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Sewing from Nature 2

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. We will then build on the skills of the first 3 days by exploring border and quilting options while we convert our drawings into small individual finished pieces as well as investigate ways to mount them in combination with each other for larger works.

Leve: Some knowledge of free-motion machine embroidery is necessary.
Length: Four or five days
Materials Fee: $10.00 - $15.00 (Depends on the cost of fresh flowers)

Supply List

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.


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 pins.

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)

Classroom Requirements:

• 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, etc.
• 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

Print Supply List

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