February 11, 2023

Program and Workshop

Heather McCaw Kerley

The Artist:

Heather Kerley is a mixed media and fiber artist living in the Washington, DC area. Originally an abstract painter, she found an artistic home in the medium of embroidery. Kerley creates unusual embroideries using found fabric, primarily vintage kimono silk scraps and vintage linen. Her work is often improvisational, with designs riffing on the existing cloth pattern and using an eclectic mix of different yarns, flosses, beads, and an array of different stitches. Kerley is committed to bringing the tradition of embroidery into the 21st century and evolving as an art form. She continues to experiment with mixed media and embroidery and, since the pandemic, has added quilting to her fiber art repertoire.

Guild Meeting/Program: Fiber Art Journey – Abstract, Improvisational Embroidery to Quilting Adventures

Kerley will talk about her whole journey with fiber art, starting with abstract, improvisational embroidery and moving into her more recent quilting adventures.

Currently, Kerley is working on a series of quilts addressing climate change. These quilts have split into two tracks. The first is a series called “Charting Loss” using the tradition of memory and mourning quilts to grieve for all that is being lost to climate change from the receding arctic sea ice to the human lives lost in extreme weather events. The second track explores the subversive nature of quilts as multi-layered tools for delivering protest messages. Quilts have competing natures as functional domestic items, as art, and as tools for change and protest. A quilt brings to mind caretaking, heritage, and heirlooms. In other words, what kind of world are we leaving for our children?

Date/Time: February 11, 2023 10:30 AM (following Guild meeting)

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854

Mini Workshop: Embroidered Patch/Watermelon or Peony

In this three-hour workshop, students will use basic stitches to create a “Rainbow Watermelon” embroidered patch, which we will then turn into a patch for clothing. We will discuss supplies including types of thread, and different needle sizes. Students will learn how to prepare fabric with a simple design, ready their hoop, and begin stitching. The class will cover three different stitches: basic stitch, backstitch, and satin stitch, but you will also learn to add other embellishments such as beads and French knots. We will close by carefully cutting the patch out and learning two techniques for attaching the patch, one with no-sew adhesive and the other using stitches.

Date/Time: February 11, 2023 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854

Mini Workshop Fee: Members: $35.00 Non-Members: $50.00

Student Supply List:
1 3-inch embroidery hoop; 4×4 piece of light-colored muslin; DMC 25 6-strand embroidery floss in a variety of colors–specific colors for Watermelon if you want to stick with my palette: (for watermelon): 310, 699, 13, 761, 3706, 891, 3831 (for rainbow): 803, 445, 727, 3341, 3844, 3834, 826, 3836, 809; plastic embroidery bobbins; DMC 1765-1/5 embroidery hand needles, 12-pack, size 1-5; washable fabric pen; embroidery scissors; printout of design (emailed to students before the workshop); window or light box (to use for tracing printed design); Dritz Fray Check Liquid Seam Sealant; Peel n Stick™ Fabric Fuse Sheets (5 sheets, 4.25 x 5) (optional, needed for the “no sew” technique)
Small beads (optional); perle cotton size 6-8 (optional for peony design)
Click here to print supply list.