo2 mnphoto mgphoto

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

Appropriate for anyone - no dyeing experience necessary! Make 2 gifts for the holidays coming up- or one to keep and one to gift!

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 to dye a 50/50 wool/bamboo viscose shawl 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

Reversible Nuno Felt Topper - Thu & Fri Oct 24th & 25th 10 - 5 each day - Better photos coming - I'm having a hard time getting pictures that do these justice. This is the only one that's close. Please check back!

I came up with this project as a way to offer a class on seamless garment construction that doesn't take 4 days - as wonderful as those projects are, not everyone can afford the time off or the cost of those more expensive projects. So I choose to create a garment that was cropped and not fitted and can be done in 2 days, but with the uniqueness of being reversible. So the first photo above shows a topper with lots of negative space featuring grey silk and orange/black woll design and the reverse side (which you can see folded up in the close up in the second picture) features a brown silk with a blue/orange wool patttern. Similarly, the next two photos show different patterns/colors on a topper I did to show that you don't have to leave negative space - both these sides are covered in silk - one grey/purple with pink highlighs and the other blue/turquoise.

This cute little layering garment turns out to be quite versatile and dramatic like the first one pictures - or not, if you prefer a subtler effect as in the second one shown.

As easy to wear over a dress for an evening out on the town or to a coctail party (sure to be a conversation starter) as it is to throw on over dungarees and an oxford for a trip to the ballpark in the fall.

Every time I've worn the first one pictured in the store, or out about town, I get a lot of compliments. Because it is not fitted at the sleeves and is so lightweight and sheer, it drapes in a flattering way that even a physique like mine that would not usually be caught dead wearing anything "cropped" anymore looks flattering in it.

Whether you like the negative space of the first one pictured or the less dramatic but elegant silk coverage of the second one shown, I'll guide you thru my process for making a reversible topper. That's right - two garments in one!

Just so it is clear before you register - this is a CROPPED top and the sleeves are NOT fitted. We will not have time in this 2 day to lengthen it or to add fitted sleeves. So if you want a longer or more fitted piece, this class is not for you. Also, I will not be showing how I wired the neckline on the negative space topper- we don't have time in 2 days to work both a reversible top and a wired neckline so I have made an executive decision that in class I am only showing how to make it reversible and NOT how to wire the neckline.

You WILL BE ABLE to MODIFY your neckline - scoop, square, v, turtle, boat, etc (just not wired).

Some experience nuno felting previously required. If you have not done any nuno felting before but want to learn, check out the Beginning Nuno Felt class -scroll down a bit.

Instruction fee for the 2 days: $150 (space is very limited, so don't delay if you are interested) No materials are included but you can purchase them here at a 15% discount. Depending on whether you choose to work a topper with negative space or with complete coverage, your materials needs will be quite different.

 

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

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. And because you can then create/design specific patterns!

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!

Or, if you can't stay for the 2 days after class to use your new silk fabric but want to make more out of your travel here for the Silk Painting, why not come 2 days ahead and join me for the Nuno Felt Topper workshop (read above)

Beginner Nuno Felting - Mon & Tues Oct 28th & 29th 10 - 5 (photos of projects coming soon-check back early Sept)

Now that you have some lovely painted silk fabric from Maggie Neale's class (scroll above), join me for two days to felt either a Wrap Skirt, Scarf or Collar. And if you weren't able to join us for Maggie's class, you can purchase dyed (not painted) silk fabric here for this Open Studio.

I'll guide you thru the calculations, making the pattern and approach to felting either of these projects with you.

Class size limited, so don't delay if you are interested in participating in this.

This is a beginner class so you don't have to have done any nuno felting before. Materials are not included, but available for sale at a 15% discount the day of class. (See class posted directly above for a great way to design your silk fabric for this class!)

Instruction fee: $150

 

Entrelac Blanket Thurs Nov 7, 14, & 21st 5:30 - 7

Choose your Noro yarn - Kureyon, Silk Garden or Ito - and pick a finished dimension for your lap blanket or afghan and I'll teach you how to knit entrelac. From the basics to finer details like how/where to pick up the stitches and how to knit backwards! That's right - you'll find entrelac a lot more manageable if you learn to knit backwards!

The first photo above shows how Ito knits up in entrelac - becaue of the many color changes, you get a blanket with more variation. The second photo shows how Silk Garden (and also Kureyon) knit up in entrelac. Because they have a longer repeat of fewer colors, you get a different outcome.

Both are lovely and exciting projects to work on - you'll always want to knit "just one more rectangle" because each time the colors move and shift keeping the project interesting.

So you have a sense of the investment in the materials - the afghan pictured in Ito measures about 45 x 48" and takes 4 balls of Ito.

The Silk Garden lap blanket shown in the second photo took me 8 skeins and it measures approximately 36" x 52"

Purchase the Noro yarn here for the project the first night of class and the instruction is free: bring your own yarn and the instruction fee is $55.

Chunky Cable Pillow/Ottoman Tues Nov 5, 12th, 19th 5:30 - 7 Advanced Beginner

This is a fun project to make and a useful piece to have around - great for sitting on the floor, elevating your feet after a long day at work! Decorative and contemporary in a chunky knit on big needles!

This is a great way to learn or practice both cables and short row shaping.

Fee includes instruction and book (other great patterns for the home included!): $65

Knitted Baltic Wristwarmers (or make them into mittens if you like!) Wed Oct 16th, 23rd, 30th 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

Introduction to Wet Felting Wed Oc 9th 5:30 - 8:30

Learn the fundamentals of wet felting while making a small needle accessory case while having fun playing with color and design!

You'll learn about the types of wool to look for (and avoid!), how to pull wisps and layout a project to the desired thickness and shape, how to work around a "resist" (the basis of felting bags, slippers, boots, hats, etc) to create a 3-D form and a few "troubleshooting" techniques. I'll have out pre-felts and various forms of silk for you to play with. Then, with what you've learned in this class, join us for the intermediate workshop (below) and reinforce these fundamentals while learning a few new tricks making either slippers or a felt bag!

Instruction fee, which includes the cost of materials used in class: $55

Intermediate Wet Felting aka felting around a resist! Sat Nov 2nd 10 - 5

So think slippers, bag or hat!

If you've already learned the basics but now want to improve your technique and branch out into more fitted (i.e. slippers) or complex (the bag can have multiple pockets), join me for this intermediate felting workshop. You choose which project you want to make. If you choose the slippers, you'll only make one in class - but you'll have the materials and pattern and knowledge to make the second one to match when you get home. If you choose to make a felted cross-shoulder bag, you'll have to contain your size expectations to complete it in one day (think no bigger than 8.5 x 10 ish), but you'll learn how to make a bag with multiple compartments and that is gusseted. Whether you choose the bag or the slipper, you'll have a chance to play with color and design elements while learning some new skills!

Instruction fee: $95 Materials not included but offered at a 15% discount for the class. I will have out lots of bits and pieces of colors for you to use for your embellishments/designs, but you'll need to purchase your base wool - figure 6 ounces or so, depending on the size you want to make.

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 October 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 2020: 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: $450.00

 

Boro Unleashed in 2020!

Save the dates for 2020! Oct 17 & 18, 2020: 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: $350

 

Open Studio - 2020 Eco Print and/or Felting for participants in Lisa Binkley's classes (with me!) Oct 12th & 13th 2020 : 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 for the first few that register to join me for the Dots & Dashes class that want to come here a bit early and create some "canvasses" to stitch on!

 

 

 

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.