Wool Stitching Anyone?

threadskeinsThe last few weeks of my life have been spent dyeing. Every day I dye a variety of thread colorways and sizes for stitching. This thread has a specific destination, my new class called Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool.

wool2In this class students make original designs and learn about the joy of hand embroidery on wool. There is a kit with boiled wool, thread, and needles. But you do the design work  so each piece has different shapes and colors.  I’ll be teaching Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool for the first time at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA on October 14. Hope to see you there!

Guest Artists Making Beautiful Work


Art work by Hilary

It gives me so much pleasure to show you work from my students. I’m so proud of what they make and love sharing it with you. Here you see a small quilt by Hilary from a recent class on Cape Cod. Don’t you love how she’s filled in those simple shapes with pattern and texture? The repetition of colors and shapes make it a very appealing, original design.


Art work by Arline

I also enjoy showing art work by those using my hand dyed fabrics and threads. (It makes all the drudge work of dyeing seem worth while.) Here you see a detail of stitching by Arline using hand dyed threads. I love the way she manipulates the thread to sketch on the surface of the fabric, defining shapes, and adding highlights  and depth. This is a lovely piece.

Thank you Arline and Hilary for sharing your art work with us!

Dyeing Marathon

threadsAt last my dyeing marathon ends! For the past 2 weeks I’ve been dyeing fabric and thread every day. And I mean every day.

dyeingforwebMy goal is to have every yard of fabric and skein of thread ready for class kits, the Artfabrik booth, and to stock the Artfabrik Store. Why dye it all now? Because soon I’m off traveling and most hotels don’t have dye facilities next to the fitness room. See you on the road!

Here’s One Solution


Painting the Town #3 (before) by Laura Wasilowski

When I made this quilt I was quit enamored with the back ground fabric, a drop cloth saved from years of dyeing and printing fabric. My focus was always on that piece of fabric and I didn’t want to change it.

paintingthetown3bEven though it was stitched and bound, I never liked the quilt. So I decided to change it up and give it a good painting with a water based textile paint.


Painting the Town #3 by Laura Wasilowski

Here it is now. It took a long time for me to take this risk, painting on a completed quilt. But art making is a risky business. That’s why we are so drawn to it. And I feel much better now.

Dare I Do This?


Painting the Town #3 (before) by Laura Wasilowski

This quilt is close to 2 years old. But it feels unfinished; it needs a little push into the next level. And see the background fabric? That’s a drop cloth, a white piece of fabric that soaked up years of paint and dye.

paintingthetown3eThat drop cloth fabric represents a history of various surface design projects in my studio over the years. I’m rather attached to it. And I don’t want to fiddle with it. But fiddle I must. Tomorrow I’ll show you what I’ve dared to do. Or at least it feels daring to me!

Stitching Pinked Edges #3


Vase on the Table #3 by Laura Wasilowski

The hand embroidery on this little quilt gave me a few challenges. See the fabric edges cut with the pinking blade? So far you’ve seen how to stitch the decorative edges found on the wallpaper stripes and flower tips. But how to stitch the yellow band on the vase and the top edge of the tablecloth?

vaseontable3dWhy with the Fly Stitch, of course! (I admit it took me a long time to realize that the Fly Stitch was the solution.) The yellow band on the vase measures about 1/2″ wide and is stitched with a variegated size 12 thread.  Each little pinked edge is concealed with a strand of thread. You can see the process here.

vaseontable3bThe top edge of the tablecloth is also completed with the Fly Stitch. In this version, the center stitch is elongated into the fabric to make a Y shape. Thus proving that there is an embroidery stitch that can be adapted to any fabric shape you make.

This is what I like about free-form hand embroidery. It challenges you to discover inventive ways to mark fabric. It’s a creative endeavor using simple tools at a slow pace. It’s a quiet expression of art.