Laura Smith:  Embroidery and Color





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Class Portfolio 1 - Landscapes, Color and Art Process Classes   

You can find a larger picture and detailed description of each class. Scroll down for links to more classes.  Some new classes are not shown on the website.  For more information on contracting for classes, please use the E-mail us button.

Where the Earth Meets the Sea, A Three or Four-Day Class for All Levels


Explore the textures of earth, sea and sky captured in stitches and mixed media.  In learning to use the combination of mixed media and embroidery, confidence develops and design possibilities are multiplied. A by-product of the class is to spark creativity. Gain hands-on experience with archival quality mixed media materials:

  • Lutradur, a sturdy non-woven fabric that has paper-like translucence

  • An embossing tool and Tyvek

  • Pigment powders with glorious shine and intense color that can be mixed

  • Shiva Artstiks, elegant crayons for adults that work on fabric

  • Fabric paint, specially modified to avoid changing the texture of fabric

  • Several kinds of archival quality gel medium

Learn correct techniques, archival ways of working, safety requirements, and design possibilities with the various media. Then, combine the techniques with stitches in your own or one of three supplied by the teacher to create an 8” x 10” stitched piece. The piece will fit a standard frame and framing options will be discussed. Students will share embossing tools and the Class Stash of Threads, Fabrics and Mixed Media Materials.  The Stash will include silk, linen, cotton, wool, and manmade fabrics and threads sorted into a complete rainbow of colors with several values in each color.  Sheer fabrics and unusual textures are included.  PearlEx pigments, and Shiva Artstiks will be shared so that a full range of color is available.

 The kit includes design drawings and instructions, Lutradur background fabric, additional Lutradur for samples, two varieties of gel medium, PFD fabrics (prepared for dyeing) for painting/coloring, a set of Jacquard Textile Colors fabric paint, brushes, threads, appropriate needles, and a dust mask for work with fine powders.  A sewing machine and machine sewing threads will be available.  Students who have their own tools and sewing machines are welcome to bring them. Design possibilities will be discussed in student letter. Many students create their own design from a photo or drawing.


 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions: You can make the design larger, up to 14” x 18”. Detailed instructions for stitching the children by hand are included. If you have other questions, please use the Contact Us button to email me.


The Salt Marsh

A Two-Day Class for All Levels


Salt Marsh is a two day class. Develop color confidence with paint and stitches as you capture the peaceful atmosphere of the salt marsh, looking out to sea. The design is painted on silk using the Serti technique. Resist protects the white areas and then is washed away after painting is complete. Textural contrast develops between the smooth painted sky and water and the rough stitched grasses.  Subtle color concepts include perspective, value contrast, temperature contrast, and the use of color passages to unify the design.

The kit includes silk for the 5”x7” (12 x 17 cm) design and for practice painting, water based resist; resist applicator with tip; Jacquard Silk Colors in magenta, cyan, yellow, and black; dyesetting liquid; Chinese Sumi brush; special silk tacks that will not damage the fabric; stretcher bars; hand stitching threads, and appropriate needles.  Sewing machines and machine sewing threads will be shared. Students may choose to use the sewing machines to create a background or they may prefer to use only hand stitching. The design fits into a standard 5” x 7” frame and framing options will be shared.


By the Rio Grande

2 Day Class for Intermediate Level Embroiderers, Mixed Media Beginners



By the Rio Grande is a two day class. Capture the magical quality of light and color in the Rio Grande Valley with fabric collage, mixed media, and stitches. The sky is painted with archival quality fabric paint. Experiment with a small sample of the collage method and then use the method to create the mountains and tussocky foreground. This goes quickly and is easier than it looks!  The largest tree is created with free machine or hand embroidery on soluble fabric. Additional shrubbery can be added using this technique. For the entire class, students may stitch by hand or use the sewing machine or both.  Learn to seal organza with a heat tool (safety precautions carefully observed) and use it for the river and/or clouds.   

The kit includes Lutradur, a sturdy, non-woven fabric with beautiful translucent areas. Students will receive a piece of Lutradur 14” x 18” for an 8” x 10”  OR  11” x 14” design size, your choice. There are Lutradur samples for doodling; organza, Thai silks, glorious batiks, and textural fabrics for collaging; hand stitching threads; paintbrush and gel medium; non-latex gloves; soluble fabric; needles; photos and instructions. Fabric paint is shared along with color mixing tips. The Class Stash will include heat tools, sewing machines (provided by a local quilt shop or volunteers), and machine sewing threads. There is no pre-work. No previous experience with mixed media or free machine embroidery is needed.


Enchanted Landscape with Mixed Media

3 Or 4 Day Class for Intermediate Level Embroiderers, Mixed Media Beginners



Santa Fe is called the Land of Enchantment.  Capture the magical quality of light and color with mixed media techniques combined with fabric collage and embroidery in this class.  This is a workshop in hands-on color and design concepts with guidance and confidence boosters for making design choices.  Use gel medium and bits of fabric to create a Monet-style fabric collage.  Learn how to seal the edges of organza with a heat tool and use it for clouds and water.  Use Angelina fibers for quick injections of sparkle. (In “Rio Grande” above, they can be seen in the river under the organza.)  The sky is painted with fabric paint. 

The first day of class is devoted to learning the possibilities of the materials and making a color plan for your scene.  A choice of three drawings will be provided in the pre-class letter or students can work from your own drawing or a tracing of a photo.  Then, create your design using the Class Stash of Threads, Fabrics and Mixed Media Materials.  The Stash will include silk, linen, cotton, and manmade fabrics and threads sorted into a rainbow of colors so it’s easy to find what you need.  Many different weights of fabric are included from sheers to upholstery weight and unusual textures.  Tyvek®, Angelina® fibers in 20 colors, and a mini iron will be available.  Fabric paint will be shared, along with color mixing help.  Kit includes sturdy background fabric 14” x 18” for 8” x 10” design (from which students may cut a smaller piece if they wish), gel medium, and appropriate needles.  Sewing machines and threads will be available. 


            Embroidery with Mixed Media

           A Group Correspondence Course for the Embroiderers Guild of America

                                    Mixed Media GCC                   

Mark & Paint on Canvas & Fabric

 A Group Correspondence Course for the Embroiderers Guild of America

            Mark & Paint GCC


Color for Textile Arts

A Two- Day Hands-On Color Class for All Ability Levels


Color for Textile Arts


 Slide Lecture:  The Seven Ways of Color Contrast


 7 Ways of Color Lecture


                       Embroidery with Mixed Media Lecture


Class Portfolio 2:  T-Shirts


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