Mixed Media Explorations

Confident students create enthusiastic customers who are excited to try new products as they build their stash of supplies.

Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond

In this one day class you will introduce your students to some great new concepts and revisit some favorite traditional techniques including creating a sample book for techniques, image transfer, weaving fabrics, silk cocoons and rods, hand stitching and many more. This class can easily be adapted to showcase the embellishment supplies you carry in your store. This class can be done with or without sewing machines and you may want to consider creating kits to entice students to play with embellishments they may be hesitant to invest in before they know how fun they are.

Bodacious Beading

From subtle to outrageous, beading is a fabulous way to embellish your work. You will learn the basic techniques that are the foundation of all beading on fabric. These stitches all start simply and can be added onto to create intricate bead effects. Using my book First Time Beading on Fabric we learn seed stitching, moss stitch, couching, backstitch, fringe, picot and peyote stitches as well as how to incorporate bugle beads. We will make a fun little reference book so you will always have all of your bead techniques close at hand.

Delectable Cloth and Papers

Discover the delights of creating your own unique fabrics with a combination of gelatin plate mono-printing and screen printing. Gelatin plate printing is a fun and easy method of mono-printing that results in surprises and delights. Create unique textures and patterns using found objects (aka-junk), stamps, stencils and resists or masks. Screen printing uses a fine mesh screen to create graphic images on fabric or paper. We will explore traditional screen printing as well as thermofax screen printing techniques. We use some of the same found objects, stencils and resists to create a one of a kind delectable cloth or to layer on top of our gelatin printed fabric.

Journals and Sketchbooks for the Fabric Artist

Mention journaling and sketching to most fiber artists and you may hear whining and groaning. “I don’t write! I can’t draw.” But, journaling can be beneficial to the creative process. I will introduce a new way to journal. First we will make a fabulous fabric cover for our journals. Then, we show fiber artists how to journal using their fabrics and threads as well as paints, stamps and paper. We will also try out collage techniques, stamps and paint. Journaling is about exploring not just writing! Before you know it, you’ll be journaling every day as part of your creative endeavors!

Layer it up!

Layering is the magical component that brings a collage to life, adds depth, emotion and allows it to tell our story. However, layering does not always come easily. In this class we will explore the concepts of layering: both visual layers and physical layers. We will have a crash course in collage design and composition with a focus on exactly what makes a great collage.

There are so many exciting techniques to use in mixed-media collages. We will learn and play with a few of my favorites while we create a small collage using your personal photo or one of mine.  Techniques will include but not necessarily be limited to, image transfer and direct printing to various substrates, ideas for transparent layers, incorporating paper, lutradur and metal in your work, and of course a little beading and hand stitching.

This class is textile based and will include a little stitching but artists in all mediums are welcome to play, explore and create with us. We will conquer any stitching fears you have.

Metal Explorations

Metal mesh and thin sheet metal are full of exciting possibilities in mixed media work. Metal can give a natural and organic feel to your work or exhibit a sophisticated modern aura. We will learn some easy methods to patina metal and work with images or personal symbols. Simple attachment techniques will help us layer our metal pieces with fabric and paper we will create unique pieces to adorn a journal.

Silk Dreams (3 hour)

Nothing compares to the lustrous color and feel of silk. In this class, we will create silk paper that is also a fabric! We use luscious hand dyed silk hankies, roving and rods.  A wet laminating process allows us to layer fibers to create beautiful ethereal fabrics for embellishment as well as thicker fabric suitable for substrates and vessels. You will have the option of making a small bowl. You will make 4-6 sheets of delicious silk fabric/paper for your fabric and mixed media art. Use these silk papers in collage, as embellishment, journal covers and vessels.

Voyage to India: An exploration of image transfer

India is an inspiring land of incredible beauty and color. With the colors and sights of this luscious country as our muse we will explore image transfer techniques while we create a gorgeous reference book to hold our experiments. We will learn 8 different methods for transferring photos and other imagery on to fabric, paper and metal.  Learn the ins and outs of ink jet printer inks and which products produce the results you are looking for.  Create collages on each page of your sample book using your transferred images, paper, fabric and embellishments. Technique notes can be stored in pockets to make this book a valuable reference tool. 

For the Love of Thread

These class offerings are all focused on thread and stitch skills. Confident students create customers who love what they do and are enthusiastic to try new products as they build their stash of supplies.

Abstract landscapes in Fiber: (4 hour class)

With inspiration taken from the colors and textures of the land that surrounds us we transform scraps of fabric, fibers and yarns into landscapes that beg to be touched and explored. Heat shrinking thread is the secret tool we utilize to create the luscious texture in these small art works. Beads and hand stitching add enchantment and delight to each abstract fiber painting. These pieces can be matted and framed, incorporated into a larger mixed media piece or used as embellishment on art clothing, jewelry or bags. 

Stitch Dancing: (full day class – 8 hours)

Stitching and beading on silk ribbons and fibers lighter than air seems impossible but these ephemeral thread lace embroideries are quite simple to create…but, shush...let’s keep that little bit to ourselves and let everyone think we have special fairy stitching talents. In this class we will create these magical embroideries with free motion sewing machine stitching and simple hand embroidery stitches. This class is suitable for beginners and up. Even if you have never done any free motion sewing you can do this.

Needle Felted Mini Journal: (full day class- 6-8 hours)

Texture rules in this mini journal! We begin with a combination of machine and hand needle felting using wool, silk, velvet, fibers, yarns, ribbon, cheesecloth and roving to create a luscious textured surface. Simple hand embroidery stitches taught with a twist are our next avenue of exploration as we add a delightful layer of texture, color, pattern and design. Your beautiful textured fabric will then be used to create a mini watercolor journal. I love to give options so if journals don’t excite you then you can create a small wallet for gift or business cards, a small evening bag or add your fabric to the front of a larger evening bag or it can even become a notebook cover. (Needle Felting machines available for class use)

Fiber Art Pins (4 hour class)

Learn quick and sassy techniques for making funky or sophisticated lapel pins. Use burn out techniques on acrylic felt to start your art piece then add lots of machine stitched thread and finish with beaded embellishment. For beginners with some free stitching experience and beyond. You will be able to complete one or two pins in class depending on how fast you sew and how much you embellish.

Stitch Journeys (3 day workshop)

Do you hear the siren song of all those fabulous specialty threads urging you to take them home to play with? Do those same luscious threads leave you frustrated and annoyed?

Do you have a head full of creative ideas but just aren’t sure how to get the look you want? Do you want to feel confident in your skills when you sit in front of your sewing machine? Then this workshop is for you.

In this class you will begin a reference sample workbook, your “Passport”. This fantastic little fabric book is a tool that you will find yourself referring to again and again. We will start with some basic guidelines for needles, threads and stabilizers, and learn how to tame the dreaded tension issues that make us want to tear out our hair. Once we have mastered the basics we will start to play; learning how to use those heavy threads in the bobbin, play with our stitches—finding new uses for even the most ordinary stitch, discover thread drawing and dabble in thread painting both with thread and mixed media materials. Last but not least we will venture into the realm of water soluble stabilizers to uncover the creative embroidery adventures waiting for us there.

In this comprehensive workshop you will gain mastery of your machine and free yourself of any stitch fears you have. You will develop the confidence to tackle any unruly thread and fill your creative tool box full of fabulous techniques. This class is for beginners and up. You do not need a fancy machine with all the latest bells and whistles. You do need a basic understanding of your machine and the ability to drop or cover the feed dogs. 


Composition, Design and the Creative Process:
Understanding the basics principles of Composition and Design are key to developing your quilt art skills. This presentation demystifies these principles and explains with examples just what makes a great composition and how to include design thinking in your creative process.

Authentic Stitch: finding your heart in art and craft
In order to find something, anything, you must set out on a journey of exploration, ask questions and face uncertainty. In this lecture we will look at the legends and myths we have created around the terms art and craft; myths that have fueled the debate over what is art and what is craft. We will ask where does quilting and needlework fit in? Just what is art quilting anyway and where do you fit in? Further explorations will have us consider the differences and similarities among perfection, mastery and expression. Using examples from my own stitch journey I will share with you my failures, successes and the answers that helped me discover the heart of my art.

Metallic Woes and Rayon Curses:
Fear thread no more! Liz Kettle will be sharing her secrets to success with thread in any stitching situation. A whirlwind tour of thread basics; fiber content, size, needles and tension will unlock the doors to the delicious world of thread drawing, painting, free motion quilting and embroidery. Cotton, rayon, silk and metallic threads will all bow to your every wish and command…you will be a stitching queen!