Denise Labadie October 2024


Denise Labadie Five-Day Art Quilt Design Intensive

Denise Labadie Instructor

Oct 14-18, 2024$850

9 - 5 daily with a 1 hour lunch break Introduction on Sunday, Oct 13th at 5 pm

Denise makes contemporary art quilt portraits of megalithic Celtic “stones” and monoliths, and their landscapes, and more recent (though still centuries old) monastic ruins. She handpaints most all her own fabric, and uses varying combinations and mixes of reverse appliqué, turned edge appliqué, raw edge appliqué, insetting, free-form strip piecing, and couching to achieve her trademark quilt top textures, lighting, depth of field, and shadowing and perspective. 
Denise's sewing and quilting experience and knowledge (which includes both contemporary art quilting and traditional patchwork) is both deep and wide-ranging, and she has proven to be uniquely capable of helping her students better understand and use both traditional (though typically repurposed) and more art quilt-focused fiber and quilting techniques. By teaching her approach to composition, fabric painting, and varying quilt top construction and finishing techniques – Denise holds nothing back – her focus is on giving her students the best possible hands-on understanding of the comparative effects, benefits, and use of the many key techniques available to modern quilters.
Denise’s workshops are highly interactive and hands-on, and are focused more on the development of participant creativity, confidence, and experiential exploration and learning than on rigid, one-size-fits-all lesson plans or "copy me" patterns – her goal is to teach re-useable and replicable techniques and "lessons learned" that each participant's own creativity can confidently expand on once away from the classroom. Denise is an accomplished quilter and instructor who enthusiastically, energetically, openly, and warmly shares her knowledge, and her design and color sense, without reservation. Denise’s classes are fun.
The workshop’s format and schedule are designed to maximize opportunities for individualized and focused one-on-one (and project-specific) teaching and student feedback. As such, note that the workshop is not specifically about stones, or even landscapes, but instead about fabric painting and construction techniques capable of dramatically improving overall quilt design and composition, messaging and storytelling, color and texture, dimensionality, and craftsmanship and design integrity, regardless of quilt theme or focus.
Each participant is asked to bring an enlarged quilt size photo (or large sketch) to act as a quilt or project template to help focus and personalize the workshop’s project-focused compositional, fabric painting, and construction techniques instruction. 
Participants need only have basic sewing and sewing machine operating skills, plus some prior (even minor) experience in quilt development.
A detailed supply list and photo template creation guide will be provided to each participant after workshop registration.
There is an additional paint and supplies fee of $40 that is payable to Denise at the start of the workshop.
An optional fabric kit is also available for $75. You can purchase this from Denise at the start of the workshop.
To learn more about Denise, please visit her website.


Fabric Painting

Denise is constantly asked about the "stone", landscape, and sky fabrics that she uses in her quilts. There just is not much commercial fabric with the types of colors, textures, depth, and complexity that many quilters are looking for. So Denise – and participants – create their own!

Day One and Two
Denise begins by giving a hands-on presentation highlighting her work over the years, showing an overview of her integrated use of the workshop’s many up-coming techniques.

Explore (some rather surprising) techniques for using sun-reactive transparent color paints to create uniquely textured and individualized fabrics. These initial (hands-on) two days are focused on how to best use and layer paint, how to use various resists, and – depending on desired results – how to most successfully induce (and control) desired layer-by-layer differential paint absorption, diffusion, blending, and/or mottling. Resulting fabrics can be remarkable.

Each participant’s fabric painting is guided by their specific project needs – using the photograph or sketch that they bring to the workshop – and ends with the completion of a range of their own newly painted fabric in the colors and textures that they themselves desire and create. The two day schedule ensures plenty of time for in-depth hands-on "guided experimentation" and techniques exploration (participants can also optionally continue with their painting efforts during portions of Days Three and Four).

Working with Photographs
Participants use their own project photo (or sketch) to both inspire and help guide their fabric painting (desired colors, textures, etc.) and to serve as a rough template for follow-on quilt top design (color, texture, proportioning, perspective, shadowing, etc.) and construction. Working with Photographs – using photos as guides in quilt composition and creation – is interwoven throughout the training.

Construction Techniques
Depending on the desired effect, Denise’s quilts often use and blend multiple quilt construction techniques. The workshop thus next focuses on those techniques central to Denise’s quilts (and, indeed, to most any art quilt), their varying (design and compositional) uses and applications, and their possible use relative to each participant’s workshop project.

Day Three
Participants will learn and explore the comparative use and characteristics of reverse appliqué, turned edge appliqué, raw edge appliqué, and insetting, and become confident in their ability to consistently produce predictable, desired results. Participants may also continue as desired with their fabric painting efforts.

Day Four
Participants will learn and explore the use of free-form strip piecing and couching, and will learn techniques for professional-looking quilt finishing. Participants may also complete any unfinished fabric painting efforts.

Day Five
Any outstanding issues or questions are first addressed (including reviewing or revisiting select techniques), followed by per-participant hands-on techniques practice, additional experimentation (either painting and/or construction), and additional one-on-one instructor guidance and feedback. The day will conclude by refining any participant-specific quilt project compositional and design decisions, and finalizing project completion plans.

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