Saturday, May 1, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Becky Hancock

Becky is the owner of St Theresa’s Textile Trove. Many of us have spent a very happy time discovering the beads, fabrics and mysterious embellishments that she brings when she sets up her store at QSDS. Becky is one of the most creative and accomplished people you will ever meet.

Her class during the first weekend of QSDS is “A Trio of Joy Mojonators.” What’s a Mojonator? It’s a mixed media art piece brings color and joy, creativity and good Mojo to your studio, sewing room or home.

 Students who sign up for Becky’s class will receive a package full of fabulous components sure to inspire you: beads, fabric, ribbons, trims, embellishments of all sorts.

She’s already started sorting through the goodies, choosing the embellishments with the best mojo! Knowing Becky, it will all be wonderful and selected with love. Becky’s classes are always fun relaxing and full of laughter. So why not make something wonderful for yourself or for a friend? Learn more here:

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Judy Rush

 Fiber art encompasses a myriad of materials and techniques, which may be why quilters often include more than just plain old fabric into their quilts. Needle felting is one of those options.

Judy Rush is a master of all types of felting. Here is her amazing installation that was at the Riffe Gallery:

 During the second week of Virtual QSDS she will guide you through the basics—and beyond–-of needle felting. If you’ve ever admired (and perhaps fondled) lusciously colored hanks of wool roving, this is the time to try it out! The tools are pretty simple, mainly what you’d call “poky things” that meld together and shape the fibers.

In the five-day class, Judy will take you all the way through incorporating armatures that allow you to make any free-standing shape you can imagine.

You know this class is going to be fun! What can you dream up? 

The weekend class is enough time to really understand the technique and make a creature or two. There is a lot you can do without any armature.

Have you seen quilts with landscape details created in needle felted wool? What kinds of dimensional art would YOU do with your new needle-felting skills? Learn more about Judy and her QSDS classes here:

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Kevin Womack

 Kevin (shown here with pal Nan Turner) is well-known for his colorful dyed and printed fabrics and T shirts. During the second week of Virtual QSDS, he will teach his five-day “Color Explorations for Fiber Artists.” So many of us found our way into quilting with no formal art background. We all love color but never had to deliberately create a split complementary combination. But it helps to know one when you see it. Kevin’s class is a chance to explore classic color relationships so that you can make more informed choices going forward. 

You will need a traditional art-store color wheel for reference, but all the other supplies are already RIGHT THERE in your work space. This is the perfect “Virtual” class because  you have access to your entire stash! Students will work with fabric or papers, such as magazine pages, to experiment with a whole series of color relationships.

So why not treat yourself to a class that will improve your fiber art and your color confidence. 

Kevin will also teach two weekend classes. In “Printing Possibilities,” he will show you so many ways to use a silkscreen—and possibly some tools from your kitchen or junk drawer.

What about those pieces of fabulous fabric that you made in a class or bought from, well, maybe from Kevin himself? Has it sat in your stash and become Precious Fabric? Spend the last weekend of QSDS trying out Kevin’s method for cutting and arranging that fab fabric into an easy to sew quilt top.

Come on, join the fun and the learning. Check out Kevin’s classes here:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Amanda McCavour

 Water soluble stabilizers have revolutionized machine embroidery. Canadian artist Amanda McCavour is a master of this technique.  Her impossibly airy artworks have become otherworldly gallery installations.

Others are whimsical and almost transparent. They might remind you of Pop Art. And all of them are stitched from thread, sewn onto wash-away stabilizers.

During the second week of Virtual QSDS, Amanda will teach two classes. For five days,  “Experimental Embroidery With Water Soluble Stabilizers,” will have you working with  different types of stabilizers and threads, doing both free-motion and feed-dogs-p stitching. What happens if you add bits of fabric, trims or even paper? Since we are virtual this year, You will be in the comfort of your own sewing space on your own machine—no need to pack up all your thread!

Only have the weekend free? Then why not focus on “Embroidered Botany?” Amanda will have you creating flowers, leaves, vines, twigs, etc in both two dimensions and three. Check it all out here:

Photo Credit: Christine Lim

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Rosalie Dace

 Living and quarantining in Durban South Africa does not stop Rosalie from teaching all two weeks of Virtual QSDS. It does mean that she will be starting each class day when she should normally be going to bed. But it would not seem like QSDS without Rosalie!

During the first week, she will lead the seven-day Independent Study, mentoring the group and nudging each artist to do their best work. Rosalie is a master of pretty much every fiber art technique, which is apparent in the exuberant mix of silks, cottons, hand and machine stitching in her quilts.

During the second week, she will teach the five-day class “Earth Wind and Fire.” The colors and textures of those elements will be the inspiration for each student’s quilt. This is a popular class. At a previous QSDS Jan Booch chose Fire as her inspiration:

Earth was the starting point for Jean Weaver’s quilt:

What element would you choose? Doesn’t this sound like fun? What’s in your stash that could be the start of an Elements quilt? This is a great class for students of all skill levels. 

Are you more in the mood for a relaxing weekend of hand stitching? Then join Rosalie for two days of “Slow Stitch Satisfaction.” It’s a very low-pressure class, where you wlll rediscover how nice it is to pull out colorful threads and do some stitching. Even Rosalie’s demonstration samples are little improvisational works of art.

Come join us and discover why Rosalie is always such a popular teacher, whether in the flesh or in a virtual class. Learn more about her classes here:

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Spotlight:‌ ‌Clare‌ ‌Murray‌ ‌Adams‌

 Do you like to work with more than just fabric? Does your workspace include a stash of paints, crayons and interesting papers? Well, let me introduce you to Clare Murray Adams. Clare combines fabrics and papers, paint and thread in her art. She is a true mixed media artist whose previous classes at QSDS have included encaustics and collaged books.

This year, Clare will guide you through an exploration of what happens when you layer fabric on paper and paper on fabric.

Her students will experiment with painting, mark making and hand stitching. Clare is an expert in many techniques and types of media, but you will also, very painlessly, learn a lot about design.
Clare is teaching during the first week of Virtual QSDS. There will be a five-day session of “Collage With Stitch” starts on May 31, followed by the two-day version (but this class only has 2 spaces left). What could be better than a week immersing yourself in mixed media? Check out all the details here:

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Deborah Griffing

 Debbie has taught at The Ohio State University and shows her work in many galleries. She works with Goodwill Industries and set up an art studio for individuals with disabilities. This ongoing enterprise enables the participating artists to make an income.

Are you interested in recycling, upcycling and using found materials?  Take a look at what some of Debbie’s previous QSDS students have created in her 5-day class “Hand Stitching: Forming Discarded Fabric Into Intimate Sculptural Art.”

It’s amazing what you can do with wool sweaters and skirts that have been thrown into 

the wash and felted a bit. Add some other discarded fabrics, a batch of buttons and embroidery floss and it all can become whatever you can imagine.

Debbie’s techniques are easy to learn and you don’t even need a sewing machine. Houses trees, boats, creatures, soft books—what will you dream up?

Debbie is also a painter. Her weekend class is  freeing and fun, and you don’t have to be good at either drawing or painting! Students will work on small clayboard panels, using oil pastels, watercolors and whatever other art supplies you might already have. This is a chance to play around with colors and shapes and maybe even discover some new techniques.

Debbie’s classes are the first week of QSDS. For more information, go to:

Monday, March 8, 2021

Teacher Spotlight: Jane Sassaman

You may know Jane’s quilts, which have won many awards, or you may have some of her prints in your fabric stash. Jane is a designer extraordinaire and a master quilter!

She will teach two classes during the first week of Virtual QSDS. In her five-day “Abstracting From Nature” Jane will guide you through design exercises based on nature, such as your favorite flower, insect or tree. You will experiment with design tools such as exaggeration simplification and abstraction that will help you translate your idea into fabric. Jane likes to say that she specializes in teaching the “drawing-impaired and the tragically literal.” Sounds like we all need Jane’s guidance!

Her two day class “Pattern Play” focuses on how to take simple shapes and gradually build them into interesting repeating patterns. Jane will share her machine applique techniques and, if you may end up looking in a different light at your sewing machine’s rarely-used patterned stitches. 

Learn more about Jane and her classes here:

COVID is not going to stop QSDS!!!

 Finally, some good news for 2021: QSDS is returning….virtually! We’re offering a whole new creative adventure, presenting live sessions on ZOOM. 

As in previous years, QSDS will offer two and five-day workshops over the course of two weeks, from May 31st through June 13th. Our 11 prestigious instructors will share their expertise in a variety of topics, including color exploration, design, printing, embroidery and more!
Each day will include everything you expect from QSDS: demonstrations, informative presentations, group discussions and individual critiques. All from the comfort of your own studio!

All classes will be recorded and available to students for two weeks. Pat Pauly’s classes will not be recorded, but she will be available to students who have technical issues that cause them to miss class.

In addition to the classes, QSDS will offer many of our much-loved traditions, including:

  • Evening faculty presentations
  • A virtual “bus tour” that includes a tour of Quilt National at the Dairy Barn
  • An evening mini-bazaar, via Zoom
  • An online auction of mini-quilts, in support of our scholarship fund

QSDS virtual schedule:

Class – 11am-1:30pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Break – 1:30-2:30pm EST
Class – 2:30-5:30pm EST
Evening activities – 7pm EST
QSDS will be different this year, but I’m excited to share this new format with our creative community. Nurture your creativity and join us...virtually!

Tracy Rieger
Director of The Quilt & Surface Design Symposium