Posted by: jbaner | July 6, 2016

Master Art Class with Hollis Chatelain

The first week of June I traveled once again to Oregon for the Master Art Class with Hollis Chatelain. This is our 8th year. This year focused on hand-dyed fabrics. Prior to the week, I went to a classmates house near Portland and 3 of us dyed fabrics at her house before the class. I’m not sure that any of us actually used any of the fabric we dyed. I know that I used fabric that I had dyed several years ago and a piece I had purchased in Canada many years ago. Here’s what we ended up with:


We started out by doing exercises that emphasized a lesson. I am always pushed beyond my box with these. Mainly because we are given just minutes to come up with a decent design, which is my toughest task. I always need lots of time to come up with a good composition. But it’s good to be pushed and the design is not as critical as the thread color lesson.

We learned things like creating vibration by using complementary  colors, how to tone down bright fabrics with the correct value of complementary thread. We also learned how to change mid-tone fabrics with thread and how to break up a monochromatic color scheme with thread. That was just the first day!

The second day we learned how to create luminous neutrals and semi-neutrals and how to animate dark fabric with light thread. Also to make colors glow and creating distance and atmosphere with warm and cool colors. Lots to learn! Usually only a few would get them “right”….but we all learned from the ones that weren’t “right”.

Third day we had to use a piece of hand-dyed fabric in which we needed to find a theme and it’s variations in it. Here’s what I came up with:


The flowers are all created with thread only. I was able to create some transparency with the thread so the hand-dyed fabric shows through.

We were to select two pieces of hand-dyes that “go together”. I thought I had. My second piece was mostly gray which went well with the grayish tones in the one above, but the thread I put on it changed it so drastically, they hardly seemed like they go together at all. Here’s the second one:


So on the last day we were instructed to cut them up and put them together into one quilt and we also have to figure out how to create the borders and “sashing” (for lack of better word)…perhaps background fabrics to put these on to make a cohesive and compelling quilt. We have the next year to do this. So you’ll have to stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Happy Quilting!!



  1. Great summary of the class!! I am gathering photos, looking at things differently than ever before! Hope to do some thread exercises when I get home. Wish you lived close so we could analyze! Saw a Rembrandt exhibit yesterday. Today another gallery. I have about 10 more days of this eye candy. So glad it came after our class! 😍Carol

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Me, too, Carol… would be fun. Can’t wait to see what you do with all the “stuff” you’re gathering!

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