Improvisational Fabric Collage and Stitching (2 part series)

Live from Los Angeles, United States

Would you like to delve into the world of textiles, to intuitively and experimentally, re-interpret images through textiles? On two consecutive Sundays, beginning April 3rd at 2PM EST, we'll be deepening our creative practice and connection to cloth and handwork with textile artist Debra Weiss. 

Debra has always worked with her hands. Her process is very intuitive and she rarely uses a sewing machine. As a textile artist, she composes with color, much like a painter does, but works in fiber processes: crocheting, stitching, knitting, knotting, layering and weaving.

We will work with a 10" x 10" square of fabric, fabric scraps, needle and thread to compose our image. In the first session, we'll learn how to collage and stitch. In the second session, we'll learn how to add finer details through embellishment.

All levels are welcome and there is no prior experience required. There will be plenty of time to share, get feedback and meet other participants from around the world.

If you are not in EST time zone, be sure to convert the time.

Session 1: Fabric Collage and Stitching
April 3 2PM - 3:30PM EST

Begin the process of collage, and prepare your design. We will go over the fundamental principles of textile collage, including whip stitch and running stitch. You will get to know the materials you have, and Debra will guide you towards an intuitive composition for your final piece. 

Session 2: Embellishing
April 10  2PM - 3:30PM EST

Create finer detail in your piece through the art of embellishment. Debra will be showing how best to translate your imagination to decorative designs in your fabric collage.

What you'll need

  • Ironed fabric scraps e.g. left over pieces from clothes and handbag. Don't cut into shapes. (recommend: Thin fabrics that are easy to hand quilt, translucent fabric for layered effect, natural fiber content works well)
  • Quilting thread in various colors (recommend: Gütermann quilting thread)
  • Needle (recommend: Tulip)
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Embroidery thread for added color

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send the link and details to join via email 1 day and again 1 hour 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.

Visit her artist page to learn more about her in-person VAWAA.


"One of the best workshops I've attended in the past year. Very friendly vibe, easy to ask questions and share work with each other. Time was allotted wonderfully for both working and watching Debra teach. Very inspiring and learned so much!" - J Johnston

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

"I enjoy Debra's approach to projects - free, improvisational, thoughtful, and appreciate her encouragement to listen to what the materials might be saying." - Zann 

"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 

"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

"Really fun workshop. Great for loosening up your work" - Danielle

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