NOTE: Sewing machine experience required. If you are traveling, we will have 5 machines available to share. Please contact email@example.com if you live locally, and can bring your machine so we can reserve the five for others!
In Japanese Gardens, the stonework plays a substantial role in the design. This small quilt, is a celebration of stone, the emphasis is on the path not the garden that surrounds it. In this class you will create your own unique Zen Path or work from a pattern designed by the instructor. The quilts will be small - around 8”-10” wide and about 20”–25” long; reminiscent of a Japanese scroll in shape and form. They need not be symmetrical. The stones will be appliquéd by hand, machine or fused as per your preference and some stones can be created in dimensional appliqué if you wish. If the idea of Wabi Sabi stone colors does not appeal to you, the stones can be rendered in surrealistic bright colors or floral themed prints. The finished path can be embellished with a few 3-D blossoms or leaves that have drifted onto it. Methods for creating 3-D botanical features will be demonstrated in class.
There will be kits available for the cobblestones ($10) if your project incorporates them as well as a variety of stonework and gravel fabrics suitable for the pathway available for purchase or you can bring your own fabrics as outlined below.
Supplies Needed to bring for Class:
• Fabrics: As the size of the quilt you are making will vary, it is difficult to predict how much yardage and how many fabrics will be necessary until after you draft your design but ? yard should be adequate for a small to medium sized pathway; look for fabrics with a ‘sandy’, gravelly’ or ‘mossy’ texture for this base. Bring more than one choice if you can, it’s better to have more choices than you need than not enough. You will also need fabrics selected for the stones, you can choose just one fabric print for all of them or use a variety for more interest, and even leftover scraps from other projects will do. Look for fabrics with a rough stone like texture – batiks, hand dyes and/or Northcott’s Stonehenge line are perfect choices. You can add 3-D blossoms or leaves to embellish your quilt; however, it may be easier to pick colors/textures for these after your path is finished, batiks in flower or leaf colors would be suitable. One option you might choose is to find a large scale botanical print and fussy-cut flowers ir leaves from it. In class you will learn a few different ways you might embellish your pathway with botanical elements. Pre-wash all fabrics if you are planning on a fusible technique.
• Freezer paper: Bring a roll of paper not individual sheets as you will be designing your entire path on it.
• Pencil and a good eraser: I prefer the white rectangular erasers made by Pentel.
• Black ‘Sharpie’ brand pen
• Thin batting and backing: pieces slightly larger than your base fabric; the fabrics will be layered with batting then sewn and turned ‘envelope’ style before applying the stones. If you want to add a bit of dimensional padding to your stones, you can face them with very thin batting or flannel as well in which case bring additional thin batting and flannel. NOTE: the flannel is to cover the backside of any stones that might extend beyond the edges of your path, choose a medium to dark neutral color
• Sewing machine: With a standard piecing foot and a free-motion foot for free form stitching.
• Thread: 100% cotton in colors similar to your fabrics or a medium neutral color, a nice touch can be to do some micro stippling on the stones in a color to look like moss or lichen Note: if you wish to embellish with a 3-D leaf/flower, decorative rayon thread to match your leaf/flower fabric may be used.
• Medium-lightweight stabilizer or interfacing (optional): this will be used for making a 3-D leaf and/or facing the stones.
• Rotary cutter, mat and a 6”x 24” ruler: to cut excess fabric or freezer paper to a manageable size and help draft your path should you wish to design your own.
• Light/medium weight interfacing or stabilizer (optional): Will be used only if you wish to create a 3 dimensional leaf or flower to embellish your quilt.
• Scissors: A pair of craft scissors and a pair of fine-jawed embroidery scissors (for the appliqué stones and absolutely necessary for the dimensional appliqué and embellishment technique). You may want to bring paper scissors in addition to your fabric scissors to cut freezer paper templates.
• Sewing pins
• Fusible web (optional): a product such as ‘Steam a Seam Lite’ or ‘Heat & Bond Lite’ if you wish to fuse any of your appliqué as opposed to composing it from faced pieces. About ½ yard from a roll should be enough
• Ephemera (optional): These would be artifacts beyond the 3-D leaves or flowers you might stitch yourself. The floral/bridal department at a craft store can yield some interesting finds – butterflies made from feathers, silk flowers and/or sprays of berries, miniature pinecones… you could even attach a sturdy twig collected on a nature walk…
• Bamboo stalk or piece of straight driftwood: You could hang your pathway using a traditional sleeve sewn to the back but a length of bamboo or weathered piece of driftwood makes a charming hanger for your quilt, Choose one that is somewhat sturdy and rather straight around 7” – 8 “ long.
• Design resources: if you should wish to design your own path of stones, there are some wonderful examples of Japanese Garden paths on Pinterest and Google images, a few are listed below.
Other Incidental Supplies:
• Lighting: additional lighting may be helpful; a portable Ott light would be appropriate.
• Extension cords and plug strips (if bringing additional lighting)
• A Pillow: Many venues have less than comfortable chairs, a pillow may help.