In a nutshell the hand-crafted chenille process is to layer fabric, sew it every half inch, and then cut through all the layers but the bottom. The sewn-and-clipped piece is then washed and the cut fabric “blooms.”
The workshop will feature three projects that demonstrate the techniques Tom Johnson uses. He will be sharing examples of his work in a variety of sizes, as well as mounting, framing, and hanging options.
- The first project will be simple lines with stripes and dashes of color added, a technique that can be incorporated in a variety of future projects.
- The second project will be a little more complex in its design, but again uses simple lines and contrasting fabric applied in quadrants and as stripes.
- The third project is reminiscent of a log cabin quilt square, with concentric squares sewn one-half-inch apart to create this chenille pattern. The corners in this pattern make it more difficult to “slice,” but this technique yields a great result. This pattern can be used to create a larger “quilt” composed of many squares or expanded to a larger square for pillows or other items.
Saturday’s workshop will conclude with all three projects sewn into the envelope with instructions for washing.
The follow-up meeting will include sharing the finished products and a discussion of mounting options and potential future projects using this technique.
Materials: $25 (included in tuition price)
The materials kits will include fabrics and patterns for the three projects, as well as fabric to create an envelope/pillowcase for the laundry process.
Students Supplies to Bring to Class:
Sewing Machine (We'll be sewing through 4-5 layers of fabric so do not use a Feather Weight sewing machine).
Jeans needle for sewing machine.
Rotary cutter and straight (cutting) edge.
Thread (medium gray or a neutral should work for all three).
Fabric clips or “bulldog clips” or straight pins for holding layers of fabric together
Small cutting mat
Iron on patches
*Prefer Olfa Chenille Cutter available from Hancock of Paducah $19.99
or Oakridge Hobbies $18.39
or JoAnn’s Fabrics $23.99-$29.99
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner to Expert.
Ages: Ages 14+ Welcome.
Participants will receive a list of supplies to bring to class with their registration confirmation email.
Bring a bag lunch. We have a refrigerator for people to store their lunches and drinks!
Instructor Bio: Tom Johnson is an architect and interior designer in private practice. He was initially an art major before completing his Masters of Architecture at the University of Kansas. His art pieces incorporate found objects, both natural and man-made, and typically reflect his architectural background. His artwork explores a variety of media from acrylics, wood, paper, and concrete to, more recently, textiles—both hand-crafted chenille and contemporary quilts.
His body of hand-crafted chenille work is created by taking multiple layers of fabric, manipulating, sewing, cutting, and washing them to make the fibers “bloom.”
Tom Johnson is influenced by the tradition of quiltmaking as well as by modern and minimalist quilts. He is inspired by the surprises that come from the layers beneath the surface, the interplay of color, interpreting what he see around him and the endless possibilities in this medium of fabric and threads.