Painted Fiber Art with Elizabeth Busch

Excellent class with a superb instructor! Really accomplished a great deal.” – Chris L.

Our last class of the 2016 season was with the wonderful Elizabeth Busch from Maine. She taught The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works. The first couple of days was spent painting on canvas. Then the remainder of the class was spent on composition. Enjoy the photo tour! IMG 2407
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IMG 2410 Because the first day of the workshop was Halloween, the breakfast special of the day was pumpkin pancakes! Of course, the full breakfast menu was still available with a wide range of choices. IMG 2406
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IMG 2415 Monday night, for dinner, a number of people got in the Halloween spirit and dressed in costume! IMG 2416
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IMG 2417 Thanks to Carol E. we had a bunch of options for those who “forgot” to pack a costume! IMG 2418
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IMG 2423 It was quite the marvelous week and there was even plenty of Fall colors around the grounds to be enjoyed. IMG 2424 It was a satisfying and inspiring year of workshops. We thank everyone who made it possible – students, teachers, and staff. We look forward to another exciting year in 2017. The classes are already filling up and we haven’t even sent out the brochures yet. Keep warm and we’ll see you next year!

Stitch Therapy and Luminous Illusions

First we had Rayna Gillman here for a week with her “Freeform Design Spa” where everyone was slicing, dicing, and stitching to let the design magic happen. After that was a quick 3 day workshop with Esterita Austin teaching “Luminous Illusions” – an unique method of transferring a painted image onto organza to then layer together to create your composition. IMG 2205
IMG 2206 The squirrels are busy around the inn! They left this “art installation” – Exploded Pinecone – on the little bridge to the carriage house. IMG 2207 Innovation and invention are in abundance in the workshop – is Esterita and one of her students showing how they turned a folding chair into an painting easel! IMG 2212
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Interview with Valerie Goodwin: An Architect Creates Complex Art Quilt Maps

Valerie S. Goodwin R.A. is an architect and artist who creates fiber art inspired by realistic and abstract imagery of maps. Her work is noted for its use of color, emphasis, and line and density.


We look forward to welcoming Valerie to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops December 4 to 10, 2016: she will teach The Complex Composition Workshop, using techniques of collage, layering, transparency, and improvisation.

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching architectural design for about 22 years and fiber art workshops for over 10 years. I think both go hand in hand and inform each other. I got interested in quilting through teaching architecture when I read an article about how a faculty member used traditional quilting blocks as a way to start designing a floor plan, in this case it was a Museum for Quilts. Long story short — the idea launched my interest in fiber art.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favorite part is that “light bulb” moment! You know when you see that a student appreciates and gets what you are teaching. 

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
Excellent question! 

First of all my courses stress “design thinking”. I want every student to develop their own work in their own voice. My goal is not to create “mini-me’s”.

Secondly, teach the techniques first, so each student can focus on the design after they have experience with the how-to portion of my workshops. 

I have over 20 years of experience teaching design and conducting critiques. I love to provide feedback and critique! But I do it in a nurturing way. My goal is to help each student clarify their design intent and I try to give my critique through that lens.

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What are you currently working on in your own art?
Lately I have been experimenting with using laser cutting technology in my work. You can read more about it in an upcoming article that I wrote for the SAQA journal. I am still passion about creating fiber art maps but, from a new and exciting perspective.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
My work is in many private collections but I do not currently have gallery representation. This is something I would like to pursue one day when I retire from university teaching and have time to create more work and to promote myself.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, I have work on Artful Homes.

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What is your favorite art quote?

When an architect (artist) is asked what his best building (work of art) is, he (she) usually answers, “The next one.” – Emilio Ambasz

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Describe your studio.
My studio is in a funky artist warehouse district located next to the city’s railroad track and positioned between 2 university districts. It is my oasis, a place where I can get away from it all and just CREATE! An added benefit is that I share it with another artist. It is a great way to bond with another artist and learn from another artistic point of view.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

In no particular order:

Epilogue Laser Cutter

Misty Fuse

Acrylic Paint + Fabric Medium

Sewing machine


An Interview with Elizabeth Busch: Creator of Art Quilts and Kinetic Sculpture

Elizabeth Busch is an artist who draws, paints, sews, and sculpts space. From her workshop in Maine, Elizabeth works in two mediums: Kinetic Sculpture and Art Quilts.


“My quilts are sewn paintings, acrylic on canvas that is then hand quilted. This part of the process allows me to become physically reacquainted with a piece created at arm’s length on the wall, and to add another visual dimension to it. I believe that the work communicates with many because color and mark making are a universal language.”


Elizabeth Busch will teach a five day Workshop, The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops October 30 to November 5, 2016.


Elizabeth recently explained her philosophy of art, and teaching.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

My first workshop was in 1987. The director of the Fiber Department at the Fredricton New Brunswick, Canada, School of Art saw an article about me and my Painted wall quilts in a then new magazine called Threads. She contacted me and asked if I would be interested in teaching a workshop to her fiber majors. I replied: “I’ve never done such a thing…what would I teach?” She said, “How about what you DO?” … and the rest, as they say, is history.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

There is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing a ‘lightbulb’ go off for a student. I so enjoy meeting new and former class participants, sharing ideas and problem solving with everyone, using my favorite tools and processes. I absolutely love to teach, to watch others learn and grow in such a short period of time!


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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Problem solving with several other people, seeing different results that materialize for everyone, and letting that ‘door open!’ I teach exactly what I do in my own work: it is fun, simple, and freeing. If you liked Kindergarten, I think you’ll like my workshops!


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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I recently finished a large scale Public Art commission for the Maine State Library, Museum and Archives at the state capitol in Augusta, ME. I have supported myself as an artist since 1987, and the major portion of that income is from such commissions. Most of those commissions are my Kinetic Sculpture. I generally teach 4-6 workshops per year and in between do my ‘soul work,’ my own Art Quilts. I am so fortunate to have a balance between my major source of income (Public Art Commissions); teaching workshops (in which I get to travel, meet wonderful people, and share my processes with them), and creating my own Art Quilts.


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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

One of my pieces is now traveling internationally with Quilt National 2015, another is traveling with SAQA Silver. I have 8 new current pieces in my studio that are ready to go somewhere new…I hope! And the Maine Public Art Commission, “Home,” is permanently installed in the atrium of the Maine State Museum. In a few weeks I will be traveling to San Diego as one of three jurors for “Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016.”


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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

No. I do not have gallery representation. I did years ago, but find that teaching workshops, creating public art commissions, and exhibiting in shows feeds all of my financial and soul’s needs.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

No, I do not.


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What is your favorite art quote?

“If you don’t like what you’re doing, don’t do it! It won’t work.” –Berenice Abbott, photographer


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Describe your studio.

I have lived for 40 years in an 1856 Maine farmhouse, complete with attached barn and shed. 40 years ago there were chickens, ducks, a horse and a ‘beef critter’ in the barn. My two children, husband and I ‘lived off the land…’ kind of, but not totally. Now, the children are grown and gone, I’ve been divorced for 20 years, and the barn and shed are my glorious studios! I do share the barn studio with an occasional friendly little mole who skitters across the floor when I least expect it.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Five can’t do without…unsized cotton duck, Textile paints, my Bernina 960, hand needles and embroidery floss, big work walls…and lots of good lighting!

Interview with Cynthia Corbin: Artist as Quiltmaker

Cynthia Corbin’s art quilts have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and New Zealand. Her work has appeared in many exhibitions, such as Quilt National, Artist As Quiltmaker, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Art Quilt Elements, Speaking In Cloth, Visions, CraftForms, and Fiberart International. She lectures and teaches nationally, applying her passion to the development of each student’s individual voice.


Drawing on her love of both folk art and abstract art, she explores dyeing and painting, intensive machine quilting, and a problem-solving, seat-of-the-pants approach to quilt construction.


Cynthia Corbin first taught at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops in 2015. Her students were so inspired and delighted that most of them immediately re-enrolled for her 2016 Workshop!


Cynthia returns to Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops to teach her Composing Composition five-day Workshop October 23 to 29, 2016  Don’t delay in enrolling if you’d like to work with Cynthia – it’s a great opportunity to catch her on the East Coast, just before she retires from teaching to focus more on Studio work and travel.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I taught my first class in 1974—basic beginning traditional hand piecing.  But I didn’t start teaching seriously until 2003.  By that time I felt I had something to teach that was a true reflection of my own experience.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love the direct connection with each individual student—finding out who they are and what kind of art they are interested in making.  Fascinating!


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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Hands on, hands on, hands on.  Oh, and supportive feedback.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am experimenting a lot right now.  I have been staring at weather-beaten surfaces for a good long time and that is figuring in my work. 

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

I currently have a piece in Quilt National 15 touring (Weathering Out).

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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

I do show work in galleries from time to time.  My best advice is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities that come from unexpected places—places that perhaps show fiber along with other types of work—like pottery.


What is your favorite art quote?

I have two—First one is from Picasso, “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”

Second is from John Ford, film director, “When in doubt, make a Western”.


Describe your studio.

Not big enough, sometimes messy, once in while it is tidy…the big umbrellas provide sunshade from the sky light.  I am fond of umbrellas….


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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

APQS Millennium Long Arm machine (Millie), my Bernina Aurora 440, rotary cutter, cutting mats in all sizes, DESIGN WALL.  Oh, and pins once in a while.

Interview with Hilde Morin, Fiber Artist: Drama, Dimension and Improvisation

Hilde Morin, a fiber artist, looks for drama in the creation of her art quilts. Drama in the form of color, texture and pattern. 

Hilde finds inspiration in both natural and in architectural scenes, having a particular interest in cities, towns, buildings and weathered structures. In natural scenes, she represents reality by simplifying or suggesting it through either abstract or primitive designs. Her technique includes the creation of a first layer of improvised pieced fabric with the addition of a second layer of texture through extensive thread work and surface design. 


Hilde’s creations are influenced by her multi-cultural background and travels.


We are pleased to welcome Hilde to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this year. She will teach a five-day Fiber Arts class, In and Around Town, October 9 to 15, 2016.

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching for 15 years.  After quitting my corporate job to be more involved with my kids, I joined an open-sew group at a local quilt shop.  We shared projects, discussed works in progress and gave each other ideas and advice.  After a few months I was asked by the storeowner to teach a workshop.  I have enjoyed teaching since then!

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Guide each of my students in translating their ideas into a design that is pleasing to them and also doable.  Demonstrate sewing tips and techniques to use during the construction process.

Challenge my students to do more than what they think they can do. 

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

You will work in a very freeing environment where my guidance, tips and techniques will help you produce work that has your marks and is unique.

I will gently challenge you to do things outside of your comfort zone.

Every piece has its own design and construction challenges.  Sharing how to resolve these in a class setting is very valuable for everyone and we all learn.

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am waiting for inspiration to quilt El Vecindario (The neighborhood) which I just finished piecing.  In the meantime I started working on a new piece inspired by a market with food carts in Portland, OR.  So far I have chosen the colors and made a few lines on my design wall.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Two pieces (Where To Stay/Where To Go) are currently being shown at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, OR as part of a group exhibit “A Sense of Place: The Allison Inn.”  My latest piece, Between Light and Shadow just came back from a 2-month long exhibit at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA.

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

My work has been represented in two galleries, Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery in Argentina, and Studio 503 in Hood River, Oregon.  In my opinion, showing professionalism is the most important requirement when dealing with a gallery.  Professionalism in every step: communication, portfolio presentation, work quality, pricing scheme.  Also, making yourself available and having current work to show are very important.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery? 

Not really, but I have sold much work through my website.

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What is your favorite art quote?

I am not sure I have a favorite art quote but instead I will tell you what my favorite principle is: Start by doing small things right.

Describe your studio.

After “surfing” spare rooms and guest rooms for 10 years, I now have a beautiful dedicated studio…my favorite part of the house!  It is divided in two sections, my sewing studio and my teaching studio.  My sewing studio is where everything happens and it is usually quite busy.  My teaching studio is where I teach groups of 6 people and where I keep a gallery of quilts on display for inspiration.  Of course, I spread out through both sections when I don’t have classes scheduled!

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

I am a minimalist and can work with very little.  Other than sewing machine, fabric and thread, these are musts: 

A design wall

A good lamp


A camera 

My computer

An Interview with Rayna Gillman: Mixed Media / Fiber Artist, Author, and Teacher

Rayna Gillman is an internationally known artist and teacher whose work has appeared in galleries and museums across the US. She works spontaneously in mixed media, often using collage and printmaking techniques to add texture to her work.


Rayna brings her intuitive sense of color and design into her work and her classes, infusing her students with a sense of play and encouraging them to use the words “what if?” as they experiment in their own work. She was nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award in 2010 by Professional Quilter Magazine.


Rayna returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops to teach the creatively liberating Free-form Design Spa Workshop, August 21 to 27, 2016.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I’ve been teaching for 15 years.  I started teaching after I appeared on Alex Anderson’s Simply Quilts program. After the program ran, I got tons of emails asking “do you teach what you do?”  So, I put together some classes and asked my local quilt shop if I could do a beta test for Jump Starting the Art Quilt.  There was a waiting list, so I taught it twice — and the rest is history. I’ve been fortunate to have taught in Canada, the U.K., in South Africa, and coming up – in Switzerland. This past summer I taught in Alaska, invited by a student from my 2013 class here. How lucky I am!

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What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing people’s eyes light up when they realize they have created original work and had fun doing it. I also love the energy in a classroom that you can’t get when you work alone.

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My best reward is when students send me photos of quilts they have started in class and I can see the results of what they learned. What a joy! I just received an email from a student who entered a quilt she made after she took my class. It won a ribbon in the art quilt category.  She was thrilled and so was I. Here are a couple of student pieces in-process from my last Hudson River Valley class.

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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

They give me me their own reasons because the first thing I ask them is why they are here and what they’d like to walk away with.  In no particular order, the most frequent answers are:

   1) I want to be freed up and learn to relax and have fun while I’m working. 

   2) I want to make my own work, not something based on a pattern.

   3) I love your work and just wanted to take a class with you.


I can’t speak for why anyone wants to take a workshop in general because every teacher is different.  But I could add to the reasons above…

   4) To experiment and learn something new you can take home and apply to your own work.

   5) To absorb the energy of working with other people, to share ideas, and to learn from seeing what others are doing.

   6) To have fun, because if you can’t have fun while you’re working, what’s the point?


What are you currently working on in your own art?

Asking myself “what if?” and playing around with some new ideas.  Right now, too many ideas and not enough time!


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

It just came down from a three-person exhibit in NJ and prior to that, a solo exhibit at Brassworks Gallery, also in NJ.  At the moment, I am in Florida and my work is still in New Jersey.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

I don’t have gallery representation. The NY metro area is not hospitable to art quilts; they still don’t take us seriously as artists.  There was a dedicated Art Quilt Gallery in Manhattan but unfortunately, it is now closed.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, I sell work from my website.


What is your favorite art quote?

Ask yourself “what if?” and then try it. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t — but you will always learn from it. (I’m quoting myself – LOL).

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Describe your studio.

Hahahahahaha.  I have two studios – my wet studio away from the house and my sewing room at home in New Jersey. They are both a mess. In Florida, my studio is my dining room table. Here it is, as we speak.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

My reading glasses.

My rotary cutter.

My iPad/ iPhone/digital camera (this counts as one)

My sewing machine, naturally.

My instincts.

** (notice that “ruler” is not on the list)

Kaleidoscopes with Paula Nadelstern

Paula Nadelstern just finished teaching her workshop on recreating the intricate wonder of kaleidoscopes with fabric. Paula brought the manuscript from her latest book, due out any day now, and she read a few excerpts from it and allowed the students to look over the wonderful photographs included in the book, including photos of quilts made by some of the students in this workshop. IMG 1649 This is one of Paula’s quilts that has so far not been published in any book. Mark and I saw Paula at the Houston International Quilt Festival a couple years ago when she was quilting this quilt in the APQS booth using one of their longarm machines. IMG 1651 This workshop had a nice mix of repeat students (some have come to everyone of the workshops that Paula has taught with us since 2006), repeat for our workshops students, but new to Paula, and just totally new to Paula and us. Their was great camaraderie among the whole group. IMG 1642
IMG 1647 As usual, Paula brought along a large selection of her latest fabric designs produced by Benartex. By the end of the workshop most of this was snapped up by the students. IMG 1648 Because Paula is within driving distance of us, she was able to bring lots of her amazing work to show to the class and inspire them. IMG 1655
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IMG 1676 These are some of the fantastic snowflake pieces made by Kaisa Mackie. IMG 1682 The workshop week started out with a bit of snow, but by the end of the week the snow had all melted away and Spring was back on the horizon. IMG 1673 Our next fiber art workshops coming up are with Sandra Leichner, Susan Brubaker Knapp, and Esterita Austin.

Interview with Susan Brubaker Knapp: fiber artist, designer, author, and teacher

Susan Brubaker Knapp started quilting as a hobby which turned into a passion and a business. Susan teaches nationally and internationally, hosts “Quilting Arts TV,” and has produced numerous patterns, two books, and five video workshops.


Susan began with traditional hand quilting and needle turn appliqué, but embraced innovative machine techniques and started making art quilts in 2005. Her quilts have won national as well as local awards, and have been exhibited at national and international venues. Susan has won seven Best of Show awards at three different quilting guilds, with six different quilts.


Her work has been featured in several national magazines, and in the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Quilting Arts Calendars and the 2012 Quilt Art Engagement Calendar. It has graced the covers of four issues of Quilting Arts magazine.


Susan returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops to teach an exciting five day Workshop, Paint, Fuse, Stitch!, August 14 to 20, 2016.




How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I started teaching about 2005, at a local quilt shop. At the time, I was making mostly traditional quilts, both pieced and needle turn appliquéd. I had left my full time job as a page designer at The Charlotte Observer in 1999 to be at home with my first child, and was working as a freelance graphic designer. I was also designing quilts, and people started asking me to share the patterns. I have experience as a writer, editor, and graphic designer, so I thought, “Why not?” Then shops and guilds started asking me to teach from my patterns. I found that I loved teaching, and before long I was teaching nationally and internationally.


What is your favorite part about teaching? 

It’s a thrill when I can help students find a new technique or skill that they love, and that they can adapt to use in their own work. I have come to realize that a large part of teaching, or of being a good teacher, is helping students get over their artistic or psychological “hangups.”


Many people have little demons in their heads (often echoes of old home economic teachers, art teachers, mothers or grandmothers) telling them that they aren’t doing it right. When they stop listening to those demons and start listening to their own instincts, desires and ideas, they can tap into their innate creativity and make art that comes from the heart.


Learning the skills and techniques is actually a pretty small part of making art. Learning how to tap into your creativity – and facing your fears about doing that – is the most important part. 




What would you tell your prospective students are the best reasons for taking a workshop?

It might change your life in a big way. In 2006, I took a class with Bonnie McCaffery. To be honest, I took the class primarily as a 6-hour break from my young children! Going in, I had no interest in the subject or technique, but ended up loving the class, and it led to my first major art quilt, which was accepted into a exhibition shown at International Quilt Festival. The last art classes I took were in high school; I have an English undergraduate degree and a journalism masters degree. If you take a workshop with your mind open to the possibilities, you will always learn something, and you will grow artistically. And you never know just where it will take you! 


I take classes whenever I can. I think it is really healthy for your brain to try new things, step out of your comfort zone, and challenge yourself. 




What are you currently working on in your own art?

For the past three years, I’ve been working (off and on, between other pieces) on a large piece (it will probably be 80-90” square) that features all sorts of fish. It is called “We All Swim Together,” and is a wholecloth painted piece, and I think I have about 20 realistic fish painted on it so far. It documents mostly endangered fish species – those that are overfished, or at risk due to climate change or pollution. I have at least six other art quilts in progress and at least that many more in my head. My major techniques right now are wholecloth painting, fusible applique, and thread sketching. I’m also doing a lot of sketching, water color painting, and photography. Photos are the basis of nearly all of my work. 




Where is your art currently being exhibited?  I have work coming back from the “Insects to Elephants” exhibition at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts. And I’ll have two pieces going out to the exhibition “The Art of Native Plants” at The Blowing Rock (NC) Art & History Museum this spring.


What is your favorite art quote?

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” – Francis Bacon

The art I create is my way of celebrating and documenting the deep mysteries of the world that are to be experienced only by close inspection of the miraculous details of nature.




Describe your studio. 

My studio is a 14×14 foot guest room in my 100-year-old home. It houses all my fabric and supplies, plus all my teaching supplies. I’ve outgrown it, and I would love to have a larger studio where I could do messier stuff, and store all my supplies. But it is a dedicated space, and I’m really grateful for that.






Name some of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

My Bernina sewing machines

Aurifil 50-weight cotton thread

ProChemical & Dyes transparent acrylic textile paints

Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 (for fusible appliqué).

My website:

Amazing Quilts with Grace Errea

The 2016 workshop season has been begun! We started last week getting the last things squared away and set up for the workshop. The art supply shop was stocked and organized. IMG 1601 Log Cabin Fabrics brought over a tempting array of fabric and notions. IMG 1602
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IMG 1604 Baked a new supply of pumpkin parsley dog biscuits for when we get canine guests. IMG 1592 Then Grace Errea’s class checked in on Wednesday to begin their 4 night / 3 day class retreat!

Everything was wonderful. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first visit. Grace was an excellent instructor. I was able to finish my project, too!” – Joan s.

This is Grace’s latest book. IMG 1612 Everyone eagerly got right to work. Grace provided plenty of demonstrations on her “heat-set” appliqué technique. IMG 1606
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IMG 1616 Outside the studio we had beautiful Spring weather. IMG 1618 Inside we had frogs! These are some of Grace’s pieces that she brought to show to the class. IMG 1622
More of Grace’s. IMG 1625 The cat is taking shape. The clear plastic overlay is used to aid in positioning the pieces. IMG 1626 An orchid coming together. IMG 1627 Hibiscus, too. IMG 1628
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The orchid is finished, ready for placing on a background and stitching. IMG 1632 Class mascot, fast asleep. IMG 1634 Then on the last day, this happened! Winter seemed to finally arrive. It only looked this way first thing in the morning. A couple hours later it was completely gone. But we enjoyed the beautiful serenity of the snow-covered landscape while it was there. IMG 3789
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An Interview with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, award winning quilter

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is an award winning quilter, fabric designer, international teacher and lecturer. Meet Victoria in this terrific video.


You can also meet her in person later this year – Victoria will teach a fun three-day class, Lemoyne Star Through Play, November 30 to December 4, 2016 at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops.


Victoria recently shared some thoughts on her art, and teaching.


How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I’ve been teaching for four years. I first taught in Australia at Material Obsession. Kathy Doughty is a friend and asked if I would, so my family and I made it a big trip, and all went and enjoyed Sydney.  I had so much fun, that I came back and started taking bookings in the US.

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What is your favorite part about teaching? 

I love watching people get the aha! moments! Watching their fear dissipate when showing them how simple all the things they say they would never do, actually are. When that “can do” attitude is found, the momentum then builds in their work, and is contagious to all around them. The power of a group setting is infectious!


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

We all learned to sew in various ways, some things get learned … or not … So I base my classes on very elementary skills that I’ve realized most people never learned, and by the end of class we do the hardest thing…

Learning a basic skill that you’re missing will make your projects so much easier.

Learn a way to look differently at your process. Everyone needs a boot out of their own box once in a while. It’s good to shake up the way you work, to encourage more creativity.

Confidence… Building your repertoire of ways to work, ways to see, ways to sew, enhances your output. 

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

Healing. I’ve been working on quilts that have a deeper message of healing, either about someone, or for myself in response to something, and pushing my own limits creatively.


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My Color Play is at the Texas Quilt Museum now in the Modern Quilt Exhibit, LaGrange Texas. A couple of quilts will be at QuiltCon in February, A few pieces will be in Gallery EOSS, March 17-April 16th.  My Double Wedding Rings quilts are headed to Australia Quilt Convention, in April. A couple other shows and exhibits will be announced soon.

Big Block Star

Do you sell your work?

I do sell my work, I sell privately, and do several commission pieces each year.  I also donate a lot of quilts to my Community Quilt drive,


Describe your studio.

I have a long rectangle shaped studio with windows on one short end. where my JUKI long arm sits looking out the window. The other three walls are completely covered in cotton batting, so I can work on 10-12 quilts at a time. All my machines and cutting station float in the middle so I can easily get all the way around my space.  It’s wonderful! The studio is one building over from where I live, so I can easily close the door walk back home away from the mess!


I keep one book case full of fabric in my studio. When it’s full, I stop buying fabric… I don’t need any more, and after not buying fabric for one year, actually found myself with four empty cubbies… So if you figure four cubbies of fabric a year for quilts, I’m still set for about  ten years! 

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I also keep an area to display small quilts that are inspirations to me. My Studio is my happy place, of course, so it must be filled with inspiration!

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I’m always working on new various large star variation quilts. The LeMoyne Star class is my favorite to teach, the possibilities are just endless! It is a great design to play, manipulate, and be intuitive with!  My newest one was made out of Double Knit Polyester! haha! Bring old quilt tops that you haven’t finished, or leftover blocks to class, Let’s Play and turn them into new beautiful Star quilts!

Savor the Stitches with Sue Spargo

“The class was beyond my expectations, not only is Sue a fabulous teacher, the 5 days really gave us time to learn many more than the usual one or two day workshop. The classroom was perfect! As a vegetarian, I thought the meals were A+” – Dorie J. “The class was above and beyond my expectations. A stellar teacher!!” – Phyllis N. The wonderfully creative Sue Spargo taught a workshop for us for the first time this past November. What a fun class! We can’t wait to have her back in 2017. IMG 1227
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IMG 1232 This is Sue Spargo’s latest book, Stitches to Savor. IMG 1233
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Marge Tucker Interview: Improvising Lush, Pieced Designs in Art Quilts

Marge Tucker is an award-winning quilt designer and quilting instructor. An eclectic quilter, she started with traditional pieced quilts, dabbled in applique and is now enjoying the liberated style of piecing as taught by Gwen Marston.


Marge has embraced and focused on this style of abstract quilting and design for the past several years. Her quilts are in private collections in Canada and the United States.


Marge will teach a three day Workshop at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops, March 19 to 23, 2016. Urban Cabin + Going in Circles. This workshop covers two techniques: improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (Urban Cabin) and improvisationally pieced curves and circles (Going In Circles).


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching quilting for eight years, two years I was just teaching part-time as I was also working at the quilt store in which I was teaching.  The remaining six years I have been teaching quilting full-time.  I got started teaching because someone in the quilt store said to me “You should teach a class”.  And I thought “Why not?”  It was a natural progression from helping customers in the store and doing mini-tutorials to teaching classes.

Blue Circles

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is sharing my passion for quilting and hoping to instill some of my enthusiasm in the students.  I love having students leaving the class/workshop so excited about what they learned that they go home and send me a photo in a couple days of their finished quilts. How great is that?


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Having dedicated time to immerse yourself in learning is like nothing else, especially having multiple days where the only thing you are responsible for is learning and creating. 


Being surrounded by like-minded people adds so much to the workshop.  I find that students inspire each other (and myself!) with the work that they are creating.  I call it cross-pollination.  One student will try something new and share it with the group and they can use however they see fit.  I often am thinking “Now why didn’t I think of that?


Quilters are known for being one of the friendliest groups of people.  If you come by yourself or with a friend, you will leave with many new “fiber friends”.


I foster a very supportive and encouraging environment.   One student recently said “This workshop is so Zen!  I haven’t been this relaxed in ages.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am continuing my exploration of the “Going In Circles” technique of curved improvisationally pieced circles.

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Close up Pearls 1

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

I do not currently have any work being exhibited.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

No, unfortunately, art quilts are still under-represented in galleries.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Not at this time.


What is your favorite art quote?

“Great art deals with simple subjects freshly.”  Alfred North Whitehead


Describe your studio.

A hot mess.  Maybe a better term would be “actively in use”.  I’m in my studio everyday and enjoy the light-filled space.  It could be a little bigger, but having a dedicated studio space in my house is wonderful.  It’s also nice to be able to lean to the right every once in a while as I sew to catch a glimpse of the ocean!

Views from Studio




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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products

1) My sewing machines, I use a Singer Featherweight and “Bertha” my Bernina sewing machine

2) Fabric!!

3) Rotary Cutter for cutting fabric

4) A design wall

5) My idea journal and colored pencils — to capture design ideas

Grace Errea: Amazing Quilts: No Sewing, No Drawing!

Right at the beginning of our 2016 calendar, fiber artist, designer, quilter and author Grace Errea, will teach her techniques From Inspiration to Amazing Quilt Top at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops. This is a three-day class, March 30 to April 3 – fun, inspiring, and NO SEW!


Grace is a self-taught artist and her work illustrates and has been recognized for exceptional primary use of values and secondary use of color. Her focus on value makes it easy for her and her students to create inspiring botanicals, landscape scenes and portraits, in any color.


Grace recently shared with us her philosophy on teaching, and art.

Errea Heron

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

It seems like I have been teaching my entire adult working life. My first job, albeit not in textiles or quilting was teaching. I taught programming at IBM where I worked.  Later I spent many years in the management ranks but when you think about it, management is also teaching and coaching.

I started teaching quilting around 2003 on a part time basis.  Once I retired in 2005 I taught quilting and textile art, first in quilt shops, and later and now at Quilt Guilds, Seminars, and Retreats.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Sharing what I know and am passionate about.  Above all I love seeing students suddenly “GET IT!”  Teaching and being out with students is a means of meeting new people with similar interests, helping them solve textile challenges, and it is also a great way to learn from students some of what they know.


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

There are so many of us (and I started as one) who do not know how to draw, have no time to learn, or no patience.  In this workshop one of the things that attendees will learn is how to take a favorite photo and with simple tracing, develop a winning pattern to create an amazing quilt. 

Errea Cats

When looking at their photo students will develop an awareness of shapes and how to find them.  Shapes can be selected by recognizing their value (light and dark).  In this class students will learn my amazing 8-Value Scale which will enable them not only to identify the shapes in the composition but also value-lize them.  This will then allow them to select the fabric in any color rather than having to follow the photo.

Errea Swans


Finally, once the pattern is created and they start the construction of their art piece students in this class will learn an amazing and revolutionary new machine appliqué technique that I developed and call “Heat-Set”.  This technique is extremely easy to do, allows total flexibility and control while working with it, the product used stops any fraying that you may have with raw-edge appliqué but the end result still feels like soft and manageable fabric.  This technique is so easy and fast, it takes the drudgery from appliqué and will allow you to focus on the creativity of the art rather than in the method.


Errea Landscape


What are you currently working on in your own art?

So many things, so little time to do them all!  Inspiration is all around me so I continue to focus on Fauna and Flora quilts depicting nature to encourage the viewers to see the beauty in it.  


Errea Poinsetta Macow



I am experimenting with new ways of doing things, new techniques and easier, more creative ways to do textiles.   I am now beginning to develop my “Negative Appliqué”, not that is a new technique but I am looking to make it easier to do.


Errea Mask Vase

Pieced method used in both my “Women of Color” and my “Bleeding Heart” quilts shown on the Hudson River Valley Art website. Now I am working on a “Randomly Appliqué” background as seen in my “Columbine “ quilt below.

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Errea Stork


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

At this moment I have some of my work exhibited at the Road to California Quilt Show, the Wisconsin Museum of Fiber Arts, a traveling exhibit of “Seasonal Quilts” by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates).


For the latter exhibit I was assigned “SPRING” as my season.  “Family is Coming” shown on the left, was my interpretation of Spring where I live.  But I so enjoyed the-not-so-California dogwood flowers that I remember from New York when I lived there.


Is your work represented in galleries?

No, I sell my pieces directly to buyers or I do commissions for sale.  Here is Jack, one of my commissions.

Errea Ginger Cats


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I sell my pieces directly from my online website, Quilt Shows where I participate or by commission work.


 What is your favorite art quote?


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao-Tzu

Describe your studio.

One of my workspaces is a small 10ft x 12 ft bedroom.  I converted it into my studio.  By the time I put my sewing machine table, my worktable  (large conference room wooden table), ironing station, and all the storage I need for my fabrics, there is really not much room for anything else.

The closet has all my books and my fabrics and it is the whole width of the room.  The doors to the closet are mirrors so; I placed my design wall opposite it.  This way when I am working, I can inspect the growing piece via its reflection in the mirrors.  It is amazing how many little problems can be easily found this way instead of looking at it straight on.

My second workspace is a bedroom that I took over after my younger daughter moved out on her own.  I use it for my computer work both in the communication and business aspect as well as my computer tools that I use to create my patterns.

Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.


1. Freezer paper

2. My “Bernina” sewing machine.  I have two; one for back-up or to use while the other one is being serviced

3. The “Heat-Set” Product I use

4. My Apple desktop and iPad

5. Best quality fabrics.  My favorite is Hoffman of California Batiks and hand dyes


Sue Rasmussen on art quilts, and her love of teaching

Both highly technically accomplished and artistically talented, popular and award-winning art quilter Sue Rasmussen recently shared with us some thoughts on her art, and teaching.


Sue returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops this fall, to teach a Workshop November 1 to 7, 2015: Landscapes: Designing and Piecing Pictorial Quilts.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching for over 25 years, initially teaching machine quilting, then Landscapes and Pictorial quilts. A friend of mine “stole” one of my Machine Quilting white-on-white quilts unbeknownst to me and entered it into the California State Fair. I won first place and Best of Show. Soon after word got out, I was asked to teach at the local shops.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Sharing my techniques, piecing tricks, and extensive textiles knowledge with my students and friends. But more than that, I love meeting people and influencing or affecting their quilts and the way they approach quilting.


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What would you tell your prospective students are the three best reasons for taking a workshop? 

  1. You will learn a new technique and all the simple tricks that I have developed to make this process successful, enjoyable and transferable to all your quilting projects. So many quilters have pictures of loved ones(whether furry or two legged) or a special place that they want to remember and memorialize in a quilt, and I can share how easy and simple it is to make a pattern, create the design elements, and choose fabrics for that project.
  2. You WILL learn more in this workshop about basics in quilting than you ever expected or ever had before. (I am told this repeatedly by my students every time I teach, because I share the ‘whys and whats’ about quilt topics that most teachers don’t know). I have two degrees in Textile Science, and I share why things occur and how to make sure that things DON’T occur, such as shrinkage, bleeding, crocking etc., just to name three that we constantly battle. Understanding the importance of warp and weft in our quilts and how the right needle makes ALL the difference in your stitch and thread ease-ability.
  3. This is a fun, humorous and relaxed class, making you laugh and enjoy the process of learning a new technique. I share many of my silly stories of my quilts which will cause you to really belly laugh.

What are you currently working on in your own art? 

Oh my, so many things. I continue to create ‘Pieced Pictorial Quilts’, and am now working on two Toucans with totally different personalities. They just need to get sewn together and quilted. (Pictures below) In addition to those two quilts, I am developing some new patterns to teach at Houston next year, and a small quilt using the new HIGHLIGHTS threads developed by YLI Corp. I have made a collage piece for the SAQA Oasis challenge too. I literally have 8 things in progress at the moment.



Fruit Loopy Toucan

Where is your art currently being exhibited? 
Route 66 Traveling Exhibition, Dragonfly Fabrics Collection, Markham Ranch Art Collection.

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

Several of my pieces have been in galleries, and I think the art quilts that are faced do better than art quilts with traditional borders on them. Viewers seem to think ‘quilt’ if there are traditional borders on the art quilt.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery? 

No, I sell my pieces directly to buyers, or direct consignments.


What is your favorite art quote?

“Art does not lie in beds ready made for it

It runs away when its name is called

It wants to be incognito

Its best moments are when it forgets what it’s called.” Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet


Describe your studio.

Up until three months ago, I was sprawled out between three rooms and several closets. Now I have a wonderful, light filled, free standing, large studio. I designed the entire building on my iPad, down to the placement of each electrical outlet, window, 5 design walls, and the angle of the building to capture the best light. I designed specific furniture for my particular needs, for example: an electrical 4’ x 8’ table that raises and lowers from 23” to 52”. I can design, work, sew, press or baste on this table.

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 Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Bernina sewing machines; good quality threads [Aurifil, YLI corp.]; Bohin products-scissors, pins, machine needles; White Chalk mechanical pencils (Bohin, Sew Line, or Fons & Porter); Universal Thread Holder; The “Elfa storage system” from the Container Store.

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An Interview with Sue Spargo, Quilt Artist and Instructor

Sue Spargo was born in Zambia, and later lived in England. The stark contrasts between the arid beige-browns of the African bushveld and the lush greens of the rolling hills of Southern England has been the inspiration for many of her designs, and continue to be a vast source of ideas.


In 1989 Sue moved to the United States. She now teaches workshops around the US, as well as internationally. We are thrilled that Sue Spargo will return to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops this year, teaching a five day Workshop, Contemporary Folk Art: Travel Journals from November 8 to 14, 2015. This very popular 2015 Workshop is already Wait List only, but not to worry, Sue will return to teach another Workshop for us November 5 to 11, 2017.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching for 20 years. I have 4 children and when they were young, sharing my love of quilting was a way for me to meet new people and be able to have a little creative time. I started to teach from home first, then at a local quilt store.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

Sharing my passion for folk-art and embellishment and helping develop the creative path of each of my students through design, color and thread.


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What would you tell your prospective students are the best reasons for taking a workshop?

There are no rules in my classes. 


My classes are creative.


We have a lot of fun working with color and texture and learn many creative techniques. I encourage my students to look at appliqué in a different way by incorporating embroidery stitches using textural thread to give each element in their quilt a textural character of its own.


There is always a lovely tone in my classroom which is due to the satisfaction of doing handwork. There is much sharing between students, and each student gets a great deal of individual, hands-on creative time from me.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am always experimenting with new techniques to incorporate in my quilts. Wool is an amazing medium to work with; I have found the possibilities are endless.


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Last year 30 pieces of my work were exhibited at the La Conner Museum in WA. Currently, they are in my suitcase to share with my students.


Is your work represented in galleries?

No. I do not sell my work – I use them as inspiration for my students.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

No. Each of my quilts are very personal and have a story. I make them as samples for my books, and for teaching purposes. I hope these will be treasured by my children one day.


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What is your favorite art quote?

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” ? Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso: Metamorphoses of the Human Form: Graphic Works, 1895-1972



Describe your studio.

As I am writing this we are moving my business into a much larger newly designed space where I will have a lovely new studio and well-equipped dye room. We will have the web business here, as well as a space to teach classes in the future.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Freezer paper

Wool punches

Genziana wool thread

Milliners Needles in all sizes

Embellishment Fibers

Award-winning Art Quilter and Instructor, Gloria Loughman

Awarding winning art quilter Gloria Loughman is a popular teacher from Victoria, Australia. She is the author of Luminous Landscapes and Quilted Symphony. Gloria returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops October 25 to 31, 2015 to teach an innovative new Fiber Arts class, “Fabulous Facades”.


Opera House


How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

Seems like I have always been a teacher. I used to be a Special Ed teacher in the secondary setting for many years. I have been teaching quilting classes for almost 20 years.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love teaching. I love the anticipation and excitement of the students before a class begins. I love the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction as students realise they can achieve wonderful results when tasks are broken down to manageable steps.

What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am currently working on a series of quilts based on architecture. Taking an existing building and playing with the colours and textures to produce an image that is original and eye-catching. I am also still exploring landscapes with some degree of abstraction.




Where is your art currently being exhibited?

In a couple of months I have an exhibition of my recent work at the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham in the UK. This is indeed an honour and privilege to be invited to have a gallery at this event.




Describe your studio.

About 6 years ago, we built a new house near the beach. I thought I might teach some classes at home so the studio was designed to be large enough to accommodate a class. When we moved in, I spread out and now have no thoughts of teaching at home. My husband says our new home is actually a studio with a small house attached. 


It is wonderful. I have a wet area for dyeing, a cosy area for reading, a number of large surfaces for cutting and designing, a large design wall, and a bathroom. The studio doubles as a dormitory for lots of grandchildren when they all decide to visit at the same time.

An Interview with Cynthia England, award-winning quilt Designer and Instructor

Cynthia England’s quilts have been honored with many awards, including two Best of Shows at the prestigious International Quilt Association. Her quilt, Piece and Quiet, was distinguished as one of the Hundred Best Quilts of the 20th Century.


We are pleased to welcome Cynthia in 2015 as one of our most anticipated Fiber Art Workshop instructors. Her 3 day Workshop, Picture Piecing: Creating Realistic Pieced Pictures will be held December 3 – 6, 2015.


How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching quilting for 21 years specializing in a technique I developed, “Picture Piecing”. I made a quilt “Piece and Quiet” that won Best of Show at the International Quilt Association. Everyone wanted to know how I made it. One teaching job led to another, to another. I have been very lucky to teach in wonderful places.

Through tuscany

What is your favorite part about teaching?

When the “light goes on” and you can see that the student gets it! I love sharing that any drawing can be created into a fiber work of art. 

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What would you tell your prospective students are the best reasons for taking a workshop?

Take something you don’t know how to do.

Take something that you can build on. In other words, you can use in other aspects of quilting, not that one project.

In the classes I have taken there are things that you take away that you hadn’t planned on. One or two little tips that save a lot of time.

In design classes especially, you learn from what the other students bring in and the ways to handle those issues.

Photo 2

What are you currently working on in your own art?

Right now I am trying out patterns for Fall Market. Currently, I am working on a small mountain landscape of a road going off in a distance, a Valentine quilt and a southwest Kokopelli figure.

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Com into the light

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Two quilts “One Fine Day” and “Open Season” just returned from being away for two years on travel exhibit with the Texas Quilt Museum.

In June two quilts (“Piece and Quiet” and “Come Into the Light”) will be exhibited at the Brigham City Museums 2015 International Quilt Invitational Exhibit.


What is your favorite art quote?

Use your brain.


Describe your studio.

Wonderful! Looks out onto a pond and beyond that there is a creek which attracts wildlife. Great storage for fabric. I have everything a quilter would want. Only problem is I travel often and don’t get to sew nearly as much as I would like.


Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Purple Pair of Karen K. Buckley’s scissors

45 degree triangle

A wafer thin lightbox

A travel iron without holes that gets hot and does not shut off

A copy machine that enlarges and reduces


Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:




Sue Benner discusses creating superb quilts, and teaching.


An Interview with Elizabeth Barton, Art Quilt Designer and Instructor


An Interview with Tony van Hasselt, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Lorenzo Chavez: Prominent Landscape Painter in Pastels and Oils


An Interview with Leah Lopez, Award-Winning Artist and Instructor


An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist


An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more


An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.


Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor


Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching


An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter


An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist


An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt


Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing

Sue Benner discusses creating superb quilts, and teaching.

One of our most popular Fiber Arts Instructors, Sue Benner, will be at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops to teach a five day class, Construction/Abstraction, August 23 to 29, 2015.

This 2015 Workshop is fully enrolled / Wait List only, but Sue will return in the Autumn of 2017. Like so many of you, we can’t wait!

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

Although I taught occasionally as a young artist, I didn’t begin to teach in earnest until after starting my family.  After my first son was born, Nancy Crow and Linda Fowler asked me to teach at the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium (QSDS) in 1992.  After my second son was born, I taught again at QSDS in 1996 and have been teaching steadily at various conferences and venues ever since.


Actually, I have recently reduced my teaching schedule to make more time for studio work.  Hudson Valley is a venue that is still on my list for good reason!


What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching comes when my students dare to take risks, and when they have a sense of astonishment about their own work.  I love it when someone makes a leap in the work and says, “I didn’t know I could do that!” or, “I didn’t know I had it in me!”


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Taking a workshop at Hudson Valley Art Workshops has even more perks.

• Having 5 days to leave your day to day life behind to spend in concentration and intensity with your art;

• Meeting other artistic people with whom to share ideas, get feedback about your work, and have fun in the process;

• Finding how your quilts relate to others and having the mental space to reframe your work.

Of course this is on top of learning new skills and techniques and all the other perks of staying at the Greenville Arms Inn.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am currently preparing for a solo show at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas (April 2-June 28, 2015).  The title of the show is “Circling the Square” in which I explore expanding the tradition of the grid as a framework for the art quilt  through the use of color, texture, and shape to add dimension and a new sense of space to the art quilt.


SueBenner 2015 a

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

In addition to the show at the Texas Quilt Museum, I will have work at the Bilston Craft Gallery in Bilston, West Midlands, in the United Kingdom (May 9 – July 4, 2015), and at the Georgetown Art Center in Georgetown, TX (March 2015).

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN commissioned 3 pieces of my work in 2013 and another even larger work (about 104” wide) that I completed in January 2015. 

Last year I curated a show at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art called “Quilts: The New Geometry” that included two of my works as well as quilts by nine other artists.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?  

Yes, I am represented by several galleries in the United States.

My advice would be to be prolific, make a lot of work.  Develop your ideas and work in a series—or several.  Get high quality professional photographs made of your work. Join professional organizations.  Keep detailed records of your work, shows, and build your resume.  Enter contests and calls for entry.  Visit galleries where you want to be shown.  Get to know the gallery director; be visible.


Here is the big thing: Show your work outside your medium, not just in quilt shows.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I do not sell work online in my own website (, but prospective buyers are able to contact me on it.  I also am part of a selected group of quilt artists called Through Our Hands ( out of the United Kingdom that actively promotes, displays, and features my work in their website and online magazine.


SueBenner 2015 b

What is your favorite art quote?  I have many, but one that seems particularly poignant right now is from artist and illustrator, Maira Kalman from the commencement address she delivered to the class of 2013.  (My older son, Kellan Jett graduated from RISD that year as an illustration major.)

“Caring passionately about your work will make you happy,” Kalman said, and later closed with this admonition: “Go forth with kindness, meanness, courage, fear, compassion. Go forth with knowing and having no idea – and knowing that having no idea is completely acceptable and real. Commence with confusion. Commence with a sense of humor. Walk, breathe, retreat. Commence with an idea… It’ll be amazing to see what you do.”


Describe your studio.

My studio is located right behind my house and my short commute makes going to work every day very convenient.  The main room of the studio is about 22’x45’ with a garden shed on one end and a bathroom and utility/dye room on the other.  One long side of the studio serves as my design and photography wall, and the other long side is a bank of bookshelf-lined windows that allow for lots storage and natural light.  On one end is the “office,” the sewing machines are in the middle, and the design/painting/dyeing space is adjacent to the utility room.  I have a great table (15’ long) and some open floor space that gets used for dyeing and painting or strewing fabric about. 

My studio is in a state of constant flux and sometimes chaos.  It is not a fancy, cute, or decorated space (maybe someday…), but it a great place to work.

My studio assistant is Judy Sullivan, and she helps to keep everything together!


Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:

An Interview with Elizabeth Barton, Art Quilt Designer and Instructor


An Interview with Tony van Hasselt, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Lorenzo Chavez: Prominent Landscape Painter in Pastels and Oils


An Interview with Leah Lopez, Award-Winning Artist and Instructor


An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist


An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more


An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.


Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor


Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching


An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter


An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist


An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt


Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing



An Interview with Elizabeth Barton, Art Quilt Designer and Instructor

Elizabeth Barton creates exciting contemporary art quilts, using abstract art principles for inspiration. She returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops to teach a five day class, Abstract Art for Quiltmakers, August 16 to 22, 2015.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

Since 1986…started because I wanted to learn more myself and teaching is a very good way to do that!


What is your favorite part about teaching?

It’s extremely rewarding when somebody has been stuck at a certain stage sometimes for years and suddenly you can help them see the way through!

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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Useful information that you can take home and apply to many different quilts.

Individual personal critique – immediate feedback.

The shared enthusiasm of working alongside kindred spirits.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I’m revisiting some older ideas with new subjects.


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

A couple of galleries in the South East, the touring Quilt National 2013, Atlanta airport: Gate 27 Concourse E.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

That they look for a gallery that specializes in similar work.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

From my website: and from my blog: Not from any of the commercial online galleries – I’ve heard very mixed reports.


What is your favorite art quote?

Sergei Eisenstein the great Russian filmmaker said: “Careful planning and brilliant improvisation.”


Describe your studio.

I have different rooms for different activities. A large walk out basement with sinks etc., and large print tables for dyeing and printing. A command center with design wall, computer and sewing machine. And an art library and sketching area.


Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Pencil and paper, rotary cutter, T-square, protractor, camera, computer, sewing machine, and unlimited cups of tea!



Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:


An Interview with Tony van Hasselt, Watercolor Artist

An interview with Lorenzo Chavez: Prominent Landscape Painter in Pastels and Oils

An Interview with Leah Lopez, Award-Winning Artist and Instructor

An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist

An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more

An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.

Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor

Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching

An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt

Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing


An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.

Judy Coates Perez is an International award-winning mixed media textile artist, traveling globally to teach painting and mixed media techniques on fabric. Her three-day Workshop, Acrylic Inks on Fabrics, will be held at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops April 9 to 12, 2015.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

Before I began teaching painting about 7 years ago, I home-schooled my kids who are now 21 and 24 years old. Having kids with very different learning styles, I learned a lot about teaching and that my main goal was to facilitate the process of learning by helping my children learn how to learn. 


I often see my role as an instructor is to be a guide for creativity, by teaching techniques that will help others create the work they visualize in their head, because they have not yet gained the skills to transfer those ideas to fabric on their own.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love it when students get excited about their work, when they surprise themselves with what they’ve accomplished.


I am a very relaxed teacher, and want students to also feel comfortable and enjoy the process, otherwise what’s the point? It’s about doing what you love, because when you love it, you’ll do it a lot, and when you do it a lot you will improve. The important thing to remember is, you won’t master a new technique in a day, but you might be surprised at just how much you can achieve.


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Having someone to guide you and answer questions as they come up when trying something new, or find out where the problems lie when you haven’t been successful with a technique on your own. 


Trying new things with others can also be a wonderful source of encouragement when you’re feeling out of your element.


Working within a group is a great opportunity to see how others approach the same task, learn from one another’s successes and mistakes, which can often lead to new ideas.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I have been taking mixed media samples left over from one of my classes, cutting them up and sewing them together to use as a base fabric to paint imagery on top of. 


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My house, lol. I am not the best about regularly entering exhibits. 


Is your work represented in galleries?

I haven’t pursued working with galleries, my focus for the last several years has been on teaching.




What is your favorite art quote?

I love this quote by writer Neil Gaiman, it applies to every creative pursuit:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”


Describe your studio.

It’s a good sized room off the back of the house with a 4’ x 8’ table in the center that my 25 year old Pfaff sits in. My daughter usually sews on my Bernina 1630. I have old school lockers that I keep my batting and bulky supplies in, flat files from my days as a graphic designer, several large shelving units, and cupboards, an old dresser to hold my hand dyed fabric and a few small filing cabinets.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Paint: acrylic inks and Setacolor textile paints

High thread count white cotton fabric

A mechanical pencil


A camera (usually my phone now)


Some of our recent Instructor interviews:

Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor

Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching

An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt

Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

Hollis Chatelain’s popular workshop, Dye-Paint Your Images & Bring Them to Life with Quilting, teaches innovative ways to combine painting and Fiber Arts techniques for a superb hybrid of textured and layered colors and images. This Workshop runs from April 19 to 25, 2015 at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops.


Hollis recently spent some time giving us some intriguing background information on her teaching and creative process.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching? I have been teaching since the 80’s (in Switzerland). I started teaching patchwork in Africa in the 90’s because some of my friends were interested in learning how to make quilts and found that I really liked it.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Meeting the students and seeing their creativity and confidence blossom.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop? 1. To learn something new and maybe fall in love with what you learned. 2. To broaden your horizons and challenge yourself. 3. To increase your knowledge in the basics of art which will increase your confidence and encourage you to take risks.

What are you currently working on in your own art? I am working on a blue jean piece called “Swamp Women” which is partially abstract.

Where is your art currently being exhibited? A new show is just about to open at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego. The show is called “Expressions in Equality” and it is an invitational show. I have a piece in that show called “Girls Are Strong” and it is about the Equal Rights Amendment. The show runs from January 17th, 2015 – April 4th, 2015.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery? My personal

What is your favorite art quote? It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and never have it than have an opportunity and not be prepared.

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Describe your studio. I have a 2 room studio that is on two levels. There are glass pocket doors and three stairs separating the rooms. I paint in the upper studio and quilt in the lower studio. There are many plants in my studio because I love plants. It is a warm inviting place and I love it!

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products. My Bernina 1230, my 800+ colors of thread, my Procion dyes, my paintbrushes, my Prismacolor pencils.

An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt

Natalya Aikens’ innovative mixed media class will kick off our 2015 Fiber Arts season at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops. Her Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt Workshop is March 22 to 28, 2015.

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching? I have been officially teaching since 2009. I got started because a very insightful soul by the name of Pokey Bolton, the founder of Quilting Arts Magazine, thought I had something to teach and asked me do a workshop DVD. Previously I had written several articles for her magazine and had gotten a taste for how it feels to show others how to do something creative.

What is your favorite part about teaching? My favorite part of teaching is the interaction with the students. I love seeing the “aha!” lightbulb going off in their eyes when they have grasped a concept or seen a new way to make their art. I also love the fact that I learn something from my students each time. It’s maybe something new I figure out while trying to help them solve an issue, or they figure out something themselves and share it with me and I had never thought of approaching the issue that way. It’s always a win/win when teaching or learning.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop? The number one best reason of course is learning something new! Especially if it is out of your comfort zone.

The second reason is the interaction with the other students. You always learn from each other as well as from the instructor.  

And number three is the creative atmosphere of the workshop. When there is so much creative energy around you, you cannot help but feel inspired and energized for your own work.


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What are you currently working on in your own art? For the past year I have been concentrating on taming a new found material for me. I am working almost exclusively with recyclable plastics (i.e. plastic shopping bags, plastic packaging material). I love working with the colors available and most of all I am enjoying the challenge of making trash look like treasure!

I am also focusing on my home portraits. I love the challenge of working with materials provided to me by the owner of the home. People really get a kick from seeing their ephemera transformed into their home’s portrait and I am enjoying their reactions.

Where is your art currently being exhibited? My piece titled The City is touring with Quilt National 2013. There are a few exhibits planned for 2015, but I cannot share the details yet.

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Do you sell your work in any online gallery? I sell my small affordable and experimental artwork in my Etsy shop. My larger pieces are sold through the Artful Home online gallery.

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What is your favorite art quote?

From Twyla Tharp’s Creative Habit: The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more. And this routine is available to everyone… Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits.

I try to behave as though this is my mantra….

Describe your studio. My studio is a converted one car garage in the basement of our home. When we added a garage onto a different side of our home, we closed up the original, put in windows and made it my studio. It’s cozy with plenty of light, inspiration of the walls and a large art book collection. I have fabric and supply storage off to the side of it.

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Three Berninas keep me busy stitching: my workhorse of a home machine that’s close to 30 years old, an industrial one that I indulged in about 10 years ago, and a serger which is used mostly for my costume work. I have a large folding work table on wheels, and one of the walls is my design wall. Even though I seem to have plenty of space I am known to occasionally take over the dining room table when things get busy….

Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products. 1. My grandmother’s thimble. 2. Matte medium. 3. My 30 year old Bernina. 4. My camera. 5. My Epson printer.

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Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing

Ruth Powers Interview

Ruth Powers will be one of the first Fiber Arts Instructors to teach in the 2015 season at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Her Workshop, Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing, will be held April 12 to 18, 2015.

Ruth recently shared with us some insights on her work and teaching.

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I’ve been teaching over 20 years; it started as a requirement of my job at a quilt shop, grew to promote my pattern company INNOVATIONS, and has evolved into a passion for sharing what I now love – creating one-of-a-kind pieced pictorial quilted wall hangings.


“Splash” 40 x 40” 2014

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Favorite parts of teaching are traveling to new places, meeting new friends and sharing this adventure of creating unique works of art. It is so fun and rewarding for me to watch as students realize that they can indeed do this, to help them to make their vision materialize and give them the foundation to pursue a satisfying new direction in their work.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

It’s been said before, but one of the best reasons I can think of to take a workshop is to set aside your everyday life and embrace a week of exploring exciting new ideas with like minded individuals. To get away from the day to day demands and just pamper yourself, and where better to do that than at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. The food alone will be worth the trip!

What are you currently working on in your own art?

With the holidays just past and a new year beginning I am just starting a new project. The sketch is completed, the fabrics are being selected and I am excited to be planning this new landscape. The anticipation is building and I can’t wait to start sewing! It will be finished in plenty of time to bring it to the workshop in April.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My work can be seen at most major quilt shows and I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Fairfield Master Award For Contemporary Artistry at the Houston IQF in 2012 for “Prairie Fire”.


“Prairie Fire” 70.5 x 26” 2011 (Sold)

Is your work represented in galleries?

Currently “December Dawn” is touring with SAQA’s Seasonal Palette exhibit, their first exhibit to show in four different continents! You can see “December Dawn” on the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts web site.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

My work is available for sale on my website, the SAQA website,, locally at The Topeka Art Guild Gallery and at some of the venues as it travels and is being shown.



“Konza Prairie Spring” 53.5 X 24” 2013 (Sold)

What is your favorite quote?

I have two favorites – both reflect my workshop psychology:

“If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun!” – Katherine Hepburn

“The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.” — Dolly Parton

Describe your studio.

My studio is my dream space; a 24 x 26’ addition to our home built to house my pattern business and office area as well as the sewing and design space with fabric storage and design wall. Bookcases that hold the fabric stash divide the two areas.


My cutting table is an old oak drafting table with deep drawers underneath for storing supplies and pattern originals. It is the perfect height for rotary cutting.


We furnished the space with antique finds, mostly oak, and kept the walls white to allow the colors of the quilts to dominate. The 8 x 8’ gray design wall is opposite my sewing machine so I can monitor my progress. There is also a seating area with books and TV.


Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Lots of fabric to choose from, both commercially printed and batiks as well as hand dyes.

Freezer Paper.

Rotary cutter.

Design Wall.

Sewing Machine.

Driven to Abstraction with Sue Benner

The always fun and inspiring Sue Benner was here last week teaching her “Driven to Abstraction” workshop. This was a very productive class that really threw themselves into all the daily design exercises presented by Sue.

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Here is the entire happy crew!

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The last night of the workshop was Halloween, so we invited the class to join in with costumes and a number of them really had some great looks, especially JoLee Tarbell. Don’t you just love that 10′ feather boa and striped stockings!

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The group gathered in the front parlor before dinner, snapping photos of everyone who appeared in costume.

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Even Chef Mark and Kadi, one of our servers, joined in the fun. How often do you get to say your dinner was made by a wizard and served by Pippi Longstocking?!

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The cut-leave maple in back of the Main Inn was in full glowing Fall color during the class.

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If you missed this class, Sue Benner will be back again in 2015 teaching “Construction / Abstraction.”

Strip Therapy with Rayna Gillman

Rayna Gillman asked “Has your creative muse taken a vacation?” and a fun-seek group of women responded! They spent three glorious days slicing, dicing, and combining strips, squares and rectangles in new ways without a plan. I don’t know that these women’s muse had really “taken a vacation” because they seem to have plenty of creativity. I think they just liked the idea of “new ways to create without a plan!”

Mary Beth said, “This was my first quilting experience and I was delighted! Rayna allowed me to experiment, yet offered valuable instruction with many options. She was readily available to assist me in design, composition decisions. I thoroughly enjoyed working in an environment surrounded by superb art, from the quilts on our bed to the dining room area. We were treated to all sort of art treasures.

These photos show just a glimpse of the wonderful things created in this workshop. The three days seemed to speed by.

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Seriously Super Series with Katie Pasquini Masopust

Working in a Series was the challenge for the week in this fun class taught by Katie Pasquini Masopust. Everyone was told to bring an existing piece to be the start of their series. Then from that, the goal was to create several other pieces to add to the series. On the first night quite a few people expresses doubts about being able to create a new piece every day, but you’ll see by the photos, that they did!

It was great fun to watch as each person’s series grew to cover their design walls. There was an exciting variety of work in this class.

Below are photos taken over several days when I had the chance to ramble through the studio. Katie also posted daily photos of the series as they developed on her FaceBook page.

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When she was not doing presentations, leading discussions on design, or working one-on-one with each of the students, Katie worked on her own series based on an abstract still life of flowers in a vase. These were composed of hand-painted canvases that were cut into pieces and then reassembled into the still life. Katie teaches this technique in her Stitched Paintings class.

The students in this class were so taken with the stitched paintings, that they begged Katie and us to schedule this class in 2015, even though Katie is already scheduled to teach another class. Since we happened to have just one spot left in the 2015 schedule, Katie agreed to do it! Some of the students have already signed up. The Stitched Paintings class will be December 6 – 12, 2015 and the Artful Log Cabin class, that was already scheduled, will be June 7 – 13, 2015. Two opportunities to work with an inspiring artist and teacher!

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An Interview with Laura Wasilowski

Wasilowski laura lg4Laura Wasilowski is both a contemporary quilt maker and creator of hand-dyed fabrics and threads. I have long been an admirer of the style, colors, and sense of whimsey of her award-winning pictorial work. The inspiration for her compositions come from stories of her life, family, and friends.

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Laura has an undergraduate degree in Costuming from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN and a Master of Art degree in Fiber from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

Laura constructs all her work with fused hand-dyed fabric. (Fusing is using an adhesive material on the back of the fabric, that is then set in place with the heat of an iron.) Back when the notion of fusing was new and not as common as it is today, Laura, along with her friend Melody Johnson, joined the imaginary school, The Chicago School of Fusing, founded by Robbi Eklow in 1997. Their purpose was to promote the use of fusing! They even created a school description and school song, which Laura is always happy to teach you. When you complete a workshop with Laura, you’ll also get a graduate certificate for the Chicago School of Fusing!

Beside being an artist, teacher, and lecturer, Laura is the owner of the dye shop, Artfabrik. She produces hand-dyed fabric and threads. She often has a booth at the major quilt shows, such as the International Quilt Festival, but you can shop directly on her website, too. She always brings a colorful array of her products with her to workshops.

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Laura had these responses to our interview questions:

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

A friend, head of a local arts center, suggested I teach a class on how to create a pattern and make a custom jacket. That was over 20 years ago. More jobs were acquired through other friends who saw the art quilts I was creating using my hand dyed fabrics. I’ve always been fortunate in my friendships.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

It always amazes me to see my students’ creativity bloom as they make their art work. There is a critical moment for each person when they discover the freedom and wonder of making art. And to share that wonder is a delight.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

You’ll learn new skills and have an opportunity to play with color, shape, and fabric. But most of all, you’ll experience the joy of creating art work that is truly original.

What are you currently working on in your own art?

Currently I’m making a set of small art quilts that will be joined together in a book format. It’s a project I’ve dreamed of making for a long time. Wish me luck!

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Artfabrik is part of the Masters 2 exhibit sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates and will be traveling to the many American Quilter’s Society shows in 2014.

I also have work in an number of other exhibits that you can learn about on my website.Wasilowski laura sm2014

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

As an Illinois Artisan, my work can be seen at the 3 Illinois Artisan Shops and Galleries in Illinois (Chicago, Whittington, Springfield). Check to see if your state has a program that will encourage the display and sales of your art. In Illinois there is a jury process for admission into the program.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, you can view small pieces for sale here: Small Art Portfolio and larger pieces here: Large Art Portfolio

What is your favorite art quote?

I have this on the bulletin board in my studio. It’s by Kurt Vonnegut: “Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.”

Describe your studio.

My studio is in the basement of our home and consists of 2 finished rooms.The first room is my dye studio and cluttered office. On the left you’ll see the computer, file cabinets, and stacks of paperwork. Boxes for fabric dyeing, shelves of dye powder, and thread drying from hangers on water pipes surround the washer, dryer, and double sink. It is also the family laundry room. My sewing studio has a design wall, 2 large tables for my sewing machines, 2 storage cabinets for finished quilts and a high table suitable for constructing art quilts that is covered in Teflon. Along with excellent lighting, the studios are connected with a hallway for storing the fabrics and threads I sell for Artfabrik.

Name five of your “can’t” do without tools/products.

  • an iron
  • sharp scissors
  • hand dyed fabric
  • embroidery thread
  • fusible web

Laura is teaching another workshop for us this Spring: April 3 – 6, 2014. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to spend 3 days with Laura, who takes the “work” out of workshop and turns it in to a fun-shop. You’ll learn a lot while having a blast!

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More Recent Instructor Interviews:

More From Katie Pasquini Masopust’s Class

Well, it was amazing how much was accomplished in Katie’s class because they seemed be having just one big on going party! They went out to lunch every other day and shopped — boy, did they shop! Katie always seems to find all the great shopping opportunities in Greenville!

But still, they worked hard in the studio! Here is an example of one of the student pieces in the works. Love the dot rings.


Here, Katie is showing examples of the free-motion quilting that she uses.


More work in the studio.


At the before dinner Happy Hour in the front parlor of the Main Inn.


Such a nice group. We were sad to see them leave. This is the nice card they gave to us and they also gave one to our friendly waitresses who served them all week long — keeping the wine glasses full!


If you missed this year’s class, don’t despair, Katie will be teaching again next year. March 23 – 29, 2014 are the dates and Working In a Series will be the subject, and we already have people signed up.

Paint, Fuse, Stitch with Susan Brubaker Knapp

It was the last, but certainly not the least workshop for us in 2012! Susan Brubaker Knapp, the extrordinary fiber artist who creates intricate wholecloth painted and thread sketched art and also fused and thread sketched art, was here for the week with an eager group of students.

On the first day, Susan immediate set the class to painting. None of the students had really done any painting before, so this was new, exciting, and a little intimidating — especially after seeing the incredible work of Susan’s that she had brought with her. But with Susan’s enthusiasm and confident guidance everyone was mixing their colors and painting.


Dalia choose a still life with citrus fruits.


Alison did an amazingly detailed job from a photo of orchids.


I choose a simple composition of emerging ferns. (Yes, as a rare treat, I got to participant in this workshop!)


Since the ferns were so simple, I finished in time to start another painted piece of a sheep.


Here is Alison’s whole cloth painting ready for thread sketching.


The next project was to create a fused art quilt, starting from a photograph.

Dalia’s husband is a doctor, so she choose to do a picture of a unique 3-headed stethoscope.


Nili is working on a larger version of the same composition as her painted piece, but this time boldly creating her own color scheme.


I am working from a photo of our Ridgeback, Bree.


Dinnertime was still filled with lively conversation and lots of laughs.


Mark, the chef, used this class to try out some new dishes for next year. One was this delicious chili con carne made with tender beef short ribs and topped with fresh avocado and cilantro. Everyone agreed that it was a winner.


Another “out of the park” home run, was the tiramisu. Between the groans of pleasure, everyone concurred that it was the best tiramisu they had ever had.


Back at the studio the next day, Dalia started adding painted details to her fused image.


Alison’s fused piece is from a photo of an area of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY, where she once worked as landscape assistant. She is doing a marvelous job creating the reflection of the structure and statue in the reflecting pool.


More progress on the image of Bree.


Then back to thread sketching on the final day. Here is my sheep with all his curls sketched on with thread.


Nili was the only one to completely finish a piece – painting, thread sketched, quilted and bound (with facing). Beautiful!


Here is Alison’s piece — looking really great.


All in all, a fabulous class, fabulous classmates, and fabulous instructor. I would highly recommend a class with Susan Brubaker Knapp and we’ll see about getting her back at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for a repeat performance in the future!

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Resists and Printmaking with Jane Davila

Jane Davila, a fiber and mixed-media artist, was here a week ago teaching a 3-day workshop on surface design for fiber artists. She is also the editor of Quilting Arts In Stitches and Quilting Arts Surface Explorations emagazines.

Jane came loaded with all sorts of paints, resists, and printmaking tools for the students to play with.


One afternoon was spent making prints with a variety of fruits and vegetables. My favorites were the ones made with an artichoke.


The rubber fish were also quite fun.


This is the portable printing press that Jane brought with her.


It was a fun and enthusiastic class — perfect for heading into our 2 weeks off from workshops. They left us smiling and looking forward to seeing them again.

We have just two more workshops for the year. The first one is a fusing workshop with Sue Benner, Dec. 2 – 8. If you are not already signed up for this one, you’ll have to wait until Sue returns to teach again for us in 2014 because the 2012 class is full.

The final workshop for the year is a 5-day workshop with Susan Brubaker Knapp – Dec. 9 – 15. Jane Davila gave a two thumbs up to Susan as an instructor and as a terribly fun person just to spend time with. Jane said that Susan has a great sense of humor and lots of great stories to tell while also being a very organized instructor.

Susan’s workshop is titled Paint, Fuse, Stitch!

You’ll learn how to:

  • Distill a photographic image into shapes for fused applique.
  • Create a pattern for fused applique
  • Transfer a design to fabric for painting.
  • Paint on fabric, including mixing and blending colors
  • Layer and fuse fabric pieces to build your piece
  • Add detail with thread sketchingFree-motion quilt your piece.

Here are some examples of Susan’s photos that she has turned in to painted, fused and stitched pieces of quilt art.


We’d love to have you join us for this fun workshop! Give us a call at toll-free at 888-665-0044 to sign up.

Nature – – Jane Sassaman Style

Jane Sassaman, fiber artist, author, fabric designer, and teacher extraordinaire, was here again teaching a workshop for us.

In this class Jane and her students examines a wide variety of artists interpretations of nature. Next the real fun began – they began to manipulate natural forms themselves. Through a series of exercises they experimented with abstraction and exaggeration to capture the essence and energy of each person’s favorite flora photo or drawing.

These photos were taken around the second or third day of the class. You can see how marvelous everyone is doing already.


Inspiration for a future work . . . ?? This is a speedwell plant located just outside the studio.


Jane will be back teaching with us in 2014!

Dye Painting on Fabric with Hollis Chatelain

Hollis Chatelain, one of the featured artists in the movie, “Stitched”, is here teaching a 5-day workshop on her process of using dye paints to paint on fabric.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to catch a revealing of the paintings created by the students in the workshop. Here is a sampling of the marvelous work that everyone is doing — and most people in the class have never done anything like this before!


Chicago School of Fusing – New York Branch

We were finally able to get Laura Wasilowski, of and Chicago School of Fusing fame, to come to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach a workshop.


She came to teach her 3-day workshop, Couching Thread, Hidden Needle! She was spreading the joy of taking your fused quilts from flat to fabulous with hand embroidery. is Laura’s hand-dyed fabrics and threads company and she brought a tempting array for the students to purchase.


The first day of the class was spend on Fusing Basics and creating fabulous fun fused floral fancies for later embellishing with stitching. Here are several examples.


The second day the embroidery threads came out and Laura showed how to use various stitch patterns to embellish and enhance the fused quilts design. She also demonstrated other useful ways to use the colorful threads!


Here are some shots of the student’s work with some very creative use of hand stitching.


The next workshop coming up is with Esterita Austin on April 12 – 15. A 3-day workshop on working with sheer fabrics and mono printing for still life or portraits. Always a wonderful workshop!

Early Bird Prize Winner Awarded

Every year we hold a drawing from all of the people who sign up early for one of our workshops. For example, for this year you were entered in the drawing if you signed up for a 2012 workshop prior to March 1, 2012. We have two drawings, one for the painting workshops and one for the fiber art workshops. Since you have to attend a workshop to claim your prize, this makes for a great surprise for the lucking winner and we get to see the joy in their face in person!

The second place winner in the fiber art drawing attended the Paula Nadelstern workshop — Susan Parisi. She won a Hudson River Valley Art Workshop tote bag full of fiber art goodies.


It included a spool of Glitter thread by Superior Threads, 2 spools of Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread, 1 spool of 12 wt Aurifil thread, a sticky dot stamper by Elmers, Quilter’s Catalog by Meg Cox, a Hudson River Valley Art Workshop sketchbook, printable inkjet silk sheets by Jacquard, an 18m Olfa Rotary cutter, a 3 piece set of Pilot Frixion erasable fabric pens, a spool of Bottom Line by Superior Threads, a set of Fabrico fabric markers, a novelty tape measure, a package of Misty Fuse, and a Bee’s Knees chocolate bar by Life By Chocolate! These are all products that we carry in our mini shop.

The third prize winner of the fiber art drawing (a $100 gift certificate to our workshops) is in Carol Taylor’s workshop that is happening right now. But, sshhh, she doesn’t know it yet! We will surprise during our Coming Attractions presentation on Thursday night.

Kaleidoscope Quilts with Paula Nadelstern

Our first workshop of the year is underway with Paula Nadelstern, renown fiber artist, teacher, and fabric designer.

I can’t photograph any of her wonderful work that is hanging in the studio at the moment because it is destined for exhibits that prohibit the work from being previous published, including on the internet. But I can show you a picture of a luscious pile of fabrics designed by Paula. Such vibrant colors!


After the first demo of the process Monday morning, everyone dove right into work of creating a kaleidoscope block. Paula circulated around the studio helping anyone who needed it with one-on-one instruction.



Which sometimes attracted a larger audience!


Here are the results of the first block making exercise.


The students have come from all over for this workshop. We have representatives from NY, NJ, CA, CO, RI, OH, VA, Canada and Australia! They are a very happy group.


The weather this week has been perfect – sunny and in the 70s. The group is taking advantage of the weather by enjoying their lunch out on the inn front porch or at the picnic tables by the pool. They are also planning a field trip to the worlds largest kaleidoscope which is just a lovely 45 minute scenic drive. They are planning to stop for lunch on the way in Woodstock, always a fun town to visit.

The Spring crocus are blooming around the inn grounds and tulips and daffodils are not far behind.


Setting Up the Mini Fabric Shop

It is just two days until our 8th workshop season begins with a 5-day workshop with Paula Nadelstern! Londa of Log Cabin Fabric came by this morning to set up her portion of our on-site mini fabric and art supply shop. It is always a feast for the eyes when she brings over the baskets of fabric, threads, and other goodies!


We carry a number of threads, books, inks, and other notions ourselves (year-round).


Even if you are not taking a workshop, if you are in the area, you are welcome to stop by to shop — remember we also have a gourmet chocolate shop at the inn, Life By Chocolate! Our general public shopping hours are between 10am and 5pm, Wednesday through Sunday.

Following the Paula Nadelstern workshop is a 5-day workshop with Carol Taylor: Improvisational Scrap Quilts and then a 3-day workshop with Laura Wasilowski: Couching Thread, Hidden Needle. All of these classes still have some spaces, so come join us if you can!

Related Posts From Past Workshops:

Looking to see more painting supplies in our little shop? What do you think are the must have items? We are limited in space, but want to start including the things that our painting workshops will find the most handy to have available in our shop.

The 2012 Workshop Season is About to Begin

Where has the time gone? 2012 will be our 8th workshop season, although Hudson River Valley Art Workshops has been at this location since the 1980s!

We are enjoying a brief bit of snow, which is due to melt away tomorrow. Today, however, it is gorgeous.


Every year is exciting but as I start to put together everything for the current season, it always seem that THIS year will be the best ever!

This is the line up for 2012:

  • Paula Nadelstern: Mar. 18-24. Kaleidoscope Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Taylor: Mar. 25-31. Improvisational Scrap Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Laura Wasilowski: Mar. 31-Apr. 3. Couching Thread, Hidden Needle, 3-day workshop
  • Esterita Austin: Apr. 12-15. Exploring Sheers, 3-day workshop
  • John MacDonald: Apr. 15-21. Oil Painting, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Shie: Apr. 22-28. Diary Painting for Art Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Hollis Chatelain: Apr. 29-May 5. Dye-Painting on Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Karen Rosasco: May 6-12, Experimental Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Jean Uhl Spicer: May 17-20, Florals in Watercolor, 3-day workshop
  • Robert Burridge: May 20-26. Acrylic Painting and Collage, 5-day workshop
  • Elizabeth Apgar-Smith: May 31-Jun. 3. Composing from Field Sketches, 3-day workshop
  • Ted Nuttall: Jun. 3-9. Watercolor Portraits from Photos, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Marine: Jun. 10-16. Oil Still Life, 5-day workshop
  • Richard McKinley: Jun. 17-23. Pastel Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Sassaman: Jun. 24-30. Abstracting From Nature, 5-day workshop
  • Kathyanne White: Jul. 1-7. Digital Printing on Alternative Surfaces, 5-day workshop
  • Valerie Goodwin: Jul. 12-15. Mixed Media Maps, 3-day workshop
  • David Dunlop: Jul. 15-21. On Location with Past Masters, 5-day workshop
  • Frank Webb: Jul. 22-28. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Summer Retreat: Jul. 29-Aug. 4. Self-Directed retreat, 3- or 6-nights
  • Mel Stabin: Aug. 5-11. Watercolor Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Peter Fiore. Aug. 12-18. Landscape Painting: Beyond the Photograph, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Evans: Aug. 18-21. The Versatility of Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Elin Pendleton: Aug. 23-26. Color – Getting it Right!, 3-day workshop
  • Judi Betts: Aug. 26-Sep. 1. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Lorenzo Chavez: Sep. 9-15. Landscapes in Pastel or Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Donna Zagotta: Sep. 16-22. Adding the You Factor to Your Paintings, 5-day workshop
  • Pat Dews: Sep. 23-29. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Skip Lawrence: Sep. 30-Oct. 6. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Kenn Backhaus: Oct. 7-13. Composition and Brushwork in Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Alvaro Castagnet: Oct. 14-20. Landscapes in Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Charotte Warr Andersen: Oct. 21-27. Portraits in Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Dyer: Oct. 27-30. Figures in Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Rosalie Dace: Nov. 4-10. Cross Currents, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Davila: Nov. 10-13. Irresistible Surface Design, 3-day workshop
  • Larkin Van Horn: Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Vessels, Shrines, Reliquaries, 3-day workshop
  • Sue Benner: Dec. 2-8. Techniques for Fused Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Brubaker Knapp. Dec. 9-15. Paint, Fuse, Stitch!, 5-day workshop

Fabulous Fusible Flowers with Melinda Bula

The fun and fabulous Melinda Bula was with us again in 2011 as our last workshop for the year. It was a wonderful group and it was sad to see them leave.

The busy holiday season prevented me from posting photos of the class until now. I hope you had a marvelous holiday season and a Happy New Year, too!

Below is a shot of the table where Melinda’s work is spread on the table and on the board is a piece that she was working on during that class as she showed the process and techniques that she uses.


The ladies in the class were very industrious during class time and had loads of fun and laughter at the dinner table. Who knows what when on in the studio after dinner. LOL!


Someone’s pin cushion looked as colorful as the flowers!