If you are interested in having me come to teach or speak to your group or organization please contact me with details!
Do you want to combine several workshops?
Workshops can be created to suit the needs of your particular group.
I try to give as much information as possible to help you develop your own creativity. I encourage a friendly and relaxed environment.
Do you want to make your own appliqués but only have a basic sewing machine. In this workshop you will learn how.
Inspired by colourful fish and butterflies thread painting, will be used without fabric distortion, to make the appliqués. You will be shown how they can eventually be applied to embellish your own quilts, cushions and clothing.
Suitable for those who feel confident using free motion machine embroidery.
Length: One Day
Embroideries from the Indian subcontinent are full of colour and pattern. Textiles from Sylvia’s collection will be used for inspiration and to illustrate design principles and elements such as proportion, balance, shape and harmony.
First we will have great fun quickly painting construction papers. These will be torn in various geometric shapes and then pasted to a background to make rows of colourful patterns.
The paper collage will help guide you in the making of your art quilt using scraps of fabrics in fused applique. Shapes will be machine stitched with coloured threads.
You may want to add more embellishment using oil sticks and stencils, free motion machine embroidery and even the addition of buttons and washers.
This workshop is suitable for all levels.
NOTE.There will not be much time for embellishing stitching in the two days.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Using water soluble films and scraps of fabrics you will learn how to make filigree appliques, lace and jewellery using free motion machine embroidery. Learning how to stitch you applique in place will also be part of the class.
Length: One day
Level. Confidence in free motion machine embroidery is essential.
Free Motion Machine Embroidery – The Basics
This is a technique oriented course to introduce you to free motion machine embroidery.
You will learn about the use of hoops as well as suitable fabrics, threads and needle choices. You will be shown the different ways that the machine can be used to get different stitch effects. The use of some stabilisers will be discussed. Simple exercises to help you gain confidence will be part of the day.
Length: One day
Note: using automatic stitches is not part of this class.
This course will show beginners how to do basic free motion machine embroidery and challenge the more advanced by expanding their repertoire of skills. In a relaxed atmosphere you will be inspired to delve deeper into fibre arts using free motion machine embroidery.
There will be the opportunity to learn how fabric dyes, paints, soluble films, collage and appliqué can be combined with free motion machine embroidery. Demonstrations, instruction and individual critiques will increase awareness of the use of colour, design and texture.
Inspiration for some of the projects and/or samples will come from the urban and natural landscape.
You may spend the week developing your skills through exercises and/or work on a project of your own choice. Emphasis is on developing your own personal skills at your own pace.
You will be required to bring a reliable sewing machine in good working order with an instruction manual if the machine is not totally familiar to you.
Length: Five days
Picture a beautiful hanging about 9in wide by 30in long decorated with flowers. All you have to do is come to this workshop for a day.
We will begin by choosing a suitable background fabric which will then be made more exciting by adding bits of metallic threads over which is laid a fusible web. Flowers shapes will be cut petal by petal from fabric and then placed on the webbing. The fabric sandwich will be completed with organza. Free motion machine embroidery will unite the layers and more importantly define and embellish the flowers.
Designing with shapes will be included in the workshop.
A working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery.
Sewing machine in good working order
Length: one day
Length: two days if students want to paint their own backgrounds by transfer painting.
[see Transfer Painting course outline]
Have Fun with Textile Paints
In this fun class students will be introduced to transfer paints made from Disperse Dyes.
They are intended for fabrics with a high synthetic content. Innovative fibre artists will enjoy working with the paints on a variety of synthetic fabrics to create wonderful, colourful and textured fabrics for future projects. The effects of applying the paints with different items such as brushes and sponges will be explored as well as working with resists and printing. You will be shown lots of samples suggesting ideas for your own painted fabrics.
Class requirements are an open mind and a desire to experiment.
Length: One Day
Create a small, abstract, collage inspired by details in the world around us.
The collage will include a variety of fabric scraps including sheers and nets, fusible webs, hand made cords plus beads and buttons. Free motion machine embroidery techniques will be used to blend and embellish. Some hand embroidery may be added.
Course requirements: an adventurous spirit
Level: intermediate [a working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery]
Length: 1, 1.5 or 2days
Student supply list to be provided. Max: 14
Classroom needs: One 6′ table per person, extra tables for supplies and samples.
One iron & ironing board per 4 people.
Picture a House
In this fun class houses will be the theme leading to the creation of a mini quilt, about 12in square.
In order to free the creative spirit the class will begin by making paper collages with torn papers. [This is very liberating]
Sylvia’s samples and instructions will show how the paper collages can be used to inspire an appliqué picture.
Stitching lines will be like scribbles which can be done in regular stitching or free motion. Topics to be covered include use of colour and design. Pictures can be completed by adding buttons, beads or sequins and then binding the edges.
Suitable for all levels
Class requirements: a willingness to let go, to possibly travel beyond your comfort zone!
Length: One day
Picture a Landscape
Create a small landscape with fused applique. The class will begin by looking at pictures of landscapes and how they can be simplified. Attention will be paid to design elements such as colour, texture, line and space.
Using fabric paints which have been previously prepared for you and demonstrated techniques, students will paint white cotton for the skies.
To help with the landscape design, students will make simple sketches in their notebooks or make a paper collage, [very liberating].
Using commercial cottons on your painted sky you will then be guided through the process of cutting and fusing.
Suggestions will be given for stitching the fused fabric edges and ways to display your work.
Course requirements; sewing machine in good working order.
Variation: Use commercial fabrics for the skies
Length: One day
Spring Year Round (Tulips)
Do you want to have tulips all year round? This is the workshop for you. You will make a lovely hanging approx. 15in square on plain or lightly patterned cotton.
Simple tulip shapes will come to life with free motion machine embroidery and thread painting.different densities of stitching and thread colours. Discussion of design principles including balance, use of space, colour, shape and density will help you to create your masterpiece.
Suitable for those with a basic working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery.
Length: One Day
Stitch a Landscape Free Motion
This class will concentrate on making a simple stitched landscape using free motion machine embroidery on a softly patterned batik fabric. Simple exercises in your notebook will help with composition. You will learn how to make trees, grasses and flowers in free motion.
Techniques learned can be used to embellished your appliquéd landscapes
Course requirements; sewing machine in good working order, darning foot
A working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery or free quilting is necessary.
Length: One day
Voyage Through Tropical Seas
Exotic fish swimming amongst tropical plants will be created by you in this decorative hanging. The most vibrant fish will be thread painted separately and used as appliqués. Others will be free motion stitched directly on to the batik background to swim between the plants created from fused appliqué and free motion machine embroidery.
Course requirement; a working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery
Length: Two Days
Would you like to learn more about thread painting then this is the workshop for you. Inspired by nature you will use free motion machine embroidery on cotton to shade and accent flowers, fish or butterflies. A variety of threads will be used on your sample. The more advanced will make appliques and learn how to apply them to a cotton background. Techniques learned can be used to embellish you own quilts, cushions and clothing. Suitable for those who feel confident using free motion machine embroidery.
Length: One Day
Create a Sunset
Would you like to create a sunset picture but do not know where to start, then this worksop is for you. The class will begin by looking at pictures of sunsets and how they can be simplified to use as a design for you to work with. Attention will be paid to design elements such as colour, texture, line and space. You will first make a paper collage, (very liberating) before beginning a picture using fusible applique. Next you will add to your appliqued sunset by using free motion embroidery. Simple exercises in your notebook will help with composition. You will learn how to make trees and grasses in free motion machine embroidery. Ways of finishing your work of art will be discussed.
Course requirements: sewing machine in good working order, darning foot. A working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery or free motion quilting.
Length: Two days
Paint & Stitch the Trees of the Woods
The class will begin by looking at pictures of trees and forests to analyze design principles and elements. Non-toxic fabric paints will be used to colour cotton for the background.
Commercial cottons will be used for trees to be added using fused appliqué
Instruction will be given in using free motion machine embroidery to create visual interest. Finally you may add some hand embroidery to complete your masterpiece.
A working knowledge of free motion machine embroidery is essential.