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Unique Retreat February 2016

I will be bringing two terrific International tutors to Australia for my annual Retreats. The tutors are Lesley Riley ( and Liz Kettle ( from the US.  I will also be teaching.  Here are our class and profile details.

To book your place, go to this link:

Lesley Riley
Lesley's Bio (as borrowed from her website):

Lesley Riley wears many hats. She is an internationally known artist, art quilter, teacher, writer and Artist Success coach and mentor who turned her initial passion for photos, color and the written word into a dream occupassion.

Her art and articles have appeared in too many places to keep count. As former Contributing Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, Lesley developed a passion for showcasing new talent in mixed media art. Her first book, Quilted Memories, brought new ideas and techniques to quilting and preserving memories. A second, Fabric Memory Books, combined fabric and innovative ideas with the art of bookmaking. Two more books, Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur and Create with Transfer Artist Paper, introduced versatile new materials to the quilt and mixed media art world. A fifth book, Creative Image Transfer, will debut late summer 2014. Her 2013 self-published Amazon best seller, Quotes Illustrated, will be expanded and republished November 2014 by F&W Publications as Inspiring Quotes Illustrated.

In an ongoing effort to find the best ways for quilters and mixed media artists to get permanent photos on fabric, Lesley introduced Transfer Artist Paper™, named the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) 2011 Most Innovative new product.

Lesley is the former host of BlogTalk Radio’s Art & Soul show, recording over 75 podcasts on art and the creative process through in-depth interviews with contemporary artists. Her passion and desire to help every artist reach their creative dreams and potential has led to a growing specialty as an Artist Success coach and mentor where she draws from her own experience, insight, and a knack for seeing the potential in everyone to provide guidance and solutions for artists of all levels.

Lesley creates her magic on an idyllic horse farm in Frederick, MD, where she lives with her high-school sweetheart husband and two of her six children. You’ll find her in her studio from sunup to sundown unless, of course, any of her seven granddaughters come to visit.

Here are the details of the Lesley's classes:

Image + Text = Textile

Images and photographs, text as design, as line, as poetry. They hook and reel us into art, to books, to life. This class is an exploration of image and text as it applies to surface design – primarily, but not limited to quilts and fabric collage. (All the techniques covered can be used on paper and canvas). In tthe morning you will paint and color fabric as well as explore direct application and transferring of TEXT onto fabric along with image transfer on fabric using TAP Transfer Artist Paper. Techniques will include TAP transfers, resists, and syringe writing.
In the afternoon we will use your newly created fabric to create Fragment Fabric Collage textiles, a fun and liberating way to create.  The charm and appeal of Fragments comes from the spontaneous way they are created – there is no measuring, no cutting mistakes and no messy glue.  With fabric, you have an almost endless variety of color and pattern to choose from that can spark ideas and led you to discover a whole new way of looking at fabric.  If you don’t have a large fabric stash, the beauty of making Fragments is that you only need little scraps or fragments of even the most expensive cloth.  Dressmakers or upholsterer’s cutting floors are goldmines. 
Individual attention will be given to each student with an emphasis on combining techniques to create eye-catching design and stunning works of art. This class welcomes artists from different backgrounds who want to learn how to work with fabric, text and image. No sewing/quilting experience required. Some art or design background is helpful, but not required. Beginners are welcome and encouraged in all of my classes. Please contact me with any questions prior to signing up:

Swatch Book


Attention all painters, collage artists, art quilter, jewelers, beginners, intermediates and pros! Fabric is most versitle design element that adds texture, color, pattern, movement, variety and most of all pizazz to your art. Creating your own fabric elevates its power and your art to a new level.


In Swatch Book, you’re the designer. You will create a variety of hand-painted and printed fabrics using easy techniques to create stunning original fabrics. Working on large fabric squares, you’ll make enough designer fabric to bind into your own 6”x9” handmade swatch book plus have leftovers to use in your art.


You’ll learn how to combine colors, layer motifs and pattern, and my favorite, controlled happy accidents. It will feel like play but the learning will go deep and provide you with a whole new art material to add to your repetoire.


Have your way with Words


I am always drawn to artwork that incorporates words. I have a history of adding quotes to my own work (and writing books about it - Quotes Illustrated.) Yes, it is true that a picture is worth 1000 words, but I cant help adding meaning and message to my work. Fro the looks of things, I think many people feel the same way.


But how do you do that so that it looks good and adds to the work, not like an afterthought? And what do you do if you hate your own handwriting and have trouble mastering (or even attempting) modern calligraphy and fancy lettering. I’ve been there and I have conquered the fear and gotten a confident hand on hand-lettering. I want to share my hand-lettering methods and so much more with you.


In this class you will explore over 15 ways to easily work words into your work. And not just get them on the work, but do so in such a way the words add to the overall composition of the piece. You will work with the usual suspects - pens, ink, paint, stencils and stamps, with the addition of new materials. You will be privy to my “cheater” techniques and helpful tips that I’ve gather along the way. Let’s just say I have a way with words. Let’s talk.

Liz Kettle
Liz's Bio:

Liz Kettle is a fabric and mixed media artist with a passion for teaching others the joy of making art and enjoying the creative process. Liz began her explorations in fabric by following a traditional approach to quilting. After filling her tool box with the skills needed for success in the traditional arena she began to delve into the world of art quilting and discovered a world of freedom and fun in mixed media.
Liz’s eclectic work is influenced by her beautiful surroundings in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, her love of vintage textiles and history. She incorporates layers and found objects to tell stories of the land and people. When she isn’t creating visual art, Liz writes about creativity and the creative process. Her articles can be found in Quilter’s Home Magazine, Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors, Studios and Generation Q magazines. Liz is co-author of Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond and Threads: The Basics and Beyond.  In her on-going effort to bring people over to the creative side her newest book First Time Beading on Fabric entices with sparkles and bling.
Liz lives in Colorado with her very supportive husband. Her three marvelous sons are just beginning their own journeys and her three brilliant grandsons keep everyone on their toes.
Now here are Liz's classes:

Stitch Dancing

Stitching and beading on silk ribbons and fibers lighter than air seems impossible but these ephemeral thread lace embroideries are quite simple to create…but, shush...let’s keep that little bit to ourselves and let everyone think we have special fairy stitching talents. In this class we will create these magical embroideries with free motion sewing machine stitching and simple hand embroidery stitches. This class is suitable for beginners and up. Even if you have never done any free motion sewing you can do this.

Needle Felted Journal Cover

Texture rules in this mini journal! We begin with a combination of machine and hand needle felting using wool, silk, velvet, fibers, yarns, ribbon, cheesecloth and roving to create a luscious textured surface. Simple hand embroidery stitches are our next avenue of exploration as we add a delightful layer of texture, color, pattern and design. Your beautiful textured fabric can then be used to create a mini journal, small wallet for gift or business cards, added to the front of a larger evening bag or even become a journal cover. Due to the nature of hand stitch (unless you are a minimalist) you will probably not finish your base fabric in class but will have all the tools and directions you need to finish within a few short hours of stitching zen.

Layers of Meaning

Layering is the magical component that brings a collage to life, adds depth, emotion and allows it to tell our story. However, layering does not always come easily. In this class we will explore the concepts of layering: both visual layers and physical layers. We will have a crash course in collage design and composition with a focus on exactly what makes a great collage.
There are so many exciting techniques to use in mixed-media collages. We will learn and play with a few of my favorites while we create a collage or multiple collages in a free standing accordion book using your personal photo or one of mine.  Techniques will include but not necessarily be limited to, image transfer and direct printing to various substrates, ideas for transparent layers, working with gesso and texture pastes, incorporating paper, lutradur and metal in your work.  I have lots of ideas for embellishments that support your story and of course we have to have a little beading and hand stitching.  You will use interesting, textural fabrics such as osnaberg as the base.
This class is textile based and will include a little stitching but artists in all mediums are welcome to play, explore and create with us. We will conquer any stitching fears you have.
Cecile Whatman
Cecile's Bio:

Cecile is a textile artist, teacher and designer who works with dyes, paints, fibres and fabric to create art quilts and fabric through felt, mixed media and surface design techniques. She also does a bit of traditional patchwork. Based in Belconnen in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Australia.   Cecile has taught at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts, Houston Quilt Festival and extensively around Australia and New Zealand.  Cecile has had numerous projects published and has authoured three books.

Here are Cecile's classes:
Embellish, enhance, extend. 

Immerse yourself in making unique one off embellishments to wear as jewellry, add to canvas or mixed media work or stitch onto art quilts, garments or journal covers.  You will start the day making framed bezels such as those shown, move onto resin elements in molds and free form metal embellishments with metal, mica and mica flakes.  A number of ways to alter, embellish and layer images, text and found objects into the pieces will be explored.  You will take home six to eight different embellishments, depending on time and choices of materials.  Everything will need to be left in class overnight to set so this can be done as a one day class, but is better incorporated into the full weekend (which is why I am doing it first).

Riverbed Art Quilt

Make some silk paper then applique it, velvet, felt and silk fabric onto a background fabric to replicate the rocky surface of small creek or riverbed art quilt or feature panel.  Learn about tyvek and lutradur and  use these with cocoons and beads to create leaf litter embellishments.  Stitching the appliqué will not be completed in the class. 

Make your mark

Learn how to make your own stamps from both commercial and found objects.  Create your own free form screens and get printing.  You will use the stamps with fabric paint and explore a variation of the 'deconstructed' screen printing with thickened dyes. In the afternoon, you will take your newly created tools and print some fabulous, one off fabrics that you can incorporate into a range of projects.