Transform Fabric Scraps Through the Ancient Art of Macrame

Live from Los Angeles, United States

On Saturday, February 6th at 2pm EST, join VAWAA and textile artist Debra whose creative process is similar to that of a painter, loving the act of creating with her hands and composing with color. Guided by her fun and intuitive approach, you'll learn how to make your very own macrame art piece using the double half hitch macrame knot, fabric and plastic bag strips. 

Decorative knot-tying can be traced back to third-century China on ceremonial textiles as well as wall hangings. However, the origin of Macrame is usually attributed to  thirteenth century Arabian weavers; originating from the Arabic word for ‘fringe’. As the practice made its way to Europe, it became a favored past time of sailors to wile away the long hours at sea. Their knots are still in practice today and in this session we will explore using the double half-hitch macrame knot. 

We will use whatever found materials we have on hand, whatever we have collected (intentionally or otherwise) on our own voyages. Taking old materials that otherwise might be considered waste, finding a way to bring them together and creating something new, can be a fun and inventive process. We will consider color, pattern and dimensional properties all the while. It all culminates in a beautiful and intricate final piece.

Many find this craft to be meditative in its soothing repetition, pulling together the soft fabrics. It's also thought to be physically therapeutic, strengthening the hands and arms. 

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. 

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

What you'll need

  • Fabric and plastic bag strips of different colors, approx 1/2" to 1" wide and anywhere from 12" to 36" in length

  • A board, 11" x 14", either foam core or cardboard

  • Push pins

  • Tape

  • Some kind of weight to hold the board in place while starting the piece, i.e. a jar or a bag of beans 

  • Paper and art materials of your choice, i.e pencils, crayons, watercolors

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA online on Zoom. You'll receive link and details to join via email a few hours before it begins. We recommend having all the materials ready before the session.

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 do 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 friends.