Kayleigh & Carol Anne SewingTeaching Indigo in TaiwanShibori Class VQF 2004Lecturing VQF 2004Stamping Class

Lectures: My lectures reflect my respect for quilts and surface design, from age old traditions to current innovations. My background in art history and fine arts are resources, as well as the years I've spent making quilts as art. These hour-long lectures are illustrated by slides or power point projection. I also bring samples of my work to share.

Fee is $350. Ask about a local discount.


Workshops: My goal is to give students tools that will help them develop their own voices. Classes are process- not product-oriented. One-day workshops teach basics. Longer sessions allow time for experimentation, extended projects and advanced techniques. Workshops can be combined into multi-day classes. Fee is $450 a day.


Scroll down or jump to surface design or quilting techniques & design classes.


Take a peek at workshops in progress and student work from dye classes, from stamping classes and from quilting techniques and design classes.



Blue & White Traditional QuiltIndigo Vat



Indigo Blues
From the ancient world through the 19th century, indigo provided the only reliable blue dye for textiles. In various parts of the world these old traditions continue. The beauty of indigo blues has naturally appealed to quilters throughout American history from its earliest quilts to the popular blue and white 19th century patterns, and now in contemporary art quilts. Powerpoint only.





The Tortoise & The Hare: How Learned to Love Quilting in the Slow Lane
Quilters today have lots of good techniques and tools to help them hurry along like the hare, but this is the story of how, in recent years, I’ve learned to enjoy the ways of the tortoise. I’ll bring lots of examples—a few digital but mostly in-person quilts—to show how doing the time can pay off, whether creating new designs or continuing a series, whether trying a new technique or revisiting something familiar. Powerpoint only.

Tortoise & Hare


Shibori and Me: From Ancient Techniques to Contemporary Quilts
Shibori is an ancient Japanese tradition, an ancestor to tie-dye. This hour-long presentation begins with a demonstration of the basic techniques of knotting, binding, pleating, stitching and clamping. Slides briefly trace shibori’s development through historical and contemporary kimonos. I then follow my evolution describing how this dye technique helped me find my voice in landscape imagery.

Japanese KimonoSummer Sonatina Quilt

A Quilt Critique Group: The New Art of "Bee-ing"
For over 20 years, the six quilters and one embroiderer of the Crit Group have met to share their art and exchange ideas and information. This lecture introduces the members--Judy Becker, Linda Behar, Barbara Crane, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Sylvia Einstein and Carol Anne Grotrian, as well as new addition, knitter Adrienne Sloan. This lecture shows how a critique group works and offers advice on starting a group of your own. Powerpoint only.

More information on Crit Group members

Nancy Crasco at Crit GroupThe Crit Group



Quilts with a View: New Landscape Traditions
American artists, including needle workers have naturally turned to the land for inspiration. This lecture touches on the appearance of landscape in antique quilts, looks at the diverse views and viewpoints of contemporary quilters and, on a personal note, includes a few of my landscape quilts among projected images and in person.

Moon Over Mountains QuiltRachel Carson Pond Quilt

Needle & Hoe: A History of Inspiration
Needlework and garden design intertwine frequently throughout world history. For millennia our foremothers used needles and hoes to create beauty out of necessity. Gardens are "embroidered" with flowers and textiles bloom year round indoors. Needlework records lost gardens, while gardens deliberately resemble carpets. This lecture emphasizes garden-inspired quilters, both traditional and contemporary.


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Garden Flowers Views from a Garden Quilt

Workshops: Surface Design


Shibori Sampler (1, 2, or 3 Days)
An ancient Japanese art, shibori subtlety goes far beyond the usual tie-dye techniques. Basic shaped resist techniques--binding, pleating, knotting, stitching, clamping and pole-wrapping--are easy to learn and endlessly variable. The results can be used to create your own sampler quilt. Adaptable to any fabric-dye combination, the class uses Procion MX dyes on cotton and silk. 

: On request, class can focus on specific techniques in greater depth and can be extended to include indigo dyeing.

Materials List One-Day | Two-Days or More

Samples & Student Work




Introduction to Shibori Indigo (1, 2, or 3 Days)
Why is indigo so magical? Because it dates to ancient Egypt? Because the blue develops on contact with air and repeated dipping makes the blue seem like many colors? Indigo's magic is the perfect partner to shibori. Experience the magic and learn about the care and feeding of an indigo vat, using synthetic indigo. We'll create indigo samples of basic shibori patterns, suitable for sampler quilts and other projects.

: A longer workshop exposes students to more techniques, with an opportunities to experiment.

Materials List One-Day | Two-Days or more

Samples & Student Work

Dye PotKanoko Indigo Sample



Indigo & Shibori: A Perfect Union (5 Days)
Shibori & indigo dyeing have brought out the best in each other for centuries. The class will start with easy to learn basics, followed by advanced techniques, with an emphasis on individual attention and experimentation. Historical use of indigo will be discussed, but the class will take advantage of modern improvements that make indigo simple to use. No experience is necessary; experienced dyers are welcome.

Materials List

Samples of Student Work



Indigo Shibori: Beyond Blue (5 Days)
Experience the excitement of dyeing indigo patterns over color. Results can range from dramatic to subtle, with an added bonus when the interaction of indigo and fiber reactive dyes create interesting haloes of color. The class will include instruction on using the dyes as well as shibori techniques with lots of time to experiment. No experience is necessary; experienced dyers are welcome


Materials List

Samples & Student Work (Scroll Down List)




Orizomegame: Paper Dyeing (1/2 or 1 Day)
Take the familiar term “origami” that is the Japanese tradition of paper folding, and insert their word for dyeing, “zome,” and you get “orizomegami”, the art of dyeing folded paper.  The folds are easy and patterns come from dipping paper in non-toxic water colors. The techniques are similar to those used on fabric (itajime), but instead of clamps, orizomegame simply uses finger pressure to control the patterns.  We’ll dye tissue paper, useable for gift wrapping, and heavier rice paper suitable for cards, etc.


Materials List

Samples & Student Work



Fabric Stamping (1 Day)
Add pizzazz to the textiles in your life. Print your own unique patterns with stamps that are store bought, or fashioned from everyday objects, or quickly carved from erasers or simply constructed with glue. The materials are inexpensive and non-toxic, basic techniques are easily learned and the results are immediate. Design theory is introduced as students create their own styles from elegant restraint to outrageous and funky.

Materials List

Samples & Student Work

Stamping Samples

Colorful Quarters (1 to 2 Days)
If you’re a beginner or experienced, join us for a day of dyeing fat quarters using fiber reactive dyes, cottons and related fabrics including silks. We’ll dye solids in buckets  and more mottled samples in baggies. Learn to mix dyes all around the color wheel, from color to color, and from light to dark. Depending on the number of students in the class, you'll end up with as much as 5 colorful yards of cotton, suitable for quilting projects. Our focus will be repeatable results. Never run out of a fabric again! Materials fee covers cost of fabric and dyes.

Materials List & More Details

Samples & Student Work (Scroll Down List)

Colorful Quarters Samples

Potatoes & Poles: Dextrin & Arashi Shibori (2-5 Days)
Experiment with the organic patterns produced by these two resists. When potato dextrin dries, its crackled surface can be dye painted to create textures from fine veins to bold webs, reminiscent of batik. In arashi shibori, poles (pvc pipes) are wrapped with fabric and compressed into folds that are manipulated to create patterns of “regular irregularity." The focus will be on cotton samples using fiber reactive dyes, though techniques apply to other dyes and fibers.  


NOTE: Two-day minimum, due to drying time of the dextrin.

Materials List

Samples & Student Work. Scroll to end of list.

First Thaw Quilt Detail

Workshops: Quilting Techniques & Design


Snapshot: Start A Picture Quilt (1, 2 or 3 Days)

Create fabric pictures--landscape, still life, etc.-- based on assigned snapshots that you bring to class. Pick your favorite photo and adapt it to quilting, using simple tools like photocopies and tracing paper. Begin selecting fabrics that will bring the image to life.


NOTE: A one day class produces designs on paper; a two- or three-day workshop proceeds to fabric sketches—fused or raw edge applique.
Materials List

Samples & Student Work


Hadley Tree PhotoHadley Tree Quilt Detail

Edgy Slow Stitch Quilting (1, 2 or 3 Days)

Applique and quilt in one-step. Raw-edged fabric is basted by hand directly to a foundation of batting and backing that is topped with cotton gauze. Inspired by Japanese boro mending, creative quilting stabilizes and completes the textile. The intent is slow stitch hand work throughout, but the technique is adaptable to sewing by machine.

More Information & Samples

Materials List (TBD)




Natural Lines: Mark Free Techniques for Quilting (1 Day)
"Draw" a design on a quilt top without touching it. Learn about lines--an important last design step in a quilt. Use mark-free methods for transferring designs to fabric and choose hand and/or machine quilting options. Techniques involve simple, available tools. Students work on samples and, if available, a previously completed top. Step away from the straight and narrow and try irregular patterns especially suited for picture quilts.

More Information

Materials List One-Day Workshop


Natural Lines Process

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Revised April, 2018