Each year when collecting proposals for classes to be offered at MAQ, the Board looks for a variety of classes, teaching new/old techniques, from traditional to modern. We hope to offer quilters a good mix of classes so that each participant can find workshops that interest them. When we saw the proposals from Debora Konchinsky with her fantastic work in wool, we knew that those classes would be a big hit.
We asked Debora to tell us more about what students can expect to learn in her classes and to send us additional photos. Here is her response:
“My students are always amazed. They come to class with no special skills, and within minutes of the beginning of class, they will be felting. The tools are easy to use (a 3 needle pen style holder, and a piece of foam). Even using a kit and pattern that I provide, each project comes out different. There are many different textures for the fibers and the colors can be natural or bright. I dye my wool fibers and some of my wool fabrics. This is a detail photo of my latest quilt, Woolly Alphabet:
The possibilities are many. I was making animal-themed machine applique quilts in cottons in 1989, and wanted to make my animal designs more realistic when I found the felting tool in 2009. I fell in love with the technique of poking wool fibers into wool appliques on wool backgrounds. I had to figure out how to teach what I developed to someone who couldn’t draw. Transferring detail lines using a light box is impossible because you can’t see through wool fabrics that are used. I’ve learned how to make 3-D butterflies and bees that stand away from my wool quilts for added interest. I love doing hand work and so I incorporate hand embroidery in my projects. I use #8 pearl cotton to draw trees and flowers to go with my animal subjects. Then I might include beads on my flowers, building up my designs to make them more textural. This direction that I’ve taken, is so different from my pattern making beginnings. People were looking to make quilts faster then. Now quilters want to slow down and enjoy the process. It is so much fun to work on a project in your lap, in front of the TV, at the doctor’s waiting room, or riding in the car. Time passes quickly.