Nature provides us with an unending source of inspiration through an examination
of all Her small treasures, such as flowers, pinecones and seashells.
Focusing primarily on flowers and foliage, we will combine introductory
drawing exercises with free-motion machine stitching to create a series
of sewn drawings on canvas and unbleached cotton. We will “add a
bit of color” by working on colored fabrics, using multiple colors
of threads and using colored pencils for some additional shading options.
By the end of the workshop, you will have learned some of the basic drawing
skills, had some FUN stretching and exploring new ways of working and
seeing and have a series of small sewn drawings.
Level: Some knowledge of free-motion machine embroidery is necessary
Length: 2-3 days
Materials Fee: $10-15 (depends on the cost of fresh flowers)
• 1 or 2 Natural Objects To Draw (e.g. driftwood,
dried leaves/flowers, seashell, etc.) Fresh flowers and/or plants will
be provided so bring a small jar to hold water.
• Sewing Machine: Oiled and cleaned plus all attachments
& your instruction booklet and an extension cord.
***THE DARNING FOOT FOR YOU MACHINE IS ESSENTIAL****
• Extra bobbin case (optional): We may be adjusting
the bottom tension on our machines. Some of you might want to use a separate
bobbin case for this.
• Basic Sewing Kit: It should include extra needles
(size 11, denim and/or topstitch), extra bobbins, container of sewing
machine oil and brush, scissors (large and small), seam ripper, straight
• Threads: “A healthy assortment”
of machine sewing threads. Keep colors mostly neutral – e.g. black,
gradations of grey, taupe, tan, brown, beige, moss, khaki, etc. Concentrate
on neutrals but bring along a spool or two of a bright “accent”
colour (red, orange, purple, etc.) and 1 or 2 spools of topstitching thread.
Include some variegated threads in either 30 or 40 weight and some brighter
colors for flowers. If you have a few thinner yarns that could be couched
down and/or wound on your bobbin, bring that along too (optional).
• Fabrics: 2 m. of unbleached cotton (medium weight)
or #12 Canvas (what painters use) or any other fabric in that weight range
(e.g. flat woven linen or denim). If you have a piece of darker denim
that would also be good for 1-2 exercises (Bring along some light colored
threads to use for this). Fine quilting cottons are too thin and will
not work for this.
• Backing Fabric Options: We will be using 3 different
backing fabrics. Bring 1 m. of each. If you can’t locate one of
them, I’ll have support materials with me that you can use.
(a)Heavy-weight, stiffened woven interfacing (Buckram, etc.)
(b)Heavy-weight non-woven interfacing (Tear Away, etc.)
(c)Medium-weight needle-punch polyester batting or regular cotton batting
( Warm’n’Natural, etc.) + extra backing fabric
• Olfa cutting board, ruler and cutter
• Masking tape
• Drawing pencil, pen, eraser
• Notebook/sketchbook (11" x 14")
• Set of coloured pencils (Prismacolor, etc.) (optional)
• Ample workspace for each participant (2/table)
• 2-3 irons and ironing boards
• 2-3 extra tables for supplies and natural objects for sharing
• Communal cutting board, ruler and rotary cutter
• A “teaching space” comprised of a table and demo space
for me with an extra set of chairs around it for participants.
• An easel with a pad of paper and/or a chalk board for demonstrations
• Some wall space to pin up examples
• A sewing machine for demonstration purposes, preferably a Bernina.
• A can of 505 Spray Adhesive and paper to protect the table surface
• An ample supply of fresh flowers, simple potted plants, boughs
of trees, etc. (We’ll go “hunting and gathering” when
I get there)
Instructor Will Provide:
• Set of colored pencils
• Assorted “support materials” for those who have brought
the wrong items –heavyweight Tear Away, buckram, unbleached cotton,
• Set of floral “frogs” for holding up flowers for drawing
• Miniature platforms for holding natural objects for drawing
• Extra sewing machine needles and misc. supplies
• A variety of examples of sewn drawings
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