Denise Labadie

Sun, August 25 to Sat, August 31 2019
Art Quilt Design Intensive with Denise Labadie
Medium: Fiber
Level: All Levels
Location: Studio
Status: 6 Spots Left
Instructor's Website:

Denise Labadie is constantly asked about the “stone”, landscape, and sky fabrics she uses in her quilts. There just isn’t much commercial fabric with the types of colors, textures, depth, and complexity that many quilters are looking for. So participants in this workshop will create their own!

During the first two days of the workshop, participants will learn some rather surprising techniques for using sun-reactive transparent color paints to create uniquely textured and colored fabric. This initial focus is on how best to use and layer the paint, how to use various resists, and – depending on desired results – how to;

  • while wet, aggressively fold, twist, wrap, bunch, or pleat the newly painted fabric, and
  • while drying, use different types of underlying templates and the application of crystals (salt, sugar, etc.), dirt, gravel, and the like …
  • to induce differential paint absorption, diffusion, or mottling.

Each participant’s hands-on explorations will be guided by their own project needs – using a photograph or sketch brought to the workshop – and ends with the completion of a range of their own newly painted fabric in the colors, palettes, and textures that they themselves have created for their specific project. This timeline ensures plenty of time for significant hands-on “guided experimentation” and techniques exploration, and multi-piece fabric creation.

The workshop will also interweave instruction on how to use each participant’s photo (or sketch) to both inspire and help guide quilt fabric painting (desired colors, intensity, textures, etc.) and follow-on quilt top design and composition (including proportioning, perspective, shadowing, texture, and the like), and construction.

Denise will also focus on intermixing construction techniques, which are central to her quilts.

The third day of the workshop with focus on turned edge, raw edge, and reverse applique – using each student’s photo or sketch as a guide. Explore why and when to use each type of applique; gain a hands-on understanding of the relative strengths, benefits, and challenges of each technique; and become confident in the ability to consistently produce predictable, desired results. On fourth day of the workshop, participants will explore insetting, free-form strip piecing, couching, “thread shading”, and quilt finishing. Finally, on the fifth day of the workshop participants will spend time pulling everything together, as Denise answers any additional questions or spends additional time explaining select techniques, refining quilt project (photo) compositional decisions, and participants will leave with a clear go-forward quilt completion plan.

The five-day format and on-site lodging also provides substantial opportunities for individualized and focused one-on-one teaching and feedback. Denise is not a nine-to-four instructor.

This workshop requires that participants have basic sewing and sewing machine operating skills, plus prior experience in quilt development.

Please note that this workshop is not about stones, or even landscapes, but instead on fabric painting and construction techniques capable of dramatically improving quilt dimensionality, texture and color, craftsmanship, and design integrity, regardless of quilt theme or focus.

About Denise Labadie

Denise makes interpretive contemporary art quilts of Celtic megalithic (Bronze Age – e.g., Stonehenge) stones and monoliths, their landscapes, and more recent (primarily Irish) monastic ruins. These ancient stonescapes – stone circles, standing stones, dolmens, burial tombs and crosses, forgotten cemeteries, abandoned churches, and lost-in-history portals and passageways – embody immense timelessness and physical presence while evoking sacred and emotional remembrances of human pasts largely forgotten.

In addition to their strong emotional quality, viewers are also fascinated that she constructs her quilts the same way as an actual stone mason, working from the ground up, one stone at a time. Previously a professional seamstress, her quilts are also technically very sound.

Denise is a multiple Quilt National (USA) award winner with honors including People’s Choice and the McCarthy Award for Craftsmanship and Overall Excellence. She has been a solo exhibiting artist at major venues in the US, Spain, France, China, South Korea, and Italy (she has also taught at each international venue; see below). In 2018 she is scheduled to both exhibit and teach in Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Germany. Feature articles highlighting her quilts and approach to quilting have been published in key French, German, Italian, South Korean, and US fiber art magazines – including SAQA’s Art Quilt Collector Magazine, FiberArt Magazine, and Art Quilting Studio Magazine. A complete resume and artist statement can be found on her website.

Learn more about Denise on her website;

Rates & Enrollment

Day Student Tuition: $680.00

Full 5-Day Package*: $1,664.00-$1,832.00 + Service Charge & Tax

*5-Day Workshop Package includes: Tuition for 5 full class days, 6 nights of dinner, lodging, breakfast, daily cookie and fruit breaks, unlimited coffee and tea, and welcoming wine and cheese reception. Your choice between a room to yourself (single occupancy) or find a buddy and split a room (double occupancy).

Get more information your options to enroll here.