Sarah Ann Smith
Workshops & Lectures
Let's Machine Quilt! An Intro to Machine Quilting:
Machine quilting is fun! Learn what you need to know for hassle-free machine quilting. A digital overview of essentials, then both walking-foot and free-motion quilting a sampler of patterns, including writing your name in thread.
Tame Fiddly Fussy Threads for Machine Quilting:
When you are comfortable with free-motion quilting, this class will help you take your skills to a new level! You don't need to think you are good at FMQ, just be willing to give it a go. Learn about different types of threads including cotton, polyester, rayon, metallic, flat metallic film, variegated, and how to use them to enhance your quilt. The morning will feature stencil-painting your solid dark background and I'll share tips and tricks for using fiddly threads. In the afternoon you'll continue to play with and learn to sew with these threads.
Prerequisite: you must feel comfortable with free-motion quilting and be able to change the walking foot and free-motion foot on your machine without assistance.
Kit fee of about $35 covers four spools of specialty threads from Superior Threads, two pre-wound bobbins, plus paint supplies. Students have a choice of two colorways: blues or earthtones, and for the Glitter/metallics silver or gold. Additional thread is available for purchase if the class is not held in a store.
Stumped about how to quilt your quilt top? Have a stencil, but it’s the wrong size? Can’t find anything to go with that stencil? Then this is the class for you – whether you plan to quilt by hand or machine, learn how to choose a design that complements and enhances your quilt top. We will discuss how to choose a design, use a transparent overlay sheet to “test” options, considerations for the design depending on whether you plan to hand or machine quilt, and suitable threads. Can be a one-day, one and a half day or two day workshop. If students want more time to develop designs and practice the skills taught, the extended time helps!
Machine Applique Three (and a half) Ways:
Learn three methods of machine appliqué to create a gingko leaf or oval leaf wallhanging in a fraction of the time it would take to do hand appliqué. You’ll learn fusible appliqué with satin stitch, freezer-paper-underneath appliqué, fusible interfacing underneath, and reverse. You should be able to complete three to five blocks during class. This class is suitable both for quilters and garment makers, who may wish to incorporate the blocks into garments, totebags, placemats and other projects.
Decorative Stitch Applique:
Make a small wallhanging or a selection of small blocks which take full advantage of all those decorative stitches on your sewing machine. Using fusible appliqué and an assortment of as many threads as you care to bring and use, you’ll see how versatile a single leaf pattern can be! The embroidery / decorative stitches you use in this class can be adapted to your choice of other appliqué methods; we will use fusibles in class so that you can make a wide selection of appliquéd leaves during the class. The project samples can be used for a quilt, a garment or home dec items.
Uncensored Art--the naked truth about techniques (formerly titled Fun Fabric Art Postcards):
Or maybe I should call this class Fuse, Paint and Embellish! Play with a range of art techniques and supplies on this very hands-on class! Using fusible web and postcard-sized bases, Sarah will demonstrate several art techniques for you to try including painting on fabric, stamping on fabric, using Shiva Paintstiks, using Angelina fibers, couching yarns and more. There is a $12 (approx.) kit fee for this class to cover the cost of materials I provide to make four postcards, (that way you don't have to spend considerably more on materials you might or might not use again). Guilds! Please note: if I must take a plane to reach you, there is an extra charge for shipping the materials on this one--probably not more than $25 at the most for additional shipping charges. Not being offered for new bookings.
This is a project class using fusible web and decorative and utility stitches on your sewing machine to make this small wall hanging, table runner or pillow top inspired by the lush gardens of Bali. This pattern would be stunning in vibrant batiks, a cream-to-toffee elegant color-scheme, a gentle pastel selection, or brights.
Hawaiian Applique by Machine:
Hawaiian quilts are beautiful in symmetry and bold design, but hand appliqué is time-consuming. Learn to create a Hawaiian-style masterpiece in a fraction of the time. Select an 18” block pattern provided by the instructor to begin a pillow top, small wall hanging, or begin a larger quilt.
Fine Finishes--an album of edge finish techniques:
Learn to make a perfect mitered binding straight grain bindings, double-fold bias bindings, piping, and couched yarns. Time permitting Sarah will share how-to's for fabric accents, curved bindings, fused bindings, wacky raw-edge squares, and couched-yarn finishes! By the end of this class you’ll have a “swatchbook” of samples and notes including a wide assortment of styles and techniques to finish your quilts and quilted garments.
Birch Pond Season--an intro to art quilting project:
Learn fusible applique, several techniques for "piecing" with fused fabrics, and how to make your own Birch Pond art quilt. I'll also cover facings as an edge finish and a range of fun ideas that will let you branch out on your own after class. Kit fee ($20) covers the cost of the pattern and one package of white MistyFuse (except when taught in stores; then, please purchase these items from the store).
With a Dash of Color:
There are many ways to learn how to use color: a favorite sweater, a swatch of fabric, a magazine photo, or the color wheel. Sarah explains them all while showing her progress from first quilt to recent work.
The Decorated Quilt: Beads, Embellishments and other Treasures
Beads are for more than making jewelry. Like bed quilts, art quilts are made of cloth, batting and thread, but they are displayed as works of art. Art quilters use beads and other treasures to enhance their quilts, to be a major design element, or even to cover the surface of a quilt. Sarah will share both her quilts and those of other leading art quilters whose styles range from minimalist to encrusted in a digital presentation.
Journal Quilts and Journals:
Journal quilts are for everyone, not just art quilters! So what IS a journal quilt? It is a small thing, often the size of a piece of copy paper, that gives you a chance to learn a new technique or try out a new idea without using a lot of time or materials. Sarah will share her journals, what she learned from them and how she developed as an artist using, then she'll share inspiring journal quilts by others. Finally, learn how to make your own journal quilts and use a sketch journal to record quilt ideas and practice new techniques—you don’t need to be an artist, just willing to see!
How did she do that?
A digital trunk show supplemented with a few "live" quilts (more when in driving distance of Maine) and a conversation with me about how I made various quilts, including techniques, materials, moving from idea to cloth, and what I would definitely not do again! The quilts show how I work from initial concept to design, construction, quilting and final finishing. The quilts shown illustrate my collage technique using pre-fused fabrics to create realistic imagery, both portraits and landscapes, and then bring the quilt to life with intense free-motion stitching. The quilts in this digital trunk show include landscapes imaginary and realistic, a portrait of my older son, koi, a portrait of an African whom I photographed in 1982, a landscape from a photograph I took at Macchu Pichu in the late 80s, and much more. I love questions about what and how, so please ask during the lecture!!