Upcoming Retreats

Gubbio, Italy 2023 - Sept 11-18, 2023

Portland, OR 2023 FALL - Oct 8-15, 2023

Portland, OR 2024 - April 14 - April 21, 2024

Portland, OR 2024 FALL - October 17-24, 2024

Portland, OR 2023 FALL Registration is NOW OPEN

Zen Pathway

Helene Knott
9:00 - 4:30
Sun Oct 8

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$ 185  

NOTE: Sewing machine experience required. 
We will have sewing machines to share provided by Montavilla Sewing Center.

Japanese gardens are an aesthetic blend of stone and plant. The stones lie quietly steadfast throughout the seasons while the plant life is ever transitioning from one season to the next. In this class you will create your own fabric scroll-like pathway of stones and a touch of the ephemeral with three-dimensional leaves or blossoms that have drifted onto the path. 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 modern graphic fabrics. tribal fabrics, or floral themed prints. Methods for creating 3-D botanical features will be demonstrated in class. The quilts are small, around 6” - 8” wide and about 16” - 20” long;

Available Kit for $30 cash paid to instructor at beginning of class includes:

fabrics for the path, batting, backing, stabilizer, thread, and a bamboo hanging rod. Students purchasing kits will still need to bring a pencil and eraser, a black Sharpie® pen, scissors, pins, a seam ripper, and a sewing machine with both regular and free-motion presser feet (or arrange to borrow one at the venue)

Supplies Needed  to bring to  Class if not purchasing the kit:

• Fabrics: Fat quarters should be adequate for a small-sized pathway. If you are going for realism, look for fabrics with a sandy, gravelly, or mossy texture for the base. Bring a few options if you can, it’s better to have more than one choice for the perfect path. You will also need fabrics for the stones. You can choose just one fabric print for all of them or use a variety for more interest. For individual stones, leftover scraps from other projects will do. 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. As would fussy-cut leaf prints. In class you will learn a few different ways you might embellish your pathway with botanical elements. If realism is not your cup of tea, you can explore other fabrics – ethnic, floral, or graphic prints can make interesting pathways. Pre-wash all fabrics if you are planning on a fusible technique.
• Pencil and a good eraser: I prefer the white rectangular erasers made by Pentel to the ones on the pencil.
• Black ‘Sharpie’ brand pen: The fine-point, not the extra-fine.
• 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.
• Scissors: A pair of craft scissors and a pair of fine-jawed embroidery scissors (for the appliqué stones and are 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
• Seam ripper
• Hand sewing needle
• 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” – 9” 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.


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Click here for a printable page

Proud Sponsors for Art & Soul

For your convenience, you may pre-order your materials for classes! Your materials will be waiting for you at the retreat. And you can always purchase additional materials at the retreat.

Runaway Art and Craft Studio

Runaway Art and Craft Studio is our onsite store and sponsor for Portland, OR Retreats.
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