Lectures & Workshops
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Notes from the prairie

Prairie Quilts - My slide lecture featuring Illinois farmland, woodlands and bits of remaining prairie near my home.  I draw inspiration for my quilts from all the beauty I see around me.  We take a tour of the land and the progression of styles I have used to create my prairie quilts for the past 30+ years.  I will bring along 8-10 quilts to show. 

Cathy's Silk Road - This lecture traces the journey I made out east to do research for my book on silk ribbon embroidery (Published by AQS - American Quilters Society).  On the trip I visited historic sites, libraries and museums to search out information and see original pieces worked in silk ribbon.  It features quilts and other items embellished with silk ribbon embroidery and includes my own candid tips for making the most of traveling to do research.  I will also bring along some silk ribbon pieces.

An 18th Century Lady's Discourse on Plain Sewing & Fashion - This trunk show grew out of over 40 years of participation in historic fairs and festivals.  I come as a seamstress from the mid-1700's and discuss the styles and clothing in fashion at that time.  It includes a brief history of my "travels" (and travails) from Scotland to France and eventually to the New World.  I give some discourse on some of the needlework popular at the time period and have antique sewing tools to show.  My own work as well as antique quilts, fabric and needlework will be featured.

Threads of History - The story of the Bayeux Tapestry - Like many who love needlework, I consider the Bayeux Tapestry to be one of the most amazing embroideries ever stitched.  I have studied this work since I was a child and have visited Bayeux to see the tapestry 7 times.  After learning the "Bayeux Stitch" I have worked on my own embroideries featuring scenes of this 11th Century embroidery.  This new lecture will feature some of my work along with the history and secrets that this epic embroidery still keeps today.  The lecture includes pictures, a pull out of the tapestry and my own stitched pieces based on the original.  This wonderful piece of art still speaks to us today and has influenced my work on several levels.  FEATURED lecture this year

Hawaiian Quilts - A slide presentation of the flora that inspired Hawaiian women to create a unique form of applique and quilting of their own.  The plants and flowers that inspired these often personal quilt patterns and the quilts are featured in this presentation.  I will also talk about needle turn applique and bring along some of my own hand applique work. Needle turn demo can be included with this lecture.

Workshops  (1/2 day=3 hours; 1 day=6 hours)
Wildflowers & More - Free-cut applique techniques to give you tools to create your own floral delights.  Folk-art appeal includes tips on using gathered petals, layered flowers, pieced applique and folded stems.  1 day or 2 day class for retreats and festivals.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery - various hand stitching technique classes to learn or explore silk ribbon embroidery and how it can enhance quilts.  Learn a sampler of stitches & how to use the delicate silk ribbon to create beautiful flowers & designs.  Choose from the following:
    -Basic - Learn embroidery stitches using stitch guides provided, we will practice and create a small sampler of stitches (1/2 or 1 day)
   - Combination & little flowers - good for those who know some embroidery, learn many types of flowers (1/2 or 1 day)
   - Heart Designs - Create a small heart sampler, using a variety of silk ribbon & silk threads (better as 1 day, available as 1/2 day)
   - Crazy quilt stitches & techniques - how to fill centers of patches and embellish the seams (1 day)

Traditional Embroidery Workshop - Learn 10 basic and useful embroidery stitches. Make a small sampler of these stitches to take home and use as you do handwork. There is a renewed interest in handwork and this six hour class will help you refresh your skills or learn the stitches for the first time. (1 day hand-on class) NEW in 2017

Influences Quilt - A non-threatening design class to give you ideas and help you learn techniques to create a personal quilt.  Examples of ideas to use along with your own inspiration.  Often using picture quilt techniques, but also strip piecing ideas and applique.  (1 day or 2 days for retreats or festivals)

Hand Quilting - An exploration of hand quilting methods and designs.  Learn how to create quilting that enhances your quilt top.  We will focus on unmarked techniques, background fillers, stipple quilting and more.  Practice time in class to help improve stitches and ways to start and stop without knots (1/2 day or 1 day class)

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See my Flax Linen page for information on my flax processing demos.  Kids programs vary, please contact me to discuss what will work for your group.  Thanks

Contact Us
Lectures:   $250. with a discount if a workshop is booked on the same trip + travel costs

Workshops:  $350. for a 3-hour class and $450. for a 6-hour class + travel costs.
Some workshops may be expanded to 2 days for retreats or festivals. Can also work with you for small groups price wise

Children's Programs:  $100 & up depending on the program.  Please contact me for details
Centre Guillaume le Conquerant, Bayeux, France, home of the Bayeux Tapestry
         Detail from one of my prairie quilts