Create a small-scale (3"-5") landscape or map quilt using a variety of techniques. Leah will introduce her personal style of reverse appliqué and cater it to different experience levels. Fabric and color selection, repurposing, composition, and hand stitching will also be addressed. Come with ideas or memories of places that have moved you, but more importantly come with a desire to experiment and have fun!
Inspiration suggestions from Leah: "You could definitely consider beforehand what you might want to make. Bringing an image is great. It is also fine to come up with a fantasy landscape or a completely made-up map on the spot. Or you could work from a memory as I do. You could choose to recreate a landscape drawing that your kid did. It can be as simple or complicated as you want. How ever you choose to interpret your map or landscape is great!"
Sewing machine with zig-zag stitch, in good working order with a power cord & foot pedal
Variety (color and/or weight) of spools of threads for machine sewing
Embroidery floss, colors of your choice
Woven cotton or linen scraps (leftover from quilt projects or old clothing)
Small (approx. 4”) needlecraft scissors
Favorite hand-sewing needles
Suggested if needed: thimble, needle threader, seam ripper
Supplied by Leah:
Scraps to supplement student’s own fabric
A variety of scissors to borrow and test
Books on hand stitching to share
Additional recommended optional items available from Blue Bar or Leah:
Reverse appliqué scissors (Kai 4” blunted tip needlecraft scissors)
Richard Hemming & Son size 7 milliners needles
Cherrywood hand-dyed cotton, other quilting cotton, and linen blends
My quilted wall hangings consist of layers of the following techniques: applique, reverse applique, piecing, natural and synthetic dyeing, needle-felting, hand printing, and a variety of embroidery stitches. There is an overall balance between hand and machine work. Tools I most often employ include a household-use Kenmore sewing machine, chalk, needles, rulers, compass, staple gun, and scissors. I do not use a computer or any imaging software in my work and I try to use hand processes and tools as opposed to electric. By incorporating vintage kimonos, upholstery remnants, and many other secondhand materials, the works are in keeping with the quilt tradition of recycling.
My current thematic focus is the ways in which people impact their environment and, in turn, how the environment affects people. The pieces are influenced by aerial photography, maps, and satellite imagery, but are not always based on specific places. Mining, agriculture, water use and treatment, nuclear power, residential development, and oil extraction are frequent subjects of my work and are meant as visual reminders of the changes we create in the land. Similarly, components of my work demonstrate the influence of nature on our constructs, such as a river changing its course, thereby causing a shift in property divisions, and shifting coastlines due to climate change.
It is the use of maps in organizing our ideas of land that interests me most of all. Often, people ask me for specifics about the places and symbols in my work. Most of my pieces are not based consciously on specific places. For me, they are intimate explorations of map language and imagined landscapes. Through my research and experience, I have decided that maps create more questions than they answer.