Friday, February 26, 2010

Alma Laidlaw is teaching Silk Ribbon Embroidery Basics and Mastering the Art of French Sewing by Machine

Alma is a licensed Martha Pullen Heirloom Instructor with over 35 years of
teaching experience in high school and with her business, Sew Fancy Inc. Her love for sewing has developed over the years from clothing to art clothing to many types of embroidery, quilting and heirloom sewing. Her science based degree in clothing and textiles from the University of Guelph, along with her teaching experience and love for the art provides her with a diversified background that will inspire you to try new techniques.

Silk Ribbon Embroidery Basics: As versatile as it is lovely, silk ribbon embroidery can be used on its own, with crazy quilting, smocking and other traditional embroidery techniques. In this class, designed for the beginner, you will learn the special handling techniques needed for working with the 2mm, 4mm and 7mm wide silk ribbon while creating various flowers on beautiful silk fabric. Take your work to a new 3 dimensional level; try silk ribbon embroidery! Kit fee: $20.00.

Mastering the Art of French Heirloom Sewing by Machine: This is an introductory class but you need to be familiar with your sewing machine. French heirloom sewing is beautiful to look at and surprisingly easy to master. Learn the language of heirloom sewing including beading, insertion, edging, entredeux, fagotting, Victorian and Swiss embroideries. Learn the techniques to sew lace to lace, lace to edging, lace to entredeux and more, while creating a scrapbook of samples with the settings for your sewing machine. Learn how to use a wing needle, an edge joining foot and pintuck foot. You will leave this class ready to make heirloom quilts, heirloom nighties, little dresses, blouses, christening gowns and more. Kit fee: $20.00

Elaine Theriault is teaching Punch Needle Embroidery Perfection for Sew Fancy

Elaine made her first quilt at the tender age of 13. The urge to quilt resurfaced when her daughter moved from her crib. The rest is history – she now teaches several days a week, makes quilts on commission and quilts for others on the long-arm. She has also investigated other related crafts including punch needle and has demonstrated and taught punch needle techniques to many students.

This fast, easy to do embroidery technique requires minimal equipment, yet opens the door to many embellishment possibilities. Although punch needle is simple, it is a technique that can be frustrating without some instruction. This class will cover the basics techniques, equipment, threads and fabrics that will get you launched into this fun needle art while you complete a small project. In addition, different ways of mounting and finishing your punch needle projects into beautiful art pieces, home decor accents or gifts will be discussed. Advanced techniques will also be demonstrated and tried as time permits. Kit fee is $7.00. Class times and fees will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Modular Design for Couture Artwear Trunk Show with Kayla Kennington

Looking for a fresh approach to fashion sewing? Award winning artist Kayla Kennington explores with you the unique creations possible with her Modular Design for Couture Artwear pattern collection. Fashion sewists and quilters alike will be delighted to learn how these garments are constructed from simple geometric shaped pattern pieces, with unique seaming connections. This style has no buttons darts, zippers or facings; a wonderful uncomplicated introduction to garment sewing. Discover how to mix-and-match pattern pieces from many patterns (a sleeve from one pattern and a front panel from another). Modular design is also fabulous for highlighting hand-dyed or embellished fabrics, as well as creating simple, easy-to-fit, easy-to-wear, and terrific-for-travel styles of clothing. Learn how you can sew elegant silks for a formal look, or rayons, cottons and linens for flattering daytime wardrobe pieces. Free with admission. Friday April 30, 2010, 5:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 1, 2010, 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pushing your Creative Limits with Elegance and Personal Style with Kayla Kennington

Blending far-out creativity and down to earth practicality is the challenge of every designer. Whether you’re creating an “over-the-top showpiece” or making original garments for your personal wardrobe, you’ll want your own flavour of design to shine right along with your excellence of workmanship. Kayla will discuss the dance of using your bold and playful imagination while maintaining impeccable construction techniques. Find out Kayla’s tricks for defining a project’s parameters and making the best design decisions as your one-of-a-kind garment progresses step-by-step to artistic refinement. Slides of projects from the sketch & supplies stage to the final showstoppers are filled with inspirational surprises. On display will be Kayla’s Crème de la Crème Bernina Fashion Showpieces as well as her easy and elegant silk art-to-wear garments. Kayla is sure to send you off feeling fully inspired and ready to take that next step on your own path of creativity and signature style. Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. Slide show and trunk show.

Abstract Fabric Collage with Kayla Kennington

Create your own personal textile samples with layers of luscious hand-dyed fabrics, ribbons and threads. Your surface design collage is held together using Kayla’s unique stitching technique and completed with embellishing; for a wonderful signature piece that can be incorporated into one-of-a-kind garments, purses or decorative items. Kit includes backing fabric and bag of gorgeous fabric scraps; enough to incorporate into Kayla’s K-Bag pattern. Kayla will provide information on constructing the K-Bay including how to make 10 yards of piping. K-Bag pattern purchase is optional and not included in kit fee. This 3 hour class takes place Saturday, May 1, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Supply List. Bring your own sewing machine. Kit fee $10.

Panel Vest with Myriad of Techniques Class with Kayla Kennington

Sew, play and create a signature style vest from gorgeous, hand dyed rayon batik from Bali, using geometric shapes, finished edges and elegant connecting techniques. Learn the secrets to creating impeccably sewn one-of-a-kind fashions using the Modular Design sewing style, allowing you to design-as-you-go and yet create the look of a well-planned garment with perfect seams. Kit includes five metres of coordinating fashion fabric, sewing pattern, stabilizer, sewing and embroidery thread. This six hour hands on class takes place Friday, April 30, 2010 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Supply List. Bring your own sewing machine. Kit Fee $60 (retail value $120).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stitcher's Place of Cambridge is an exhibitor!

Visit Stitcher's Place website,, for a preview of all the great needlework supplies: Counted cross stitch designs, patterns, charts, kits, fabric, floss, buttons, & craft supplies. And be sure to visit their booth at SewFest West 2010.

Mary Maxim to exhibit at SewFest West 2010

We are delighted to have Mary Maxim, the largest mail order merchandiser of exclusive needlework and craft kits in North America, join us for SewFest West 2010. Many of us remember how Mary Maxim began with hand knit designs in the early 1950s. Influenced by the beautiful wildlife in North America, Mary Maxim designed bulky outdoor zippered jackets to knit using the first easy-to-follow graph-style charts created.

Designing has grown to include fashions in all weights of knitting yarn, beautiful afghans to knit and crochet, decorative hooked rugs and wall hangings as well as the unique designs to needlepoint, embroider, cross stitch, quilt and sew. Be sure to visit their booth at SewFest West 2010 to see their great selection of yarns, needlework kits, fabric kits and beads. Visit their website at

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Christine Allan is teaching Swedish Weaving

Christine graduated from LaSalle College in Montreal with a degree in fashion design. For the past 10+ years, she has owned and operated her own dressmaking business but has now changed her direction with the introduction of Swedish weaving. She is bringing this lost art form back to life with a modern twist.

"Spring Garden Table Centrepiece" is a three hour class suitable for all levels. Rediscover the wonderful art of Swedish weaving while making this lovely table centerpiece on 4x4 monk’s cloth. Once called huck embroidery, this craft is fun and fast to do. In this class you will learn some basic stitches with easy to follow instructions and charts. Table centerpiece finishes approximately 22” x 10½”.

Class registration information to follow. Visit Christine's website at

Nancy Wells is teaching Flowers for Your Basket (Parts A & B)

Nancy Wells, a Guelph, Ontario quilt artist and 22 year member of the Royal City Quilters’ Guild, has won several awards for her quilts and is known for her fine appliqué work and love of three-dimensional flowers. Nancy’s quilts have appeared in the Ontario Juried Quilt Show, the Grand National, the Pacific International Quilt Show, the World Quilt Competition, the Vermont Quilt Show and she will have two quilts in Quilt Canada 2010. She has attended the Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy in Williamsburg, VA, and was the winner of the Academy’s Block Challenge and Scholarship in 2008.

"Flowers for Your Basket (Part A)" is a three hour class suitable for all skills levels. Filling a basket with more realistic flowers is always a delight and students will learn how to make several three-dimensional flowers to start you on this journey. They will be making yoyos, rose buds, bluebells, asters, bellflowers, five-petalled flowers, centre tufts, folded leaves and ruched flowers. Nancy will also be discussing how to embellish these flowers with embroidery floss or beads and showing students how to make tiny stems.

In "Flowers for Your Basket (Part B)" students will continue filling their basket with realistic flowers that will inspire and intrigue. In this class students will be making pleated daisies, cornflowers, graduated, ruched roses, folded strip roses, small violas, rickrack flowers and if time allows, a wire ribbon rose. Nancy will discuss simple ways to embellish these flowers.

Class details to come.

Sylvia Naylor is teaching Free Motion Embroidery and Thread Painting Tulips

Sylvia was educated in England where she became a teacher specializing in textile crafts. Subsequently she studied City & Guilds of London Embroidery and Textiles concurrently receiving an award for the highest marks in the country in her year. She has given workshops in different types of embroidery and mixed media in England, Canada, and the USA. She has won numerous awards and has been featured in several publications. Last year she had two articles in Quilting Arts [USA] and her work was featured in ‘Inspiration’ published by Bernina [Switzerland]. She has exhibited her artwork extensively in galleries in England, Canada and the U.S. Her work is in private collections in many countries.

"Free Motion Machine Embroidery, Getting Started" is a three hour introduction to free motion machines embroidery. To get you started in free motion machine embroidery you will learn about the use of hoops as well as fabric, thread and needle choices. You will learn how to move the hoop so that you can make a variety of lines and textures as a prelude to your own free motion projects.

If you have learned the absolute basics of free motion machine embroidery and are ready to try thread painting then "Thread Painting Tulips" is for you. In this class you will learn how to build up a simple design on plain cotton using tulips as the theme. Using free motion machine embroidery the simple tulip shapes will come to life with different densities of stitching and thread colours. You will learn how to apply simple design principles such as the use of space, density and colour to create your sample.

Class details will be posted as soon as they are available, in the meantime visit Sylvia's website to learn more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Judy Gascho-Jutzi is teaching 3D Landscapes

Judy’s passion for quiltmaking comes from a love of colour, fabrics, fibres and sewing. While custom sewing for her interior design business, she began creating unique quilts for charity auctions which started her on her journey of exploration of the quilt as art. Her main focus has become the three dimensional landscape quilts done in he own distinctive style. Her time now is spent creating these art quilts, presenting trunk shows and exhibitions, teaching workshops and welcoming commissions. She has been the featured quilt artist at the St. Jacob’s Quilt Gallery and Quilt & Fibre Festival. Her work has been accepted into two Ontario Juried Shows and the Grand National Quilt Exhibit. Commissioned work has been created for the Canadian Heritage River Systems, The Record, Wilfred Laurier University and private collectors.

"Intro to 3-Dimensional Landscapes" is designed for beginners with some free motion experience. This three hour class is an opportunity to explore some basic 3-D landscape techniques. Learn fussy cut details using fusible, snips and tulle, fibre embellishments and free motion quilting. Students will have a chance to explore their own creativity while enjoying creating a unique little landscape of their own with fabrics and fibres. Finished size approx. 10”x10”.

"3 Dimensional Landscapes" is a six hour class for levels intermediate to advanced in free motion sewing. Students will have the opportunity to create their own unique 3D landscape piece using fabrics, fibres and surface embellishments. Explore fussy cut details using fusible, snips and tulle, thread painting and free motion quilting. Judy teaches perspective in the creation of realistic 3D landscapes as well as techniques, and encourages students to explore their own creativity. Finished size approx. 12”x12”

Visit Judy's link posted under "Instructors" at the left hand side of this blog to see photos of her fantastic landscapes.

Donna Funnell and Fabric Collage Postcards

Donna Funnell, a retired elementary school art teacher, has been quilting since 1981. Her quilting evolved into fibre art during the winter of 2004 while recovering from an illness. She has been creating original works ever since for juried shows, art galleries, commissions, family and friends. Her award winning fibre art has been juried into many distinguished Canadian shows such as the Ontario Juried Show, National Juried Show and Threadworks. Her first solo show took place April 2009 in Guelph, Ontario. Donna belongs to The Fibre Art Studios Group and is program coordinator for the Oakville Stitchery Guild. Her art quilts are recognized for their intense colour and embellishment of paint, threads and beads. Donna lives and occasionally teaches school in Milton, Ontario just outside of Toronto.

The "Fabric Collage Postcards" class will introduce the beginner to intermediate level student to the exciting art of making quilted fabric postcards using a variety of fast and easy techniques. Instruction will include a variety of ways to create a background, adding collage (appliqués), free motion or straight stitching, embellishments (embroidery and beading) and finishing techniques. Themes to consider for a postcard can be: landscape, vintage, abstract, symbolic and floral.

Visit Donna's galleries by clicking on the link under "Instructors" to see her amazing work. Class details will be posted as soon as they are ready.

Sheila O'Hagan - Stabilizing Solutions and Thread Painted Sunflowers

Sheila O’Hagan has been educating consumers in all aspects of sewing and quilting for the past 25 years. As a former quilt shop owner and sewing machine dealer, Sheila brings experience, entertainment and excitement to sewing enthusiasts with innovative and informative class presentations. Sheila has taught across Canada, in the U.S. including at Quilt Canada 2008 in St John’s Newfoundland. She is pleased to be a part of the SewFest West teaching line up for 2010.

Sheila will be teaching "Stabilizing Solutions - Taking the Mystery out of Using Stabilizers", a great 3 hour class for those new to stabilizers or needing a refresher on products available and how to use them. If you been confused about which stabilizers to use for embroidering, appliqués, thread painting and other techniques, let this workbook/demo class give you lots of tips and tricks on using stabilizers. Students will make a workbook of six samples using a variety of threads, stabilzers and needles. Students will gain the knowledge they need to make better choices for the future projects. The class kit will include all the stabilizers, threads, fabrics and needles you need to complete a workbook of samples. A short demo on hooping stabilizers for embroidery, using water soluble and heat away stabilizers, and what’s new on the market will also be included.

Sheila will also teach a 6 hour class called "Thread Painting Sunflowers" for those new to thread painting. Thread painting can be a fun and a relaxing way to paint with your sewing machine and decorative threads. The idea behind this class uses a flower fabric and lots of interesting metallic and rayons threads to enhance a plain fabric into 3 dimensional flowers! The class will focus on using rayon and cotton threads, special stabilizers and fusible quilt batt. Techniques are easy and there are no wrong ways to paint with thread and your sewing machine needle.

Class dates, times and fees will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

About Kayla Kennington

Kayla Kennington has been creating one-of-a-kind silk clothing and art-to-wear showpieces for galleries, individual clients and shows for over 30 years. She jumped into the sewing world in 2000 as an author, educator, small pattern company, and world class art-to-wear designer.

Winning the "Crème de la Crème" Award in the Bernina Fashion Show in 2001 with the "Butterfly Coat", and again in 2002 with the "Fire Blossom Phoenix" she received the Bernina Hall of Fame Award in 2003. Kayla won another International award at the Fashion Fantasia competition in Australia, November, 2004. Kayla then created two more Bernina showpieces (but not for judging) in 2003 and 2004, and then was a judge at the 2005 Bernina Fashion Show. Kayla created “Fantasia Fleur du Soleil”, a fanciful Cirque du Soleil-like showpiece for the 2006 Bernina Fashion Show and created the “Omega M17-Queen of the Heavens” gown for the 2007 show, (again, Kayla did not participate in the judged portion of the competition).

A national speaker and educator, Kayla spends part of her time traveling, giving workshops, retreats, trunk shows, fashion shows, and inspirational slide presentations. She also writes for national sewing magazines; Kayla Kennington is a contributing author for Threads magazine, Designs in Machine Embroidery, Belle Armoire, and FiberArts magazine. Kayla has also has been featured on DIY and Oregon Art Beat, and in various books. Kayla’s Master Class article in Threads May 2007 described her process of creating an Art-to-Wear Showpiece.

Modular Design for Couture Artwear is Kayla's pattern company, translating her (more subtle) couture garment designs into a pattern collection which sells worldwide. These patterns include Kayla’s signature/unique seaming styles, and over 140 illustrations, addressing the abilities of both beginner and advanced sewers. Kayla’s patterns have no facings, no zippers, and no buttonholes, and lots of creative potential.
Her previous career as an integrated circuit layout design specialist in the high tech industry (Kayla’s “day-job” until 1985), has contributed much to her ability to engineer complex works of art-to-wear as well as translate her designs into patterns with clear instructions.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kayla returned to college and studied fashion Design in 1985 and achieved three scholarships, divisional honors and 1st place state-wide in a design competition. She has been doing what she loves, full-time, ever since. Kayla now lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, where she has a work-at-home studio/office, and gives Modular Magic Design & Sewing Retreats around the country.

Carolyn Mitchell - Tag It!!

Carolyn Mitchell was a full-time shop owner for 20 years and has been a designer and teacher of embroidery for over 35 years. She holds a NSCAE teaching certificate and was an EAC Education chair (1990 –94). She has been an EAC counsellor and author since 1987. She is a national and international teacher whose love for fibres, colours and textures is evident in her designs for canvaswork and hardanger. Her designs offer a blending of different forms of stitchery on canvas. She enjoys watching her students cultivate their knowledge and develop in their embroidery field.

"Tag It!!" is a class designed for both the beginner and intermediate canvaswork stitcher with two levels of kits provided. A large variety of stitches will be offered using an array of fibres and different colour options in both levels. A finishing technique will be shown plus other methods will be discussed. Clear charts with individual stitch methods are included. Come and play with needle and threads discovering the textures you can create!!

Class schedules will be posted here as soon as they are ready. Visit Carolyn Mitchell's website for a preview of her incredible work:

Nancy Yule and Going Green in Your Art Quilting

Nancy Yule's artistry has developed through self-experimentation with fibre most of her life and she feels the journey has only just begun. Being an adventurous stitcher, she is always asking the questions: What if? Can I? What happens when I stitch paper to fabric? Can I stitch through metal? She experiments with different materials to create variations in texture. At the heart of each project is her love for COLOUR!

Nancy has exhibited her work in many local shows and venues including Common Thread International Juried Show (Oakville), The Grand National (Kitchener). She also participates in art and craft shows to sell my fibre art products, notably Fair November (Guelph), Cambridge Studio Tour (Cambridge), Cambridge Centre for the Arts (Cambridge). Her pieces have been purchased and sent around the world.

Going Green In Your Art Quilting is an intermediate level class where Nancy will show students how to think outside the recycling bin to create unusual works of art. During this workshop students will fabricate a unique journal of techniques that can easily be taken to the next level in their own quilting artwork.

Classes are not yet scheduled but will be posted here as soon as they are ready for enrollment. In the meantime visit Nancy's websites to learn more: and

Lucy Anne Halliday will be teaching Fine Points of Applique and Hexagonal Mosaic

Lucy Anne has been happily and successfully teaching quilting for almost 30 years in Toronto and overseas in England. Her experience with the technical aspects of assembling quilts as well as judging at quilt shows, led her to develop a course in “Simple Accuracy” which she taught at the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas in 2000. She enjoys teaching and watching her students grow in confidence and loves seeing their satisfaction at being successful whilst learning something new. You may recognize her name from the Children‘s Books “Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt” and “Selina and the Shoo-fly Pie” in which her handiwork is featured surrounding the illustrations on every page. Later this summer, Lucy Anne will be teaching at the “Quilt Festival” in Birmingham England with students coming from all over Europe to attend the conference.

At SewFest West 2010 Lucy Anne is teaching the Fine Points of Applique, a class designed to improve hand applique skills and teach some new ones; and Hexagonal Mosiac, a course where students learn a very simple way to construct a hexagon based quilt, and how to design your own one of a kind quilt down the line. Students will leave confident of their abilities and full of ideas.

Class schedules are being prepared and will be posted here as soon as they are completed. In the meantime you can learn more about Lucy Anne Halliday at

Instructor Helen Hughes will be teaching "Silk Art Quilts"

Helen’s Fine Art degree from the University of Guelph plus her work with the Royal City Quilters’ Guild, Threadworks and the Fibre Art group “Connections” have both nurtured and challenged her artistic development. Helen has been lecturing and teaching workshops on quiltmaking as fibre art for the past 20 years. In 2002, her quilt “The Greenhouse Effect” was purchased for the permanent collection of the Ontario Juried Quilt Show. Helen’s quilt “eh to zed” received the 2003 curator’s award at the K-W gallery during the Grand National Quilt Show. Helen’s inspiration and motivation come from many sources—the environment, political issues, women’s lives and everyday objects of beauty and rapture. Exploring and pushing new ideas gives energy to her work. Passion drives Helen forward as she celebrates a lift in textiles.

Helen will be teaching a three hour workshop at SewFest West 2010 called "Silk Art Quilts" where students will manipulate dupioni silk in various ways by exploring techniques of tearing, cutting, layering, fusing and appliquéing with a contemporary twist.

Class schedules are currently being developed and will be posted here when they are finalized, with information on how to register. In the meantime, have a look at Helen's work at and

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sew Little Time joins the list of exhibitors!

Sew Little Time is owned by the multi-talented Nora McGuire. Not only does she love quilting, she is a self-confessed computer geek; experimenting with different programs: EQ6, Paint, Word etc., while managing her own website. Make sure you visit the Sew Little Time booth to see all the fabulous quilt fabrics and patterns. Nora has lots of ideas to help you find new ways of exploring the wonderful pastime of quilting. The Sew Little website is

Evelyn Bouma Creativity Classes

We are so thrilled to have Evelyn Bouma Creativity Classes at SewFest West 2010. Many consider Evelyn Bouma an icon in the world of upholstery and innovative interior design. Evelyn was born and educated in Holland. She studied fashion in France, England and North America. She received her furniture refinishing and upholstery degree at the Rotterdam University in Holland. As an instructor with the Toronto Board of Education for over four decades, Evelyn taught upholstery techniques, sewing at all levels, and developed her own unique signature class lampshade-making. She now has her own school, Creativity Classes, specializing in upholstery, creative sewing and lampshade making. Evelyn will be conducting "make & take" activities in her booth as well as a daily free stage show presentation. Visit and get inspired!