You can sign up for upcoming workshops at any guild meeting, or print out and mail this Workshop Registration Form with your payment.
Unless otherwise noted in a workshop description, all workshops will be held at
Best Little Retreat Center in Texas
7989 Beltline Rd., #168
Dallas, TX 75248
Setup at 8:30am, Workshop 9:00am-3:00pm.
To enlarge the map: right click, then "view image."
Click on the month below for details on that month's speaker/workshops.
MJ works with fabric and paint to create larger-than-life portraits of colored gemstones. Inspired by the image of an actual stone, she studies the gem to understand its particular personality -- the play of color and light across its facets. Her goal is to capture the luminosity of these "divas" and "drama queens."
She prefers to work in a large format in order to convey the story of light and color encased in a gemstone. The larger format also provides viewers with a more intimate experience, inviting them to discover greater levels of detail as they approach the work. While she prefers to work in a series -- her most recent series, "Bourbon Diamonds," celebrates Kentucky's iconic spirit -- each piece is a unique, one-of-a-kind design. Planning is underway for a new series based on the National Gem Collection housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
MJ’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and national juried competitions. Most recently the Women’s Jewelry Association featured an exhibit of her gems at the 2017 Awards for Excellence Gala in New York City. In addition, her work has been featured in national publications, local media, and will be part of a PBS series airing in 2018. Her gems hang in numerous private collections, both commercial and residential.
The most beautiful gemstone captures light and reflects it back to us with unique brilliance, revealing its fiery personality. These are the divas and the drama queens of the gem world. Every one of them has a story to tell...just like people. This slide lecture and trunk show chronicle MJ's story – her 20-year adventure in learning how to create the biggest diamonds in the world in cloth.
During the presentation, she'll discuss how she selects gems that qualify as "divas and drama queens" and what they teach us about how to add sparkle to any art quilt. (She'll display the actual art quilts inspired by some of these divas.) She'll talk about the techniques to create and assemble the hundreds of pieces in each diamond, materials she uses to create the wash of color and light across a gem's surface, and the quilting techniques that enhance a gem's facets. And, as so often happens with any artist's decades-long journey, MJ will share what she has learned from the leap from the Corporate Life and into the Creative Life.
The "Treasure Hunting" class was designed for quilt makers who are excited about designing their own quilts using the fun and powerful technique that MJ has been using for the past 20 years to create her giant gem portraits. Using images of gemstones, students will create their own stunning abstract designs of faceted light. Taking cues from shards of light and color, students will learn how to identify basic faceting patterns and become familiar with the principles of abstraction.
When familiar with the underlying structure of a gemstone, students will use various sizes of "lenses" (cut-outs) or the cropping tool in an online image editing tool to audition the unlimited number of faceted landscapes that exist within a single image. Once students have selected a landscape they love, they will learn how to chart the facets on a freezer paper template, utilizing the coding techniques for tracking color, placement and adjacency that I use to create my giant gem portraits. By the end of the day, participants will have at least a portion of their 18" square block pieced with a clear plan on how to finish it at home.
Treasure Hunting Supply List (Kit fee $5)
Using the design and piecing techniques MJ relies on to create her diamond portraits, students will create their own singularly beautiful work of faceted light. After choosing from one of several pre-selected images based on their skill level, students will learn how to code each piece for color, location, and adjacency; position template pieces onto hand-painted fabric to achieve the desired light effects; and ultimately create their own unique study in faceted color. Students will leave the class with a small top that can later be hand or machine quilted at home.
Bethanne Nemesh has always been an artist, earning her BFA in 1995 from Longwood College in Virginia followed by a MS in Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1997 where she met and married her husband of 16 years.
Upon starting their life together and moving to Pennsylvania she quickly became immersed in the area's rich quilting history. She owns a successful longarm quilting business where she focuses on beautiful individualized yet practical mid custom work for her clients. One of the things her clients like best about Bethanne's work is that each piece feels unique and personalized to the quilt without that "cookie cutter" quality of commercial patterns, a technique that Bethanne enjoys teaching her students to do. Several times a year Bethanne schedules time for her own show quilts which feature her unique pictographic quilting style and detailed finish work. Her quilts have won many of the nation's highest quilt competition awards. Additionally, Bethanne has written several quilting books, each with a different focus, from practical time-saving quilting to artistic, dense modern background fills. Visit Bethanne's website at www.whitearborquilting.com to see all books, patterns, award winning show quilts and full list of awards and publications.
Bethanne's journey as an art quilter from her beginnings making traditional quilts, then branching out into pattern manipulation, to her current pictographic silk art quilts is explored with a slide presentation and with a trunk show of available quilts. (Bethanne will bring all the show quilts that are currently home at the time of the lecture, which will vary.) Bethanne will explore how her silk quilts come to be, from initial sketches, paintings, photography to final creation and finish details. Additionally, Bethanne discusses how any quilter can learn to recognize inspiration and document and organize it to facilitate quilt design through sharing her own techniques and sketchbooks.
Traditional free motion background fillers are a wonderful starting point, but what happens when you let yourself be influenced by natural patterns, everyday objects, macro photography, and the art of Zendoodling? Be inspired by Bethanne's fresh take on backgrounds, with inspiration from every letter of the alphabet, perfect for filling those big open spaces of more modern quilts! This hands on class is suitable for the experienced free-motion domestic quilter; kit fee applies and includes a pre-quilted sample to fill with textures.A to Zen Supply List
Sometimes the difference between a show quilt and an AWARD WINNING show quilt is in the details. On the judging floor, one point is often all that separates a contestant from a winner. Bethanne will share her unique finishing details which have which have awarded her quilts much recognition. Students will make a sample that features beaded bias applique, beaded piping, swag piping, beaded knife edge binding as well as an introduction to the use of Derwent Inktense pencils. Take your quilting to the next level with masterpiece details!
The Devil is in the Details Supply List (Required kit fee $25 - includes pre-quilted square, all beads, piping, ink, and activators for the project.)
Melinda Bula lives in El Dorado Hills, California, and has been sewing since she was a young girl. Melinda has been in love with fabric all her life and knew when she was 16 years old that she was going to be an artist, which became her major in college. Soon she was off to Hawaii as a flight attendant, a real job that lasted 8 years, and met her husband during this time in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked in the interior design field for 15 years as a fabric and wallpaper designer. She and her husband Joe started their own wallpaper and fabric design business soon after the birth of their son Matthew in 1988. The company, Melinda Bula Designs, sold their hand silk-screened wallpapers and fabrics nationwide. Melinda's wallpaper and fabric designs have been featured on the covers of Better Homes and Gardens magazine as well as Sunset design books in addition to other noted publications.
Since moving to the Sacramento area in 1996, she has been involved in quilting and wearable arts, which has always been her first love. Her sense of color and design has won her numerous awards for both quilts and wearable arts. Her wearable arts are dynamic and modern and she loves to experiment with new techniques.
Melinda's Fabulous Fusible Flowers quilts are unique. With the wonderful look of a painting, she uses fabric and thread to create beautifully artistic quilts. She has been lecturing and teaching, both in the United States and internationally, which she really loves, and has been featured on The Quilt Show. Creating and designing is an obsession with Melinda and whether it is fabric, wallpaper, or quilts, it is her passion. She has written two books on her Fabulous Fusible Flowers technique, Cutting Garden Quilts and Candy Cane Lane, both published by the Martingale Company.
Melinda has had the honor of exhibiting her quilts in some amazing venues like the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, Quilt Expo en Beaujolais in France, International Patchwork Festival in Sitges, Spain, and at the Texas Quilt Museum. In 2013 the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, bought Melinda's quilt "And Our Flag was still There!"
More info coming soon.
Kit fee $15
More info coming soon.
Kit fee $15
Edyta's love for fabric began at a very young age - when she used her mother's drapes to create her first fabric project! Fortunately for all of us, Edyta's mother recognized her passion for fabric and thus began her journey with fabric and sewing. One of Edyta's biggest blessings is her marriage to husband Michael. She not only fell in love - she was introduced to a Sitar family tradition of quilting by her mother-in-law Carol and grandmother-in-law Anna.
Quilting has enabled Edyta to express herself about the objects or occasions of her surroundings - her designs are her avenue to release passion! "My children and my husband are my greatest motivation. This is the Cinderella dream for me. Being able to do what I love and share this love with others is the greatest feeling and reward I could imagine!"
The combination of inspiration, a love for fabric, a keen eye for color, and her family teachings blended into the recipe for a talent in constructing amazing quilts, creating innovative quilting patterns for Laundry Basket Quilts, designing beautiful traditional and batik fabrics for MODA and stunning threads for Aurifil. She has published five books to date, been featured in magazines world-wide, and her quilts have been honored by receiving many awards.
As the founder and owner of her company, Laundry Basket Quilts (www.laundrybasketquilts.com), Edyta is proud to carry on her family tradition that fabrics and threads have seamlessly stitched together through the generations. Her true passion and quilter's spirit shine through her classes, workshops, and presentations. She travels all over the world sharing her experiences and connecting with quilters of all levels through the inspiring stories about the quilts she makes.
Edyta Sitar will be your guide on a walk through historical, political, and personal events that have inspired generations of quilters. In her presentation, Edyta reflects on quilters' work and how they find inspiration to create, to express, and to mark milestones in their lives. The program is full of historical information as well as touching personal stories that many quilters can relate to. She brings along a large collection of quilts (over 50) that will entertain and inspire guild members. She hopes to inspire you with many reasons to continue to create and enjoy quilting even more than you do now.
Prepare yourself for a total treat. Laser cut appliqué pieces will give you a head start on completing a beautiful wall hanging quilt with fusible appliqué technique. With the right thread, needle, and Edyta's direction, you will be on the right path to a gorgeous quilt and ready for bigger projects!
Supply list coming soon. Kit fee $40.
Enjoy a fabric exchange using half-square triangles made from Laundry Basket Quilts Triangle Paper in this wonderful class. Learn how to use triangles in many different projects including one of my favorites, the "Tree Farm." Perfect for any level quilter.
Supply list coming soon. Kit fee $40.