by Rachel Derstine
Learn to create a quilt in this lively design full of color, movement and texture. We will create a background using curved piecing then use it as a canvas on which to add more design elements. Applique of organza circles and couching of yarns will add depth and movement. Screen printing with paint will also be an optional part of the class.
Rachel Derstine is an award winning fiber artist and educator who believes in the potential of everyone to find their creative flow given the right tools and encouragement. You may see Rachel’s artwork at
Choosing great color and texture combinations for this quilt and how to arrange them for the desired size.
How to do curved piecing. We do this to create movement in your piece. Watch how they magically lay flat when you cut them out correctly and press.
Learn some great ideas for how to quilt with easy free motion designs.
Cut out and stitch organza circles to the surface of your quilt. Single and double needle stitch will be demonstrated. Learn how to keep it a circle and how not to let it turn into an “egg”.
Learn to couch yarn to the surface of your quilt. This is wonderful way to add definition to your circles and also to add movement across the quilt.
Watch a demonstration of screen printing with paint to add leaves, snowflakes or other geometric designs to your quilt. (This is an optional portion to the class. Everyone may watch the demo – but you may choose not to purchase the added supplies or to create this feature.)
Learn to face the quilt rather than use a traditional binding.
You will also have access to links for recordings of the Virtual Live Zoom class version of this class. You will find the interaction between students helpful and benefit from seeing their work.
I would suggest you plan to make a small quilt, about 14″ -16” high x 25” wide.
Assorted coordinating colors of hand dyes, batiks and silks. These all must be at least the vertical height (16″) of the quilt and 7″ wide. If they are too short you may piece them so they are long enough. Be sure to back all silks (not the organza) with a light fusible stabilizer of your choice.
Silk organza in assorted coordinating colors. You may use non silk organza if you wish. Do not use georgette or chiffon as they are too soft. When you stitch your circle to the quilt it will turn out wonky.
Assorted styles and colors of yarn. If you are planning to stitch around your circles with couched yarn you will need thick yarn or plan to double up your yarn to get good coverage around organza circles.
Don’t feel like finding all these coordinating items yourself? You may order a kit from me for $45. You may order it here. Kit includes a coordinated assortment of cotton & silk fabrics, organza pieces, yarn and a spool of super twist thread.
These are my favorite threads so they are suggested but purely optional.
Madeira – Super Twist #30
YLI – Monofilament Thread for the bobbin. If your machine doesn’t like monofilament thread just use regular thread.
Aurifil – cotton 50 wt. for piecing
Glide thread for quilting
Sewing Machine – Please have your sewing machine set up before class. Your sewing machine must be in good working order. You must have zig-zag capability and know how to raise and lower the feed dogs.
Zig-Zag presser foot, also a cording foot or braiding foot for couching is good to have. I like the Bernina #21 but any open toe foot will work. See if your brand of machine might have something similar.
Single Cone Thread Stand like the one in this link :
Compass or variety of jar lids for circle templates and pencil for tracing around templates.
Large Starbucks Straw, masking tape.
Fabric scissors, rotary cutter, cutting mat large enough for your quilt size.
Fray Check to secure couching starts and stops.
Some of you will wish to create strata quilts with screen printed and appliqued leaves, snowflakes or other graphics. Below are the materials needed if you want to make this type of quilt.
Thermofax screens – I use purchased thermofax screens and custom made screens (designed by me) from Lyric Kinard. You may look through what she has available and if you wish to design your own she has instructions for how to do that.
Here are her instructions for how to turn your own doodles into thermofax screen ready images to email to her.
Here are her instructions for how to turn a photo into a thermofax ready image.
Lyric no longer makes custom thermofax screens so I recommend trying this Etsy shop instead:
You will find a wealth of information on her website and her instructions are extremely clear.
My favorite paints are ProFab Textile Paints – Opaque. They are the correct thickness for screen printing. You may purchase an array of colors or just order the 3 primary colors, plus black and white.
They also have luscious pearlescent paints for screen printing. My favorites are Antique Gold, Pewter, and Copper.
You will need a chef style apron to protect your clothing
Squeegee 6” for large screens and 4” for small. You can even just use a credit card.
Be ready before screen printing: you will need to clean your screen immediately after printing. Clear your sink – a deep utility or kitchen sink works best. Set your faucet to the high setting and spray your screen until all paint is off both sides. Otherwise you will ruin your screen. Blot with paper towel and air dry standing the screen up on end (lean it against something)