making faces….

I’ve got a new class on the docket, Playful Portraiture. As is always the case with a new class I’ll work and tweak and refine the class material and process for at least the first couple of years. This morning I got a bit carried away making patterns for my students to use….


Creative Collaborative Collage

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana

I’m brave enough to call myself an artist, but I wonder sometimes. I don’t sell much of my art and most of what money I do make comes from teachingTeaching (and all of the development, preparation, marketing, contract negotiations, traveling, etc. etc. etc.) takes up a LOT of time I could be spending in the studio making art.

So why do I teach?

I’ve thought about that quite a bit. One of the main reasons I teach is because I love my students. I learn as much from my students as they teach me. I learn from my students every time I am in the room with them.

As an instructor, it’s imperative to stimulate people to think…
ask questions… the right questions…  
Bonnie Mandoe

When I read this quote it clarifies the way I love to teach. I want to empower my students with the ability to continue what they have learned in class without my presence. I want to make myself unnecessary. I want them to be able to think and play and to  analyze and explore.

Creative Collaborative Collage

…is one of my favorite classes that helps my students to think on their own. It is heavy on PLAY and EXPLORE, a perfect romp through a few of the elements and principles of art. It is a chance to goof off with friends you know and friends you haven’t met yet! It is a safe environment to make a mess and take chances. We will make a stack of small and unique collaborative art postcards following my whimsical and wild directions for you to take home and share with friends. It’s really more of a party with fabric than a class.

I’ll be teaching it on Friday afternoon November the 4th in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. It is the perfect time to take a break from walking the floor, sit down, and play with fabric. (The supply list is ridiculously easy – simply throw a bunch of your scraps and maybe a solid fat quarter into a quart sized zip-baggie and grab a pair of scissors!) You know you want to come don’t you!

sign up now for
(class #577)

There are still spots available but don’t wait too long – classes fill fast!

If you have a friend that will be attending IQF this year, I’d LOVE IT if you could forward this note to them. It really is a class where “the more the merrier” applies!

tips to help quilt teachers enjoy their travel

You would laugh to hear us quilt teachers when we get together behind the scenes. We have our friendliest and most smiling faces on when we are in front of our students. Behind closed doors we let it all hang out and I’ll let you in on a little secret: we are actually pretty nice there too! We LOVE our jobs!


If we kvetch about anything it’s usually about the travel and the schlepping. We schlepp SO MUCH STUFF. I teach surface design, which isn’t within the traditional quilter’s usual milieu so I like to bring EVERYTHING for my students to play with during class. My students spend their time playing instead of worrying that they got the wrong weird art supply. That’s fine. Some of us quitl teachers kvetch about airports, but you know what? I love them.

WTbeNKYzg1ECI find airports relaxing. It might have something to do with the fact that my children aren’t there. Nobody is saying, “mom, I need this” every three minutes. The house phone doesn’t ring, I’m off the hook for housework (Hah! Like I ever do that anyway) and dinner prep and kid schlepping. 

Sitting in an airport is a perfect time to read a book. I don’t have time to sit down at home. No reading (and it just about kills me) and no TV. Just no time. Airports are filled to the brim with time. This last trip I started a book on Francis Perkins. She was an amazing woman. Spectacularly amazing. Usually I read something sic-fi or fantasy just to give my brain a fluffy rest.

I play games. Not on my device but in my head. I love moving walkways. I like to wait until there is quite a gap between me and the person in front of me before getting on so that I can hop on, take really long strides, and pretend I have speed walking super powers. 

I don’t mind showing up early and waiting because there is something genetically hard wired into my DNA that makes me totally stress out about being late. I also like longer layovers so I can walk and wander a bit and take a look through the terminal. The Charlotte, NC airport is one of my favorite. Anywhere there is a window there is also a plant and a rocking chair. In the main concourse there is also live music.Kinard_travel_tips12

Sometimes there are hilarious things to see to. No comment here.
Kinard_travel_tips11Get a window seat. Look out. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m continually amazed at the beauty of clouds. Anyone know how this phenomenon happens? I’ve seen the clouds line up in rows on several occasions now. IMG_2264

Sudoku is good, but I play “pictures” on my devices. I have numerous apps that will filter your photos and let you do cool things with them. I’m a visual person. It’s what I love.Kinard_travel_tips14I sketch too. Or make lists. Or write articles. All of these happen in whatever sketchbook I happen to have with me at the time. This celtic knot feels like Seuss met a Klingon.

Kinard_travel_tips13And always, I remember how lucky I am to do what I get to do. I play with fabric. I play with paint and foil and beads and make funky pretty wonderful stuff. I play with QUILTERS! They are the nicest people I know and I get to travel around the land and spend time with them.


top 10 packing tips for quilt teachers

I love teaching and I love quilting and I love people and I love travel. So basically the life of a traveling quilt teacher is a dream come true for me. Even if it’s not for you, you might be interested in the hilarious rigamarole that quilt teachers go through when getting ready to head off on their next adventure.

Tips for the Traveling Quilt Teacher

1. Play Tetris, or practice puzzling. You need to fit an inordinate amount of supplies into a infinitely finite space. It isn’t easy. Most of the time you strategically ship boxes ahead.kinard_travel_tips02

2. Buy really, really good luggage. It is an investment in your business. I only buy luggage with lifetime guarantee and repair service (Briggs & Riley, Victorinox). I’ve used that repair service. The luggage hasn’t been damaged by the airline – mostly corner stitching has come undone because I stuff them as full as possible. With heavy stuff. Every. Single. Trip. My rolling briefcase that carries my AV equipment (projector, iPad, cables, tripod, video camera) is built like a tank but will fit under the seat of even the littlest puddle-jumper.kinard_travel_tips09

3. Spinner carry-on’s are wonderful. You don’t have to lug the thing down the aisle of the airplane. But they aren’t quite so nice on a long carpeted hotel corridor. Pick your poison.

4. You need a luggage scale. Leave yourself half a pound of extra weight in case your scale is off. Put something that weighs a pound and will fit into your carry-on right on top so you can reach in and grab it if you end up overweight at the check-in counter.kinard_travel_tips04

5. Make lists. Check them off. Check them again. The minute you don’t look at your packing list you will forget something. Even if you’ve been teaching that same class for years. Ask me about the time I showed up for a paint class without the paint. 

6. Give yourself two days to pack… so you have time to remember anything you’ve forgotten. Or run out of. Or added to your supply list at the last minute and you are sure that half your students will not have read the email you sent out last week. And – if there are supplies you can get a local person to pick up for you, you might save some luggage room as well. It never hurts to ask.

7. When attaching a smaller bag to a larger one, hang it low. When you tip it the  center of gravity is way down low. Your wrists will thank you profusely. That little guy has a latch to hook it onto the top of the big suitcase but it is HEAVY when I tip it. When it is down low I can balance and pull it with almost no effort.kinard_travel_tips06

8. A second bag is far cheaper than one overweight bag. But they rarely weigh your carry-on. I pack my books in my carry on. It is ALWAYS over 50 lbs. I fly Southwest when it goes where I want to go to save the guilds the cost of two suitcases both ways.

9. Exercise. Lift weights. Or get help. Smile nice and ask a stranger to heave that carry-on into the overhead bin. Or, better yet, volunteer to check your bag at the gate when they say they won’t have enough space in the overhead bins. I ask and they often check my bag straight through to the final destination so I don’t have to haul it around during my layover.

10. Learn to travel light on the personal needs (clothes/shoes/toiletries) because you will need every ounce for your supplies. Wear something really comfortable during the flight. Your feet will thank you!kinard_travel_tips10


behind the scenes – getting ready to film

350x500.Bead-ItSomething wonderful and big is happening her in Lyric Art studios this month. In several weeks my wonderful and talented producer, Bonnie McCaffery will be here to film a couple of DVD’s. She did an amazing job with my DVD, Bead It Like You Mean It so I didn’t hesitate to bring her in when I was ready to film another.

I’ve been thinking of doing one for several years and have a number of outlines hashed out but life is always very, very busy here. It seems that with my business the only thing that forces me to get things done is a deadline – so I just called up, set a date, and viola! Deadline to be met.

Now I just need to choose which topics I’m going to cover. I’ll have time to film two DVD workshops and have three ideas. Perhaps you can give me some feedback?

I’m sure I’m going to film a Thermofax Screen Printing DVD. All the how-to of finding or creating a design, making a thermofax screen, what kinds of paints to use, print set-up, design possibilities and so on. It will be jam packed with lots and lots and lots of information.

IMG_8436I’m also thinking of filming a DVD workshop on various methods of mounting and framing textile art. I would include matting and framing, wrapping the quilt around stretcher bars, and also mounting the textile art on painted canvases. What do you think? Is there actually any interest in this? Is anyone even interested in framing or mounting their quilt art?

bead it 4x6The third option is a follow-on to the Bead-It DVD.  I would show some bead embroidery techniques, edge treatments, and a different way to create a beaded bezel.

What do you think? Granted, I sort of think that a lot of things I teach are only interesting to a very small number of people. I’m pretty much OK with that. When I self publish I’m not really worried about how fast the publication actually sells. It won’t go out of print until I’m ready to be done with it.

I would really love your feedback!



teaching: getting ready to go

Getting ready to teach in Grand Rapids for the American Quilters Society QUILT WEEK. Here is a little peek into the work it takes to teach at a show like this. I’ll be teaching four classes, giving one lecture and one demonstration. And I’ve been prepping and packing all week. The only class with space still available is Photos on Fabric next Wednesday although the lecture will have plenty of space if you want to just drop by.IMG_3292

1-print out handouts (run and get more ink for printer)
2-remember which supply list students have (did I update it?)
3-print transfer paper and images for citra-solv method
4-call ahead and see if my usual store has citra-solv on the shelf
5-call four other stores while trying not to panic and wondering how much overnight shipping costs
6-remind myself to pull together supplies further ahead of time on the way to the store that HAS IT THANK GOODNESS!
7-stay up very, very, late making kits as the day was spent with children who are not quite back in school yet
8-spend several hours gathering supplie
9-go through sample binder and reorganize it because I didn’t after the last time I taught this
10-wonder how I’m going to find suitcase room for the three other classes I’m teaching
11-the list goes on but I’m too brain dead right now to remember other things… and I still have three classes to pack for.

wish me luck!

I always end up muttering “I don’t get paid enough to do this” under my breath as I’m packing. Once I’m in the room with students though? I feel like shouting “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!!!!!” Because I love the students, and love seeing people do creative things, it’s worth it.

teaching: more abstract-a-licious


And here are the rest of the original abstract creations of my incredibly talented students from APWQ in Tacoma WA.



Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_19This design is created by tracing the major shapes that compose a well known work of art. Then she abstracted those shapes… lovely!





Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_9This student is a beader – and is going to put a cabochon in the middle and beads creating the spiral. I love it when the embellishments are an integral part of the design!


Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_6This student said she never knew when to stop. Just as she said that I handed her a chocolate. Inside the wrapper it said “STOP… and enjoy the chocolate.”



Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_4This student said it’s the first time she has ever drawn anything without a knot of worry in her stomach.

Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_3This student worked on creating a focal point through isolation… and did it beautifully.

Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_2Aren’t they amazing!???

I feel like asking you all to stand and give them a round of applause. They certainly deserve it.


teaching: abstract-a-licious at APWQ


Students at the APWQ Symposium in Tacoma, WA

I think this is my favorite class. Yes, I say that about almost all of the classes I teach but I really do think this one might have risen to the very top of the pile.

There is something incredibly rewarding about helping students find the tools and the structure so that they can use their own unique experiences, access their own creativity, and create their own original art!


These three original designs all began (I think) as a tracing of a pair of scissors.Abstract-A-Licious_Lyric_Kinard_12

The tops are small studies, not masterpieces.

They are thoughts and ideas and explorations.And they are beautiful!

teaching: creative collaborative collage

Oh what a GLORIOUS mess!!!!

I don’t think there is anything more fun than throwing all of your creative inhibitions to the wind and just PLAYING!!!
Creative Collaborative Collage is as much of a game, an event, an experimentation, as it is a class.
You dive right out of your comfort zone, working with scraps that aren’t yours, working with designs that you didn’t create to begin with.
You are pushed and challenged and through it all we LAUGH! We PLAY! We EXPLORE!IMG_0208 IMG_9644 IMG_0188These fabulous students were in Fort Collins, CO

We do hard things – like making fun and funky faces that look more human than alien.

IMG_2822IMG_2820kinard_creative_collaborative_collage1kinard_creative_collaborative_collage2kinard_creative_collaborative_collage3These fabulous students were in Ann Arbor Michigan.
If you are going to be at the Association of Pacific West Quilters Symposium join me for an evening of fun!



teaching aqs grand rapids, mi


I’m teaching this August in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the American Quilt Society’s Quilt Week. If you plan to go, why don’t you join me for the only class still open.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Photos on Fabric, #55501 Lyric Kinard 

photos_on_fabric_kit3 sweet_thing photos_on_fabric_kit1 Hmmm

student spotlight: picture it framed

Some of my classes get taught all the time, some only occasionally. Picture It Framed is a class that is seldom chosen by guilds and I had completely forgotten how much fun it is!

Lisa_DodsonLisa Dodson

The Illini Country Stitchers are a happy and fabulous group of women who were a blast to have in class! Maggie_SzafranskiMaggie Szfranski

We spent the morning learning beading techniques and creating a small art quilt then painted gallery wrapped canvases to mount them on. DiannePedersenDianne Pedersen

I also demonstrated a whole bunch of different framing and mounting methods. IMG_0223

surface design sampler platter

There is a reason I love teaching the Surface Design Sampler Platter!

kinard_surface_design_students6Many of the students haven’t ever painted cloth before.
kinard_surface_design_students10And look what they do!?!
kinard_surface_design_students9They carve stamps,
kinard_surface_design_students1screen print and stencil,
kinard_surface_design_students3learn to layer imagery,
kinard_surface_design_students2do photo transfer,
kinard_surface_design_students7… and even learn to bead!
kinard_surface_design_students5We call it “drinking from a fire hose!”
kinard_surface_design_students8We also call it…

 Thank you to the wonderful women in Fort Collins, CO for two days of wonderful play time!!!

teaching: creative collaborative collage

I’ll be jetting off to the great Rocky Mountains to play with the creative quilters of the Colorado Quilting Council next week.

I’ll be lecturing at around 11am on Saturday the 26th about the Elements of Art for quilters.


Kick-start your creativity and learn about the basic elements and principles of good design. Learn why some colors fizz while others explode, why some quilts calm and some excite. A few simple tools from the artists kit will help you take your work, whether traditional or contemporary, to the next level.


Later that day join me for Creative Collaborative Collage. It’s a riotous event more than a class where you never know what is going to happen next. There will be fabric flying, friends being found, design principles being learned, and art being made.


Join me!

Student Spotlight: abstract-a-licious

More work Abstract-A-Licious from my students at the Quintessential Quilt guild in Columbus, OH.
One of my favorite exercises for this class is called “the borrowers.”


We trace the main shapes in a well known work of art, abstracting the composition into something unique. 


It’s amazing how each student can end up with something completely different even though they started with the same work of art.

IMG_8373Yes, BOTH of these were driver from Klimt’s Tree of Life.

IMG_8387If I’m remembering right, this is an Utrillo painting. (Let me know if I’m wrong – it’s highly likely.)

IMG_8388Every viewer sees different shapes in the painting. We try to simplify it as much as possible.

IMG_8389Shapes get traced, changed, and in this case, cut up and moved around as compositions take shape.






Student spotlight: Abstract-A-Licious

Original Abstract by Judy Krol

Original Abstract Study by Judy Krol

Last month I had the privilege of working with the Quintessential Quilters Guild in Columbus Ohio. Abstract-A-Licious is fast becoming one of my favorite classes as I watch students work through very simple exercises that lead to their own unique abstract designs.

original abstract - texture exercise by Michele Lea

original abstract – texture exercise by Michele Lea

It’s one of those classes where even absolute beginners are able to come up with very interesting and original designs. All my classes are like “kindergarden” where we are allowed to simply experiment and play. No worries about making a masterpiece here!


Looking at the world through a window – abstracting the environment into simple lines and shapes.

Many students have never tried to sketch before and that’s not what we do in this class. We simply see things with a pencil in our hand.


A more developed “looking through the window” thumbnail with texture and value added to the lines and shapes.

After we complete myriad small exercises we spend the afternoon creating an only slightly more refined “study” in cloth. We observe and analyze and learn to see where problems and possibilities lie in each design.


A study in textiles based on the original thumbnail.


Students – Surface Design Sampler Platter

The Quintessential Quilters Guild is a fantastic group in Columbus Ohio.IMG_8341I had a fabulous time with them last week.
Surface Design Sampler Platter is one of my favorite classes to teach!IMG_8344We played with stencils, stamps, and foil.
Playing with all sorts of fantastically fun surface design techniques.
Screen printing 


– just making a glorious and fabulous mess!!!


artist spotlight – lisa walton


I’d love to introduce you to Lisa Walton, wonderful artist and quilter from down under in Australia. I had the great good pleasure of rooming with her last October in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. She is delightful – and so is her artwork!

Lyric: How did you come to be an artist?

Lisa: I’ve always dabbled but the realities of life took priority for many years. My neighbour introduced me to the joys of patchwork but I couldn’t follow rules or copy other peoples designs. Once I was given my first pack of hand dyed fabric I was hooked. When I started to dye my own, the possibilities opened up. I started to design my own quilts and this just kept taking up more and more of my brain space.


When my children started living their own lives and obligations like mortgages and school fees faded away, my pressures and restrictions lessened too. My creative endeavours led to teaching which I love as well as the friendships of like minded souls. Of course the total support of my husband played an enormous role and eventually I was able to leave the hated day job to just create, teach and exhibit my work. One day my husband was filling out passport forms for me (he loves forms) and when it came to my occupation , he wrote ARTIST! That simple action settled it for me and now I say it with pride and conviction.

party_time_full_600_jpgLyric: Why textiles as a medium?
Lisa: I love the flexibility of textiles, the colours, textures and the interesting problems working in them creates. I prefer the process rather than the end result and rarely repeat anything.

Lisa will be teaching at the Quilters Studio in Newbury Park California ( in April. Take a look at Lisa’s Website to explore more of the lovelies she creates… and if you are down under yourself – she has a fabulous shop full of all kinds of supplies for your own textile art, beading, and surface design explorations.

I have a wonderful copy of Lisa’s book, Beautiful Building Block Quilts to give away.


If you are a traditional quilter and want to take your first steps towards creating your own designs this is a wonderful book for you. You can choose to learn by following her patterns exactly or you can read her guidelines for branching out on your own. She guides you through creating your own geometric block patterns and also includes a few very clear and easy to understand pages about color choices.   You can purchase it here if  you want a new copy. This one is signed to me and somehow has a few chocolate stains here and there on a page or two. Chocolate and quilt books naturally go together right? I should be more careful. You should also check out the other cool stuff Lisa has in her on-line shop… remembering that she is in Australia. Also – friend her on FaceBook so that you can easily keep up with what she is doing.

Leave me a comment and tell me something. Oh – I don’t know – anything. What is the first thing you would visit if you got to go to Australia? Or – if you’ve already been there – what should I see first? I’ll pick a winner in one week.

International Quilt Festival – pt 1

Whew! The week after that crazy week was spent in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. There is simply too much to take in much less share, but I’ll give you a few of the highlights. I taught four different classes and one of my growing favorites is Creative Collaborative Collage! 

photo 2(I’ll have to look harder and see if I have a non-blurry picture in my files!) 

In this class we let go of all inhibitions and simply play with fabric and color and design principles for a few hours. It gets a little wild and crazy. It’s truly collaborative as we pass cards or get up and switch to a different table every few minutes. You never know what you are going to get to work on, what fabric you’ll have to work with, or which card you will end up keeping. When that is the case it frees you from the fear of making a mistake or worrying about outcomes. We call it a “make BAD art” day where the most valuable thing you do is have a true learning experience. It’s FUN!!!

photo 3

If your guild is having me in next year or in 2015 (or you want to have me come in!) let your program chair know that THIS is a fabulous class! I’m thinking it would also be a truly, wildly, wonderful evening event at a retreat. Part dance party, part fun fest with fabric. To all my CCC students – I love you!!!


Getting ready for IQF!

It’s two weeks away but those of us who are teaching have to get our supplies shipped this week for the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I’ve been crazy busy (what else is new!?) ordering supplies and spent all day yesterday putting together kits for the Photos on Fabric class.lace2

I should have taken a picture of the floor before I cleaned it up. Hand dyed lace and linens in a glorious pile covering every square inch of the floor. Here is a picture of one of the boxes after I cleaned up. Maybe next time I put together kits it won’t end up as such an explosion since everything is now so organized. (I can dream can’t I?)


Photos on Fabric is filled, but two of my classes, The Elements of Art (#221 Tuesday 9-5) and Creative Collaborative Collage (#348 Wednesday morning) still have just a few slots. Tell your friends to sign up!

Surface Design: thermofax screen printing

photo-7A few minutes to play with some thermofax screens. I love this scribble screen.

photo-3A little more time playing with pictures from our road trip… and more screen printing. I think this is just the beginning of a series.

photo-4This is another technique that is included in my class, Surface Design Sampler Platter at the Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat. I know you want to – come on and play!

More about Thermofax Screen Printing can also be learned in my upcoming on-line class at called Freeform Screen Printing. It opens on September 27th and includes a new lesson each week for four weeks. The classroom will be open several weeks after that -which makes for a nice relaxed pace and plenty of time to ask me lots and lots of questions. You can sign up for it here!

Artist Spotlight: Roxane Lessa


I’d like to introduce you to another artist (and good friend!), Roxane Lessa. Her work is always inspiring, and often experimental. It’s always fun to see what interesting and sometimes crazy thing she is playing with at the moment.

She makes the gloriously beautiful botanicals pieces that I just love. Many of them are trees or plants that are all around me in the North Carolina landscape. Often they are large. I really like large… even if I have a hard time bringing myself to work large these days – simply because of time restraints.

Lyric: Did you always want to be an artist?  

Roxane: Yes and no.  I always wanted to be a ballerina, and I did that, but then I had to retrain for a new career.  I went back to college to get a degree in clothing design and textiles.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 2.39.58 PM

Unopened by Roxane Lessa 40×32

Lyric: Why Textiles as a medium?


Roxane: I have always loved textiles, the textures, the colors, the patterns.  Since I was a little girl, I was always teaching myself needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, anything to do with fiber and textiles.  I love all the possibilities that textiles afford that a flat canvas and paint can not.  Textiles have tactile and 3 dimensional qualities that are easier to manipulate than other media, such as sculpture.



Lyric: Describe your journey to becoming an artist.

Roxane: I took my first basic quilting class in 1998, but by then I was already a pretty competent garment designer and sewer.  I loved the whole process and began making large bed quilts.  But at the same time, I began taking classes from art quilters and making less traditional art quilts.  Exploring with textiles, color and design really go me jazzed!


Lyric: Why do you teach?

Roxane: I began teaching art quilting in 2008, and have learned so much from my students.  Teaching forces me to get clearer and better at all the techniques and design principles just so I can get it across to my students.  At this point, I teach at guilds and in my studio.  I enjoy teaching a small group of dedicated art quilters who are not satisfied with reproducing other people’s patterns.  They have a vision for their own work and, I love to help them make their vision a reality.  My Saturday Art Quilting Salon is a monthly group class that introduces quilters to new techniques they have always wanted to try.  Also, this year, I am opening up some spots for my private Art Quilting Mastery Program.

Do you love her stuff as much as I do!?
If you are in the Raleigh area, you’ll love this
Salon style class with her as well!

IMG_5580This way of building wall sculpture as you go is really fun.  It evolves organically and tests my design skills.  While creating these sculptures, you have to focus on balance, and scale, as well as color.

The Saturday Art Quilting Salon is on!!!!!  We will be focusing on making cool 3-D fan art.


TIME: 10 AM-12 or 1PM

PLACE: ROXANE’S STUDIO, 1237 N. Blount St. Raleigh, NC 27604

FEE:  $45, includes materials and use of my machines and tools.  Bring any fabric, heavier threads, decorative threads, perle cotton, yarns, trims, you want to work with. If you bring a friend, your fee drops to $35, but you MUST RSVP, so I can make sure I have adequate supplies and room.  Pay when you arrive, cash or check is preferred.

If you would like to learn some of these fun techniques and make your own 3-D textile sculpture, email her and let her know.  Space is filling up fast, so don’t wait.  I hope you can make it.

Teaching: Colonial Quilt Lovers in Hertford, NC

photo 1-2

The drive from the Raleigh area to Hertford, NC is straight east and full of what I call “The Great Green Tunnel.” All of the south is full of beautiful green trees wherever you don’t mow or pave.

So I love being out on the road where you can see some of the sky. Even the rainy skies are beautiful.

Rain can’t dampen spirits when you get to spend time playing with creative women like the crew at the Colonial Quilt Lovers. The first prints with their own unique hand carved stamp always bring out the “oooohs and aaaaahs” and of course the smiles!

photo 1
photo 2

I’ll be teaching some of the same techniques in my on-line class Playing With Paint starting this Friday at There is still plenty of time to sign up and find supplies. You can jump in and start the class any time over the next seven weeks.

photo 3-2

Here is the view of the river out the back window where we held class. It is always worth the trouble of preparing and packing and schlepping in order to be with such wonderful women. Quilters are the NICEST people to work with.

Once In a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat

This from my good friend and fellow fabulous teacher

Susan Brubaker Knapp 

Drumroll, please! I am pleased to announce that my 2013 retreat will be held at an exciting new location in Blowing Rock, NC. And I’ve asked a friend and truly fabulous teacher, Lyric Kinard, to join me! Lyric Kinard was named the 2011 Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Professional Quilters (IAPQ). She is author ofArt+Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises, and has created two DVDs (on beading and surface design).

The retreat will be held Nov. 13-16 at Meadowbrook Inn & Suiteson Main Street in Blowing Rock. This is a wonderful town, full of fun shops and wonderful restaurants, and surrounded by natural beauty of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Susan and Lyric

Lyric and I will be offering two full days of classes, plus a half day onNov. 13 for early arrivals. Subjects include wholecloth painting, surface design, elements of art for quilters, thread sketching, funky embroidery, and beading. You can sign up to take both of your classes with me, both with Lyric, or one day with each of us. Each class is limited to 25 students to ensure that everyone gets enough individual instruction.The base fee for the two full-day classes is $240. There are kit fees for some classes. Registrants choose their own accommodations andmeals. We have reserved a block of rooms at Meadowbrook at a reduced rate (see retreat flier for details). And there are many wonderful restaurants within walking distance of the conference site.

Meadowbrook Inn & Suites in Blowing Rock, NC

My friend and conference facilitator extraordinaire, Joyce Mullis, is handling registrations and most of the organizational details.You can download the flier – which contains detailed information and pricing — and the registration form by clicking here. We hope we will mark your calendar and make plans to join us! 

Choose one three-hour class (these are optional add-on classes are not included in the base fee):

Free-style Embroidery Apron (with Susan)
Stitch up a funky art apron using Susan’s designs and colorful perle cotton. You’ll start with a flirty hand-painted canvas apron, and embellish it, using simple embroidery stitches. A relaxing, no-stress class.  Class price: $55 (includes kit fee)
– OR –

Bead It Like You Mean It (with Lyric)
Come learn the basics of beading and create a fun little art quilt. You will learn techniques for adding beads of all shapes and sizes to your quilts and wearable art, easily and after you are done quilting. Here’s the prize: no knots or mess on the back! Learn to embellish in a way that adds to the overall design instead of looking like an afterthought. Class price: $55 (includes kit fee)

Choose one six-hour class:

Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals (with Susan)
Learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. Choose from the four projects shown above, and work from line drawings and photos to recreate the image using acrylic textile paints. You’ll learn how to: select the right photos for great results; choose paints and fabrics to use; transfer your design to fabric; mix and blend paints for a range of values. We will also discuss how to thread sketch, quilt and finish your piece. Supply fee includes paints, brushes and fabric. $25 supply fee

– OR –

Surface Design Sampler Platter (with Lyric)
Can’t choose which surface design technique you want most to learn? Try a taste of each! Make a small art quilt or bookcover while playing with paint, foil, photo transfer, screen printing and stamp carving, and beading. Techniques include printing and stenciling, stamp carving, screen printing, foiling, photo transfer. The supply fee includes everything you’ll need except scissors and an X-Acto knife. Lyric will have extra supplies available for purchase in class. $35 supply fee

Choose one six-hour class:

Elements of Art for Quilters (with Lyric)
Kick-start your creativity and learn about the basic elements of good design. Learn why some colors fizz while others explode, why some quilts calm and some excite. A few simple tools from the artist’s kit will help you take your work, whether traditional or contemporary, to the next level. Students will discuss some of the basic principles of design, including focal point, line, texture, color, shape and motion. Quick, hands-on exercises will help you understand and implement these principles in your own artwork. No supply fee.

– OR –

Threadsketching: Snowflakes (with Susan)
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Whip up your very own flurry in this class, using thread, fabric and a tiny bit of paint. You’ll learn the basics of how to thread sketch, using Susan’s patterns for gorgeous, realistic looking snowflakes. Learn how to trace the design onto your background fabric, stabilize your piece to avoid draw-up, regulate your stitch for perfect tension, and improve your control while stitching. We will also cover free-motion quilting ideas for this piece, and discuss finishing techniques. $3 supply fee.

Detailed supply lists will be available in summer 2013. You can download the retreat flier and registration form by clicking here.

Abstract-a-licious: Studio Class

by Deborah Young

by Deborah Young

Join me for a wonderful class here in my Cary, NC studio.


Wednesday March 13, 9:30 – 2:30
(5 hours, lunch provided)

Creating your own unique abstract design is much easier than you think! Each of these quilt tops were created in class by students just like you. Some of them had never created an original design before!

Cory Allender

Cory Allender

by Michele

by Michele

This hands-on studio class will be a unique opportunity to experience Lyric’s favorite design class in a small group setting with lots of individual attention.

Lyric will gently guide you through simple and concrete design exercises that will help  you create numerous ideas for an original abstract quilt.

by Yvonne

by Yvonne

After a delicious lunch Lyric will help you sort through your design ideas and choose one you love to turn into a small, fused, art-quilt top.

by Eileen Sherman

by Eileen Sherman

Really – YOU can do it! Designs will be doodled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had.

by June

by June

I’d love to see you there! Please visit THIS LINK on my website to view my other studio classes, and to Sign UP!  (click here to see a supply list, detailed description of the class, and more pictures in the student gallery.)

The International Quilt Festival: The Aftermath

Yes – it has been three weeks since I got home from Houston. One of those weeks was Thanksgiving. One was spent teaching in Seattle (amazing pics to come!) and well, I have a LOT of other stuff going on in my life. So yes, half of my studio still looks like this.

The other half of the studio looks like a disaster as well with new artwork underway. But this isn’t bad. I’ve got the paperwork done, mostly.  And considering eight – count them EIGHT! boxes were shipped full of student supplies and merchandise, I think I did pretty good getting home with just the four pieces of luggage I flew with.

I am hoping that December is the month for putting things back together.


The International Quilt Festival: The Classes

I taught 5 classes in four days, gave one lecture and participated in the Mixed Media Sampler at the International Quilt Festival. It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at once.

Abstract-A-Licious at IQF 2012

Abstract-a-licious was a fabulous class! A whole room full of amazingly creative women who created their own original designs by the end of the day.

Houston 2012

Abstract-A-Licious in Houston 2012

Maggie Farmer in Houston

The packing and getting ready is almost impossible although I had enough time this go-round to ship my seven boxes of student supplies early. I took a week to get my two 50lb bags, and carry-on, and briefcase full of AV equipment well packed.

Surface Design Sampler Platter
Houston 2012

Surface Design Sampler Platter
Houston 2012

“Just Foiling Around” is a fun and funky class where we play with things most quilters haven’t had a chance to before. Lots of glitter and shine!

Just Foiling Around at IQF in Houston

Grace Tice in “Just Foiling Around”
IQF 2012

Just Foiling Around

Just Foiling Around

Tanya Boeke in Just Foiling Around

But once I get there with the students it is all worthwhile.

Creative Collaborative Collage

On-Line Class: The Artist’s Toolbox

May I tell you how much I love my on-line students? The Artist’s Toolbox (new session opens this friday) is an especially wonderful class for me to get to know these lovely people.

Angela – value study

So many of them come in saying “I can’t draw” or have real reservations about their abilities to create original art but by the end of class you see their confidence just blossom.

Dahlia – depth study

 I truly DO believe that everyone is creative in some way.
If you give yourself time to learn and permission to be imperfect it is amazing what you can do.

Cindy – shape study

 Art CAN be taught. You can learn to draw through some simple steps and exercises if you are willing to put in the effort. You CAN learn to understand the basic elements and principles of design.

Uliday – texture study

 If you want to be and artist, if you are willing to put in the time and the effort….

Lorelei – movement study

I’d love to share the journey with you.

Join me for
four lessons, $36.00 beginning
October 12, 2012

I’m Teaching in Houston!

I would love to see you at the International Quilt Festival!
I’ll be posting details about my classes soon.

You can find the full class catalog
in the meantime.


I’m teaching one of my favorite classes Saturday, June 23rd 10am-5pm at
Thimble Pleasures
a lovely shop nearby in Chapel Hill, NC


A day of wonderful fun – playtime!

We’ll spend time working through very easy and concrete design exercises.

We play with different methods of creating your own unique abstract designs.

By the end of the day you will have a sweet little art quilt.

we don’t worry about making masterpieces.
We simply play with design.

PLAY being the operative word!

Join me! You can sign up here.
I’ll also be teaching this class on October 30th at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

At The End of the Day

Tired but happy.
I spent the day teaching a group of absolutely lovely ladies from the Durham Orange Quilter’s Guild. We did some design exercises, learned different ways to mount or frame small textile artworks, and decided that the class doesn’t include time for making a peyote stitch beaded bezel.
I have the pleasure of working with this group again on Monday but am very glad that I have a day to rest. Monday’s class is fast, furious, and fun! The students in the Surface Design Sampler Platter usually come home buzzed but I’m ready to crash by then. I need to be well rested since I’ll be lecturing after the class. Hmmmm. Glad the lecture is “lights out” since my hands are usually well painted by the end of that class!
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