Focus on Fiber Florida Style

Workshops by Matthews & Lenz 


Fragments of Nature, April 5-6

by Linda Matthews

 Day One

Fragments of Nature - Assemblage Hand-Dyeing (bundle dyeing) Nature Colors using Procion MX Dyes

Note: Students should have a basic understanding of color theory and how to mix dye colors.

During this workshop students will learn how to

– hand-dye bundles of fabrics, threads and fibers assemblage-style (bundle dyeing)

– mix and blend colors of nature using Procion MX Dyes
– quickly build a swatch library of nature colors using color runs

– use plants, leaves, flowers, twigs to create resist patterns and soft nature imprints

– overdye to achieve visual depth and color contrast

Day Two

Fragments of Nature - Stitched Mixed media using Assemblage Hand-Dyed Fabrics plus elements of nature such as twigs, leaves, etc

During this workshop students will spend some time outdoors foraging for leaves and twigs which will be used together with the hand-dyed fabrics, threads and fibers to create a small concertina-style fabric book. Photographs of nature which have been printed onto fabric can also be incorporated. 


If you sign up for this 2-day workshop you’ll also get access to my 8-week Fragments of Nature Online Workshop at no extra cost (value $175.00). The online workshop includes additional nature-inspired lessons and projects, and full details can be found here on my website -



Second Life

 Reviving Vintage with Grave Rubbings through Stitch, April 7-8

by Susan Lenz

SECOND LIFE is a workshop aimed to inspire participants to create fiber art heirlooms using vintage and recycled materials and to discover unique ways to stitch expressions of personal legacy. Various exercises are conducted to tap into hidden artistic desires, including stream-of-consciousness writing and tagging old keys with significant words. Crayon on fabric grave rubbings are incorporated with beads, buttons, old lace, and anonymous photos. This workshop delves into both memories from the past and hopes for future remembrance. Susan shares her vast location of grave rubbing art quilts and her daily studio approaches to making art. Participants leave with more than a finished work but with ideas for their own action plan with regards to their own family treasures and personal fiber stash.

GOALS:  Introduction to 1) crayon on fabric grave rubbings and their use with vintage household linens 2) hand stitching and free motion machine embroidery as a design tool 3) recycling as an art quilt concept  4) finishing and professionally presenting a framed or unframed family heirloom, and 6) stimulating creative responses for legacy artwork and challenging participants to think about art-making as a means of communicating their personal intentions, especially with a focus on text.


Finished Product:  At least one completed project as a small, wall hanging art quilt or mounted into a variety of provided, professionally cut mats

Provided Materials:  basic ground fabrics, threads, needles, a large assortment of vintage household linens, professionally cut mats and foam-centered backing boards, pins, recycled felt, buttons, vintage trinkets, embroidery floss and yarns, beads, crayons, letters clipped from vintage sources for collage work, matte medium, brushes, cording, notebook for writing exercise, pens and/or pencils.

Provided Class Supplies (as needed):  scissors, staple gun and staples, use of a sewing machine, resource books, irons, ironing boards, heavy-duty extension cords, power strips, iron cleaner, bibliography in handout form.

PLEASE NOTE! There is a $20 per person supply fee to be paid to Susan during the workshop. Participants are only asked to provide their own scissors, personal stitching/embroidery supplies as desired, any vintage materials (including small old photos, trinkets, buttons, embroidered household linens, and even mementos like old eyeglasses or lockets of hair … anything that might find its way into a personal legacy art quilt … but generally not something really, really rare or terribly valuable!) If a participant comes with only their own scissors … that’s fine … often preferable! 

WORKSHOP OUTLINE: Introduction to the concept. Stream-of-consciousness writing exercise.  Field trip to a local cemetery or churchyard (prior permission for private burial grounds are needed) and demonstration of making a grave rubbing. If the field trip is problematic, Susan can bring a real grave maker.  Time for individuals to make their own grave rubbings.  Heat-setting the rubbings. Collaging a found key with a concept word. One-on-one project planning discussion, demonstration on the dry felting machine. 

More individual work time.  “The Four Family of Stitches” hand embroidery demonstration, self-guided free-motion machine embroidery demonstration, individual work time. Demonstrations of finishing techniques including mounting fiber art for custom picture framing.


Instructors teaching qualifications:  Susan Lenz has taught fiber arts through the South Carolina Arts Commission’s “Artist-in-Resident Program from 2002 – 2006 and workshops for art teachers in several public school districts as well as the MAT (Masters of Arts in Education) program at Lander University (2005 to present).  Her workshops gave been part of the educational programming at the Columbia Museum of Art, Saluda Shoals Park Foundation, The Studios of Key West, the Society for Contemporary Crafts in Pittsburgh, PA; Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN; the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum in Carrollton, GA; the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, and for the Focus on Fibers retreat at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. This weekend workshop is meant to inspire participants to create a fiber art heirloom using vintage and recycled materials and to discover unique ways to stitch expressions of personal legacy.