MIDWEST FIBER ARTS TRAIL
CEDARBURG SPUR WORKSHOP
Improv Whole Cloth Hand Quilting
by Heidi Parkes
Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
DescriptionNo chalk, no tape, limited basting--learn to approach big stitch ‘sashiko style’ hand quilting as a freehand drawing on your quilt. Heidi will share her preferred materials and techniques, along with some thoughts on improvisational quilting (rather than improv-piecing)! She is often inspired by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi: finding beauty in the imperfect. Interestingly, this aesthetic is dramatically different from the ordered stitches of traditional sashiko.
Students will develop their own unique stitch pattern in class and will be introduced to many options involving directionality, color, knots on the top or inside, and ways to maintain tension and drape in the quilt. Students must come with their own quilt top and bottom. It can be a traditional whole cloth, or can be pieced monochromatically in any color.
- Quilt top and bottom: these could be solid pieces of fabric in any color, or could be minimally pieced. (Those who took ‘handwork revisited’ last year, or “Improv Hand Piecing with a Specific Theme in Mind” in January 2018, are encouraged to use those techniques on their quilt top)
- Safety pins
- Crochet thread size 10 or pearl cotton size 8 (in a variety of colors, high or low contrast, white, monochromatic, etc.)
- Milliners needles
- Rubber gripper
- 5lb weight (a heavy book works great)
About the artist: Heidi ParkesBefore Heidi Parkes was born in Chicago, IL in 1982, her grandmother organized a collaborative family quilt to commemorate her birth. This set the tone for a life centered on the handmade – raised in a home where sewing, mending, cooking, canning, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, and plasterwork were the norm.
Heidi is a quilter and mender living in Milwaukee, WI. She received her BFAEE from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, and was a high school art teacher in Naperville, IL for 9 years. Heidi continues to pursue her passion for teaching by lecturing and leading workshops across the country. She shares her creative process with thousands on Instagram.
In 2016, Heidi won first place in Handwork and second place in Improvisation at The Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon, and is now a returning instructor there. Heidi has exhibited in The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art, The New England Quilt Museum, The Charles Allis Art Museum, The John Michael Kohler Art Museum, and more. Heidi was an Artist in Residence at Have Company in Grand Rapids, MI.
Celebrating the hand is an essential component in Heidi’s clothing repairs and quilts. She is inspired by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Whether visibly hand-pieced, intricately machine-pieced, or a wholecloth quilt, her art is infused with meaning and history, employing traditional techniques including: Korean Jogakbo, Seminole patchwork, American knots and improvisation, Japanese and Indian big stitch hand quilting, and European hand embroidery. Often using specific textiles, like an heirloom tablecloth or bed sheet, Heidi adds subtle meaning and material memory from the start. Additionally, Heidi collaborates with her father to make her own furniture, is an enthusiastic fermenter, a certified yoga therapist, and uses her own hand-thrown pottery daily.