Building A Village: Connecting Our Spaces With Stitching and Appliqué

Live from Los Angeles, United States


*Note: Registration for US participants closes on March 14th so you can receive the kit in time. We will love to have non-US participants join but we are unable to ship kits internationally at this time. You are welcome to register using the no kit ticket option, use your materials and create your own circle to pass the project around.  

Textile enthusiasts, you're invited to come together for an exciting new collaborative project series with VAWAA artist, Debra Weiss.

For 5 consecutive Sundays (March 21st - April 18th) Debra will lead a communal project, where we'll create a collaborative textile art piece, using stitching and appliqué techniques. Participants will each receive a kit with a 22" x 22" linen cotton square and 3 small geometric shapes of fabric. The kit will also contain 2 prepaid priority mail envelopes. You'll create your own house using any technique, and then you will use the prepaid envelope to mail this work-in-progress to another person in the group. We'll repeat this twice. As the materials move in rotation, you will each end up with a piece containing homes from 2 other members of group. Debra will then guide you to unite these houses and create a village scene.

You will need to commit to mailing on the Mondays following the first and second sessions, using the pre-paid envelopes in kit. 

There is so much to gain in working together, especially in this time of quarantine and isolation. Through this sharing of thoughts, ideas and hand-stitched items, the community we build will be beautifully represented in our final pieces.

All levels welcome, no experience required.

Joining us from a different time zone? Be sure to convert the time.

Session 1: First house
Sunday March 21st 2-4 PM EST

During the first session, we will draw an outline of our home using 1/4 to 1/3 of the space on our 22" x 22" linen cotton squares. Debra will demonstrate different stitches and we will discuss these different ways of outlining our houses. On Monday March 22nd, you will mail the 22” x 22” piece which is now embroidered with your house, to one of the people in your group. 

Session 2: Second house
Sunday March 28th 2-4 PM EST

Essentially a repeat of the first but now you're creating your house as the second house on the square. We will discuss technique and explore ways in which we can start making connection. On Monday March 29th, you will mail this 22" x 22" piece to one of the people in your group.

Session 3: Third house
Sunday April 4th 2-4 PM EST

Once again you create your house, this time as the third house on the square. You are now in possession of the piece you will keep. We will continue discussing, exploring and stitching intuitively.

Session 4: Connecting the houses
Sunday April 11th 2-4 PM EST

Now our three houses are together, we will work on a garden or community space between them. This will be a time to let our imaginations fly free, as we discuss how to create unity between them and then stitch our ideas into the fabric. 

Session 5: Village meeting
Sunday April 18th 2-3 PM EST

We will look at each groups finished pieces, all sharing the same three homes which now form a small village. We will discuss what was important to us in the creative process of bringing the houses together.

What you'll need

You will receive a kit with fabric and pre-paid priority envelopes.

Bring your own sewing and/or embroidery needles, sew line pencil for drawing, straight edge, embroidery thread and optional embroidery hoop. They are all available here.

Also bring a google image of the front of your home.

We recommend having all the materials ready before the first session. 

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send link and details to join via email 1 day and again 30 mins before it begins.

About Debra

Debra is a Los Angeles based textile artist who has been fabric collaging and stitching for over 15 years. Prior to this, she ran a handbag and apparel line. For her, the concept of layers and transparency are symbolic of our being – she loves that she can find these qualities inherent in textile scraps. She believes we collect experiences throughout our lives. These experiences mold and change us; they sway our character. When all is said and done we remain the same person, however changed we may seem. Our integrity, our soul, our being that was birthed into this lifetime remains unchanged. Through stitching layers upon layers, she creates unity and celebrates life. She makes objects of color and beauty while thinking about what life means to her and what she has seen in the world.


"Debra's work is so inspiring. She was engaged and encouraging. She made the session so fun, many of us are hoping for a follow up!" - N. Walter

"Debra's art is wonderful. Love the layers, and the detailed stitching! This technique is fascinating, meditative and fun. I see many possibilities, and am excited to continue exploring!" - Lynn Adamo

"I loved the group experience and would like to expand on the class. Debra is a very clear teacher! Really liked working with her!" - Jen Loew

"I enjoyed the class very much. It was presented well, the teachers show and tell was helpful as well as her quick response to our questions." - Janet Hasselblad

"Debra creates a nice classroom environment virtually." - Laura

"Terrific teacher whose art work I love and admire. She was so friendly and generous in the way she shared information and accessible. I think a little more information prior to the class would have better prepared me better. I wound basting too big a piece and missed the stitching talk." - Robin Strauss

"Enjoyed the class and learning the techniques. Looking forward to more classes with additional stitches." - Denise

"It wasn't long enough, but I felt totally comfortable the whole time." - Heather Myler

Sessions are ticketed to support artists, makers and our small team. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, please reach out. We may have a generous participant who has paid it forward. We would ask that you pay the love forward by sharing online sessions with 3 new friends.