Archive for Workshops I've taken

Shibori with Sue Cavanaugh

In October I hopped on a plane and went to Ohio to take Sue Cavanaugh’s shibori class at Nancy Crow’s Barn near Columbus.  Just being at the Barn is an amazing experience, complete with gourmet food and beautiful farmland surroundings.

Sue doesn’t teach much, so I had waited for two years for this class, and it was worth it!  Most of us were experienced fabric dyers and had done a certain amount of shibori already.  But what we took away from this class was inspiration; inspiration to try new ideas, to experiment, and to make time to devote to doing art and quilting.  Sue is now into installation art, and her curiosity and sense of excitement is infectious.  Now I am in the process of figuring out how to use shibori as a “drawing” medium.

I expressly went to this class to learn how Sue leaves the shibori stitching in after dyeing her fabric.  Her answer was simple, “I just leave the thread in!”  Somehow it didn’t work at home, but it did in Ohio.  Go figure.

Here is a piece using just two stitches, with the shibori threads left in:



Leave a Comment

Fabric bowls

In January I took a fabric bowl class from Jerry Ferguson at Quilters’ Studio in Newbury Park.  I was able to finish one bowl in the class, now it’s become an addiction.  The technique involves wrapping 1″ strips of fabric around a clothesline, then sewing the coils together.  Way more fun than doing laundry!!!  This bowl measures 6″ x 2-1/2″ tall.


Leave a Comment

True Colors

For the past five days, I’ve been dipping and dyeing fabric in Carol Soderlund’s “True Colors” workshop.  This is the fourth workshop I’ve taken from Carol because I know that she will always teach me something I didn’t know before.

On the way home today, I realized that because we spend about 35 hours in class, the education just about equates to a one semester college class.  No wonder I feel like I have a BS in Fabric Dyeing.

This time we learned some easy procedures for some complicated tasks, including dyeing runs of gradations from one color to another.  It’s NOT like doing a gradation in one color, believe me!

Here’s a photo of our swatches drying outside:

Drying Dyes
These are three of my pieces in a series of nine that resulted from an exercise called “Trading Spaces.”  I mixed colors that I drew from a Modigliani painting:

Trading Spaces

The only thing missing this week was a surprise visit from Cyndi Lauper singing our theme song!

Comments (1)

Journaling Lessons

This month I am taking my friend Jane LaFazio’s online class entitled, “Sketching and Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal.”  The three things I get out of her classes are learning about new tools, getting the motivation to actually sit down and draw/paint, and learning to compose better.  The class shares photos and critiques online, so it’s like being in a class on your own time.

Our work is done in a mixed media journal, which has heavy paper capable of handling wet media.  The new tools for me besides the mmj are spray gesso and absorbent ground, neither of which I’ve ever tried.  Jane has us draw from things around us, like nature and things from our closets.

Here is my first drawing from nature, a wild pomegranate.  I drew it from all angles, then abstracted it for use as a stamp pattern (we also make our own stamps).


This drawing has a plain paper background, but we also spent a week preparing backgrounds for future drawings/paintings.  These subtle backgrounds are made from stencils, spray gesso, watercolors, and absorbent ground.  My biggest difficulty is waiting for the watercolor/gesso/absorbent ground to dry overnight!  Here is a sample background made with laminated pages from a Crate and Barrel catalog and my new artichoke stamp.


This is my first drawing on a prepared background, drawn on a very rainy day last weekend:


All of these drawings become very personal, so it doesn’t matter how good they are, because they bring back memories of all kinds.

Comments (1)

Art Quilt Tahoe 2011

I just returned from a wonderful week at Art Quilt Tahoe in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. This was my first trip to AQT and my third to Lake Tahoe. Paula Chung, who lives just two miles from AQT, was my hostess for the week.

Loris and Paula by Lake Tahoe
Paula and I both studied with Valerie Goodwin, who uses maps as her inspiration. Valerie is a college professor who teaches senior architecture, so taking her class is like taking a college level art class. She arguably gives the best crits I’ve ever had in any of my art classes or quilt workshops.

Valerie Goodwin
My workshop piece was based on a map of Washington, D.C., my hometown. It is about 36″ x 30″ and will use a color palette I based on the paintings of Modigliani.

Washington, D.C.
At the end of each day we were treated with beautiful sunsets. If there are no clouds, there is a still an orange haze over the mountains that reflect off the lake.

This is how my piece looks today. After the pieces are all stitched down to the crinoline background, I will add sheers and paint it. I also have a trick up my sleeve that will be added last. Tune in for results at a later date!

The District

Comments (1)

Wet Felting Workshop

Last weekend I took Jane LaFazio’s wet felting workshop at Quilters’ Studio in Newbury Park.  This was an entirely new technique for me, but I guess they’ve been doing it in Tibet for a long time.

We each chose a small bag of wool roving, then laid it out in five layers on bubble wrap.

lay out the rovingNext we sprinkled it with hot soapy water and rolled it in a foam noodle, where we rolled it on the table hundreds of times to make the wool weave itself together from the friction we created.

laying out rovingThis is what the piece looked like after the manipulation.  It shrunk about an inch or two all around:

wet felted piece

Then after rinsing out the soap, we threw our work on the floor as hard as we could a few times:

throwing the felt on the floor

The next day, after the piece was dried, we added a bit more roving in places for added interest, then added embroidery, stitching and beads.  Last night I stitched together an 18″ silk dupioni pillow and tacked the felt to the top.  Now it sits proudly in my living room!

finished pillow

Comments (1)

Discharge workshop

Last week I spent five days in Bob Adams’ workshop at Quilters’ Studio in Newbury Park, California.  Twelve of us spent time bleaching, “anti-chloring,” Thiox-ing and Formosul-ing primarily black fabrics into new fabric, ready to be used in our next art quilt pieces.  It’s a messy process, but somebody has to do it!  Here are a couple of the pieces I made.  One is stitched, shibori-style, then briefly boiled in Thiox.  The other piece was discharged used Thiox and Formosul, the Thiox being the less discharged red areas and the Formosul the lighter.  The patterns were made using a Thermofax screen and a borrowed piece of scrap in the shape of a gear.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 7 other followers

  • Advertisements