Kayleigh & Carol Anne SewingTeaching Indigo in TaiwanShibori Class VQF 2004Lecturing VQF 2004Stamping Class

Lectures: My lectures reflect my respect for quilts and surface design, from age old traditions to current innovations. My background in art history and fine arts are resources, as well as the years I've spent making quilts as art. These hour-long lectures are illustrated by slides or power point projection. I also bring samples of my work to share.

Fee is $350. Ask about a local discount.


Workshops: My goal is to give students tools that will help them develop their own voices. Classes are process- not product-oriented. One-day workshops teach basics. Longer sessions allow time for experimentation, extended projects and advanced techniques. Workshops can be combined into multi-day classes. Fee is $450 a day.


Scroll down or jump to surface design or quilting techniques & design classes.


Take a peek at workshops in progress and student work from dye classes, from stamping classes and from quilting techniques and design classes.



Blue & White Traditional QuiltIndigo Vat



Indigo Blues
From the ancient world through the 19th century, indigo provided the only reliable blue dye for textiles. In various parts of the world these old traditions continue. The beauty of indigo blues has naturally appealed to quilters throughout American history from its earliest quilts to the popular blue and white 19th century patterns, and now in contemporary art quilts. Powerpoint only.





The Tortoise & The Hare: How Learned to Love Quilting in the Slow Lane
Quilters today have lots of good techniques and tools to help them hurry along like the hare, but this is the story of how, in recent years, I’ve learned to enjoy the ways of the tortoise. I’ll bring lots of examples—a few digital but mostly in-person quilts—to show how doing the time can pay off, whether creating new designs or continuing a series, whether trying a new technique or revisiting something familiar. Powerpoint only.

Tortoise & Hare


Shibori and Me: From Ancient Techniques to Contemporary Quilts
Shibori is an ancient Japanese tradition, an ancestor to tie-dye. This hour-long presentation begins with a demonstration of the basic techniques of knotting, binding, pleating, stitching and clamping. Slides briefly trace shibori’s development through historical and contemporary kimonos. I then follow my evolution describing how this dye technique helped me find my voice in landscape imagery.

Japanese KimonoSummer Sonatina Quilt

A Quilt Critique Group: The New Art of "Bee-ing"
For over 20 years, the six quilters and one embroiderer of the Crit Group have met to share their art and exchange ideas and information. This lecture introduces the members--Judy Becker, Linda Behar, Barbara Crane, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Sylvia Einstein and Carol Anne Grotrian, as well as new addition, knitter Adrienne Sloan. This lecture shows how a critique group works and offers advice on starting a group of your own. Powerpoint only.

More information on Crit Group members

Nancy Crasco at Crit GroupThe Crit Group



Quilts with a View: New Landscape Traditions
American artists, including needle workers have naturally turned to the land for inspiration. This lecture touches on the appearance of landscape in antique quilts, looks at the diverse views and viewpoints of contemporary quilters and, on a personal note, includes a few of my landscape quilts among projected images and in person.

Moon Over Mountains QuiltRachel Carson Pond Quilt

Needle & Hoe: A History of Inspiration
Needlework and garden design intertwine frequently throughout world history. For millennia our foremothers used needles and hoes to create beauty out of necessity. Gardens are "embroidered" with flowers and textiles bloom year round indoors. Needlework records lost gardens, while gardens deliberately resemble carpets. This lecture emphasizes garden-inspired quilters, both traditional and contemporary.


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Garden Flowers Views from a Garden Quilt

Workshops: Surface Design


Shibori Sampler
An ancient Japanese art, shibori subtlety goes far beyond the usual tie-dye techniques. Try your hand at the elegant patterns found in imperial kimonos. Basic shaped resist techniques-- binding, pleating, knotting, stitching, clamping and pole-wrapping--are easy to learn and endlessly variable. Adaptable to any fabric-dye combination, the class uses Procion MX dyes on cotton and silk. Shibori workshops can be extended to include indigo dyeing.


Materials List One-Day Workshop | Two-Day Workshop

Samples & Student Work

Fletcher Farm Class Samples


Shibori: Beyond the Sampler
Explore pole wrapping and stitching, two important shibori techniques that are part of Japan’s ancient tie-dye traditions. Simple basics create endless pattern variations; overdyeing produces elegant complexity. The quicker rhythm of pole wrapping balances the more time consuming techniques of sewing. No previous experience necessary.


Materials List Two-Day Workshop

Samples of Student Work

Stitched Shibori Samples Arashi Sample

An Introduction to Indigo
Why does indigo seem magical? Because it dates back to ancient Egypt? Because the vat has a bloom and the color only develops on contact with air? Because it needs a centered dyer with a calm hand? Because successive dipping makes the shades of one color --blue--seem like many colors? Experience the magic and learn about the care and feeding of an indigo vat, using synthetic indigo. We'll create samples of some basic shibori patterns on cotton cloth using the indigo vat.


Materials List One-Day Workshop | Two-Day Workshop

Samples & Student Work

Dye Pot Kanoko Indigo Sample


Fabric Stamping
Add pizzazz to the textiles in your life. Print your own unique patterns with stamps that are store bought, or fashioned from everyday objects, or quickly carved from erasers or simply constructed with glue. The materials are inexpensive and non-toxic, basic techniques are easily learned and the results are immediate. Design theory is introduced as students create their own styles from elegant restraint to outrageous and funky.

Materials List One-Day Workshop

Samples & Student Work

Stamping Samples

Colorful Quarters
If you’re a beginner or experienced, join us for a day of dyeing fat quarters using fiber reactive dyes, buckets and baggies. Learn methods of gradation from light to dark and color to color, starting with blue and ending up with almost 5 colorful yards of cotton suitable for quilting projects. We'll use familiar kitchen measurements and focus on repeatable results. Never run out of a fabric again! Materials fee covers cost of fabric and dyes.

Materials List One-Day Workshop & More Details

Colorful Quarters Samples

Potatoes & Poles: Dextrin Resist & Arashi Shibori
Experiment with the organic patterns produced by these two resists. When potato dextrin dries, its crackled surface can be dye painted to create textures from fine veins to bold webs. In arashi shibori, poles (pvc pipes) are wrapped with fabric and compressed into folds, exposing only their outer surfaces in the dye bath. The class will cover many ways these techniques can be manipulated and over dyed to create patterns of “regular irregularity." The focus will be on cotton samples using fiber reactive dyes, though techniques apply to other dyes and fibers.

Materials List Two-Day Workshop

Samples & Student Work. Scroll to end of list.

First Thaw Quilt Detail

Fabric Dyeing: A Kitchen-Tested Method
This is a how-to, hands-on primer on fabric dyeing using permanent and versatile fiber reactive dyes (Procion MX) that are simple and safe to use at home. The focus is on immersion (bath) dyeing, including ways to adapt to small spaces. The result is a library of swatches, as we learn methods of gradation from light to dark and from color to color, discovering a limitless palette from basic primaries and a few toners. We’ll use familiar kitchen measurements to get repeatable results Never run out of a fabric again!.

All materials will be supplied. Wear old clothes; bring rubber gloves and a dust mask.


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Dye Class Fabric Swatches

Workshops: Quilting Techniques & Design


Snapshot: Start A Picture Quilt

Create fabric pictures--landscape, still life, etc.-- based on assigned snapshots that you bring to class. Pick your favorite photo and adapt it to quilting, using simple tools like photocopies and tracing paper. Begin selecting fabrics that will bring the image to life. A one day class produces designs on paper; a weekend workshop includes fused fabric sketches.

Materials List One- or Two-Day Workshop

Samples & Student Work

Hadley Tree PhotoHadley Tree Quilt Detail

Picture Perfect Piecing
Start piecing a picture quilt with gentle curves and easy corners. Move on to adventurous hairpin turns and jagged peaks. Learn when to sew by hand or machine. Students will piece a landscape study from templates designed to cover the basic and advanced techniques Carol Anne uses to make her quilts.

More Information & Samples

Materials List One-Day Workshop

Student Work

Piecing SamplePiecing Sample 2

Natural Lines: Mark Free Techniques for Quilting
"Draw" a design on a quilt top without touching it. Learn about lines--an important last design step in a quilt. Use mark-free methods for transferring designs to fabric and choose hand and/or machine quilting options. Techniques involve simple, available tools. Students work on samples and, if available, a previously completed top. Step away from the straight and narrow and try irregular patterns especially suited for picture quilts.

More Information

Materials List One-Day Workshop


Natural Lines Process

Workshops: Extended (4-5 Days)


Indigo Magic & Spirit Cloth
Experience the magic of ancient indigo dyeing and its special affinity with shibori. The final project will be sewing the dyed fabric together in a format inspired by a spirit cloth, such as Buddhist kesas or temple banners.


Materials List Four to Five Day Workshop

Spirit Cloth Sample


Surface to Surface
Record impressions of patterns outdoors in nature and then translate them to fabric using various surface design techniques such as stamping, dextrin resist and shibori.

Materials List Four to Five Day Workshop


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Surface to Surface Sample


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Revised March, 2013