Houston Quilt Festival Teaching Schedule


I have the honor of being selected as an instructor this year (2017) at the Houston International Quilt Festival. This is one of the largest gatherings of industry professionals and quilting fans in the world. I’ve had the privilege of teaching at the show for a few years now, and every year brings new excitement and learning opportunities.

The classes I will be teaching are:

Wednesday, November 1:

Dyeing is Easy! (All day)

This is an all day class where I’ll teach you the foundations of dyeing cotton and silk. The morning will be a lecture presentation, and the afternoon will be interactive demonstrations. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to dye fabric for your own designs, this will be a great way to start.

Thursday, November 2:
Making Molds for Resin Buttons and Charms, (2-5pm)

(Pictures coming soon)

In this class, I will teach you how to make a simple mold to produce your very own resin buttons and charms. Learn about all the tools you’ll need, and how to adapt found objects to fit your embellishment needs. It’s a simple process that yields great results. You’ll leave with a functioning mold and resin samples.

Friday, November 3:
Friday Sampler—Embellished Art Ornaments, (10:00am-noon)


The Sampler is a great opportunity to learn techniques from several instructors at once. You can float from demonstration to demonstration at your leisure. I will be demonstrating how I make embellished art ornaments. They are great ways to test techniques, use up scraps or decorate for a holiday.

 Friday, November 3:
Lecture—”Wearable Art—My Journey So Far…” , (4-5pm)


Someone is actually handing me a microphone…
In this lecture/presentation, I’ll talk about the ups and downs of designing and making my wearable art. I find the process to be the most intriguing part of the journey, and that part is often forgotten when observing someone’s work. Join me as I pull back the curtain on my triumphs, troubles and techniques.

I will be adding lots of pictures to my gallery with class demos and samples as it gets closer to festival. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.


So it’s been a whirlwind last few months.

I started and finished a wearable art project I titled, Azulejos. It was inspired by hand painted Mexican tiles.





First things first – I draped and drafted a pattern for the jacket.


I then cut out a dozen or so paper “snowflakes” that were scanned, cleaned up in Photoshop and finally cut in acetate on my plotter. The acetate gave me a more stable stencil to work with, as the paper would warp after a number of uses. Using 100% cotton, I printed the background colors. I worked with blues and turquoises as the foundation colors because I wanted a nice contrast to the bright centers.


First step in printing.

I then painted the white spaces with bright oranges, yellows and greens. I wanted a hand touched look to them, so I didn’t get too precious about coloring in the lines. The bright colors mixed with the blues and resulted in various greens and aquas. I didn’t want to do a literal copy of the tiles, so I kept each design as spare as possible. I was more intrigued by the graphic tone of the printing than making them realistic.


Rinsed and dried.

Each motif was cut apart and bordered with 1/4 inch sashing. Even though the intersections were going to be cut out, I insisted they match perfectly.



Once I had the yardage I needed, I CUT OUT THE PERFECTLY MATCHED CENTERS!!! and covered them with fusible squares of smaller printed motifs done in bright oranges and yellows, which got satin stitched in matching thread.
Each corner was then beset with a sequin.

Then began the quilting of the jacket body. I kept all the stitching pretty simple as I thought the complexity of the printing demanded it.


Once all the quilting was done, I worked on embellishing the standing lapels.

I hand appliquéd all the leaves and circles, then chain stitched around each of the leaves and embroidered the veins.. The bias vines were couched in contrast thread, and the shisha mirror work was done by hand and appliqued on. I guess this is a bit odd because I used the appliqué as embellishment AFTER the quilting was done.



All of the dyes used were ProChemical, I only use Hobbs batting (in this piece it was Theremore) and the only fusible web I use is Misty Fuse. It took me a while to find products that I love and dagnabit, I ain’t changing any time soon!

I did all of the printing, dyeing and embellishing by hand.


I just found out that this piece took BEST OF SHOW in the
Pacific International Quilt Festival wearable art division!!!


So yeah, I’ve been a little busy. I also have a wedding to go to soon and this guy (points to self) thought it would be a good idea to make a shirt and vest to wear to the event. So that’s kept my idle hands occupied lately. I also started another project that I will reveal in due time. Oh and Houston Quilt Fest is coming up in like two weeks.


Questions, comments, concerns?
Let me know in the comment section.

I’m going to be a good boy and TRY to do a round up of what I see at Quilt Fest. I’m not teaching this year, so I’ll have more time to take pics of the quilts and exhibits.


Mood Indigo

I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with two different dyeing techniques: Indigo and Deconstructed Screen Printing. These techniques are far removed from one another, but at the same time, work as wonderful cures to my recent creative malaise.

This post will focus on the indigo results.

I bought ProChemical’s indigo starter kit when I was enjoying the Houston Quilt Festival, this past November. With just a few things from the dollar store and Home Depot, I was off on my blue adventure.

I can’t stress how simple this process was to get the dye vat started. It’s just mixing some chemicals in a certain order, letting the vat sit for a few hours, then having a blast dyeing all kinds of fabrics in the blue wash. I will say that the smell can be a bit noxious at first, but if you just stay down-wind of it, you’ll be fine. I did this in my garage and never felt like the odor was too over powering or harmful. It has an obvious whiff of ammonia, so if you’re sensitive to that smell, you might want to do this outside. Regardless, it’s too easy not to try it. If kept well, the vat can last for a while.

As I rarely ever want to make jeans, I figured the most fun to be had with this process would be to work with stitched and tied resists. Over the course of a couple of weeks, I tried a few different ideas and got some rather interesting results. Please note that the pictures will never do the blue color any justice. It’s a rich rich blue that gets deeper with every submersion in the liquid.


You see that one small piece on the lower left that is green? That is the color the fabric becomes when removed from the indigo bath. It is this insane green that when exposed to oxygen, oxidizes and becomes the familiar blue we all love. It’s magic! Well, it’s chemistry, but still…

You can dip your pieces as many times as you want, after each oxidation process, to get as deep a blue as you want. They do rinse out about a value lighter than the wet results (NEVER TRUST WET DYE) so just keep that in mind if you are looking for a particular color.

The funny thing about rinsing the fabric, is that it gets rinsed in Ivory soap flakes. I’m not sure what this does to the indigo dye, but I will say that the fabric came out with a soft hand.

If you work with indigo, you’ll notice that it feels different than working with traditional powdered dyes. There is a soda ash activator involved, but, and this was something that really shocked me, you hardly use any to keep the vat going. Also, I re-read the instructions like 5 times to make sure that the amount of pre-reduced indigo was correct. It honestly didn’t seem like that much for 3 gallons of water, but low and behold, it works beautifully, so just trust the instructions and you’ll be fine.

Since I associate indigo with resists, for some reason, I wanted to try something I’ve never really had the patience to try, but still felt compelled to attempt – Shibori. Working with plastic beads and some strong thread, I tied off about a half a yard of white cotton into a flood of small starbursts. I love the results, but don’t think I’m going to try this again for a while. It is painfully time-consuming; however, the finished product is a sight to behold.


These are the 12mm plastic beads I used. I’ve had them for about 12 years and finally found a use for them!


Here is the yard of fabric all tied and ready for the bath.


This is the piece out of the indigo bath, rinsed once and ready to be untied. It is still damp at this point.


This is the finished piece, after being untied but before final rinse and pressing.

So, in conclusion, indigo was just what the doctor ordered to help me through a creative funk. Not sure how long I’ll keep the vat going, but for now, I’m just going to have fun.

Here are the results of my colorful labors:

If you have any questions, just ask away in the comment section.
I’ll be back soon with my Deconstructed Screen Printing adventures.