Boro-Inspired Wearable Art with Lisa Binkley
Thurs-Sat, March 23-25, 2023| 9am-4pm with lunch break each day | Deadline to register: 3/9/23 by 4pm
$415 + $10 kit fee. See below for supplies to bring
Boro mending, kantha cloth, the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. Each of these evokes images of old, worn fabrics, simply but beautifully stitched for a new purpose out of need and salvaged cloth. Born of necessity in diverse cultures worldwide, contemporary fiber artists can learn much from these traditions both technically and aesthetically. In this workshop we explore the traditions that created these garments, functional objects, and artworks and then look to them for inspiration in creating new works of wearable fiber art.
Beginning with pieces of old and/or beloved fabrics—vintage linens, pieces of worn jeans, even bits of blankets or tattered garments—we select, curate, layer, and hand stitch them into new looks and new life as a work of wearable art. Techniques explored include non-traditional hand piecing and applique, hand quilting with heavier threads, inclusion of repurposed embellishments such as shirt buttons and beads from old jewelry, as well as design considerations. This workshop is a meditative blend of history, hand work, repurposing, and art making.
This class is suitable for all levels of fiber artists, but some hand stitching experience is required. The $10 class fee covers the detailed color booklet that will be provided to students. There will be a lunch break, so please either bring a lunch (fridge and microwave available) or be prepared to purchase food nearby.
Supplies to bring along:
- Concept: Come to class with an idea of what you want to create. This could be something as simple as a scarf or shawl, a bag, or a vest, top, or jacket. A bag pattern and dimensions for scarves will be available in class. If you would like to make a garment, bring the garment pattern with you and make sure it is suitable for your level of sewing skills. If you are making a scarf, shawl, or bag, you may be able to finish it in class; if you are making a garment, you will likely start it in class and finish it at home.
- Batting & Backing:
- Thin cotton or other natural-fiber quilt batting if you would like to include this in your project (optional).
- Adequate fabric for the back of your work if you want your wearable to be lined/backed (optional). I do recommend this for all types of projects except possible scarves. This fabric should be the thickness of a quilt top, shirt, or thin table cloth. (Follow the guidelines below for fabrics.)
- Fabrics: Bring primarily old, used fabrics, especially fabrics with meaning to you. New(er) fabrics can also be use, but choose those with history or meaning for you. They can be the remaining scraps of beloved but tattered garments, thin blankets, or quilts; pieces of fabric left to you by a grandparent, parent, or friend; interesting pieces picked up at a thrift shop such as a vintage linen table cloth, tea towel, hanky, or doily; pieces or patches acquired on travels; labels from beloved cloth items; an old, stained garment you can’t bear to throw away, etc. They can be any material and any design, you just need to be able to easily hand stitch through them including when layered with another fabric or two. They can be frayed or tattered. Pieces can be very small (an inch or so) though ½-yard or larger. Bring enough pieces for the yardage required for your wearable (1-2 yds. for a scarf, shawl, or bag).
- Threads in colors that appeal to you. They may be solid, variegated, hand-dyed, etc.:
- Required: 2 or more spools/bobbins of pearl cotton in sizes 8 and 12. One color could blend with the predominant tone of the fabrics you’re bringing, and one could be an accent color.
- Required: Embroidery needles and/or milliner’s needles in a few sizes to accommodate your various thread thicknesses (e.g., Size 7 embroidery needles and Size 24 crewel needles work well with sizes 8 and 12 pearl cotton thread).
- Optional: 1-2 spools of heavy-weight sewing thread such as button craft thread, 12-weight thread on a spool; additional pearl cotton in weights 3, 5, and/or 16; novelty threads that appeal to you.
- Additional Supplies & Embellishments
- Scissors for cutting fabric and thread
- Straight pins and/or safety pins (a small container of these for pin basting)
- A pen or pencil for note taking
- Old buttons (e.g., from your grandma’s button jar or off of non-used garments) (optional)
- Beads or other items with at least one hole in them from old/broken jewelry (optional)
- Embroidery hoop that can hold your stitching (optional)
- A thimble (optional)
- Thread wax/conditioner (optional)
- Collected images of boro work that speak to you from magazines, books, Pinterest, etc. (optional)
- Note/sketch pad (any size you like to use) (optional)