Process Notes

Image Choice

I do ask all workshop students to email image options in advance of the workshop for approval. Please send to the email address on the supply list. This will avoid disappointment in a multi-day workshop if the image is not conducive to my pictorial appliqué technique. Humans, portraits, landscapes, seascapes, trees, and animals with definitive markings (zebras, butterflies, giraffes) are NOT recommended.
For additional resources on image choices, download this PDF: IMAGE IDEAS.

Grayscale Print and Pattern

My process requires a full-size pattern, which we will create on the first full day of the workshop. Once your image has been selected and approved, a grayscale enlargement is required to make the pattern. The size of the enlargement will be the finished size of your quilt. It is best to work at a minimum size of 20" x 30". For reference, my quilts (such as the raccoon above) are usually 40" x 60".

You will need to have your image converted to grayscale and printed at a large-format copy center. I can convert your image to grayscale and have the enlargement made for you for $20 (payable at the workshop). We will not need a high-quality print for this, a plain-paper printout is perfect.

The cost of the grayscale should not exceed $20, if you wish to procure your own. Contact your local commercial copy center (Fedex Office, Staples, etc.) to inquire about having your image enlarged in grayscale on large format, plain, copy paper - usually 36" wide.

It is not necessary to have the enlargement in full color.

Please do not have your image "Posterized".

Please do not trace your image prior to having it enlarged.

Please do not trace your image before the workshop.

Please do not apply 'filters' in Photoshop or other photo editing software.

Please do not only bring your image in full-color on your iPad, iPhone or other digital device. A 4"x6" or 8"x10" full-color print of your image needs to be in a prominent place at your workstation and it's very difficult to pin an iPad to a foamcore design board.

We'll be creating our patterns on Day One. To do this, I trace the enlargement on to Canson® brand, exceptionally transparent, 25lb. artist's foundation tracing calque. I will have 36" wide rolls of the tracing paper available at the workshop. Please do not bring another brand of tracing paper or substitute. Once the pattern is complete, we'll be tracing large sections of the pattern onto freezer paper from the reverse side.

Fabric Choices

Select an image for which you have a large quantity of fabric options. For example, please don't select an image of a 'bluebird' if you don't have a substantial array of blue fabrics! We will be choosing fabrics based on the full-color print of your image. Be open to possibilities!

The key to my work is not how much fabric I use in each quilt, it’s about HOW MANY fabrics I use. For creating my quilt featuring "Teton," the German shepherd, I pulled a few dozen fabrics from my stash in colors similar to those in the original photograph. I included a number of unique purchased hand-dyed pieces, some batiks, a few novelty prints and a lot of commercial prints – all cotton, with lots of blending colors. Solid or one-color fabrics do not work well in the process. Look for fabrics that have more than one color in the design. Changes in values of the colors is also important.

You should raid your stash and bring as many large scraps as you can fit in an extra suitcase! Also, do not worry about your background choice if you haven't found the perfect fabric yet. The subject matter is much more important. The background behind a blue bird will need to be altered if the blue bird ends up being the color of a canary.

Design Board

We will be creating on a design wall. You may want to bring a portable design board if you are driving so you will not have to un-pin your project from the wall to take it home. I use 1.5" thick insulation board (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) These boards are incredibly lightweight and sturdy. They don't bend and can be carried around quite easily. The boards are construction-grade so they come in 4'x8' sheets. They can be cut down to smaller sizes by scoring with a utility knife and straight-edge ruler, then snapped apart. The board will not need to be much larger than your project. I work with my project boards set up on an artist's easel. I really like my Beechwood Easel from Hobby Lobby.

Supply List

To download a PDF version of the supply list for the workshop, CLICK HERE.

Workshop Mission

My goal for this workshop is to demonstrate a different way to create appliqué patterns and a different way to look at fabric prints. I can tell you for certain that once your subject matter starts to come alive before your very eyes, you'll be hooked and you won't want to stop working on it. What seemed impossible on Day One will open up every possibility by Day Three. Do you have to applique by hand? No. However, it is my preferred method of assembly and I will give a demonstration of my stitching on Day Four. I've had students fuse, glue, machine stitch, satin stitch and piece together by hand. That's your choice. Actual assembly of your project will probably not happen until well after the workshop ends.

If you have any questions or concerns, please use the CONTACT form on this website. I truly want you to have the best possible workshop experience!