Classes & Lectures

Classes & Lectures

Available: Lectures, full-day workshops, multiple-day workshops, retreats, conferences, half-day workshops, lecture-demos

In my lectures and classes students learn about African tribal art and wildlife while learning the needle art techniques of African Folklore Embroidery.

ONE-HOUR LECTURE & TRUNK SHOW: SAFARI THROUGH AFRICAN FOLKLORE EMBROIDERY includes embroidered samples and interactive discussion on South African wildlife, the Ndebele tribe and techniques used for completing an African Folklore Embroidery design.

African Folklore Embroidery kits and African hand dyed threads and Ndebele hand-beaded dolls are available for sale after the lecture. The lecture is humorous, educational and entertaining with a pop quiz included where audience members can win hand-dyed African threads for correct answers. I will donate copies of Leora’s book, Safari through African Folklore Embroidery to any guild or organization I visit.

Five percent of all sales from trunk shows are donated to our Aids charity in South Africa, KIDZPOSTIIVE. (


Students can select a kit from the many different design options available. Kits include design, needle, threads and stitch diagram. The only item students need to bring is a pair of scissors. Kit fee for all classes is $32.00

This workshop includes instruction on:

  • The history and background of African Folklore Embroidery and the culture, traditions and customs of the Ndebele tribe.
  • Stitching techniques for completing an African Folklore Embroidery design, including chain stitch, satin stitch, french knots and bullion stitch.
  • Embellishment techniques for enhancement and effect: use of variegated and metallic threads, beading, Mola Barbara interweaving, double-sided interweaving, roller coaster and African couching.
  • Playing with threads and color and how to mix threads and fibers
  • Completed designs can be converted into quilts, tote bags, pillows and wearable art.

Overview of the one day class (6-hours)

  1. History and background of African Folklore Embroidery and the various techniques that are to be explained, illustrated and incorporated in the class
  2. Philosophy of African Folklore Embroidery. This is an “out the box” kind of class, where creativity, color and creative expression are highly encouraged. The rules of African Folklore Embroidery are explained and emphasized throughout the class. The class is suitable for the beginner embroiderer, advanced stitcher as well as those interested in weaving, beading, and knitting, crocheting, quilting and expanding their creative horizons.
  3. Foundation techniques – Our first technique is learning the quilters knot and then going into learning the chain stitch and being in a comfortable and easy rhythm, being able to start and end off. The chain stitch is the foundation of African Folklore Embroidery and once we have completed an outline in chain stitch we begin with our first of three embellishment techniques, the MOLA BARBRARA INTERWEAVINGA TECHNIQUE, which transforms a regular chain stitch into a rope like three dimensional appearance. The effect of this technique is stunning.
  4. Embellishment techniques – Next we learn the DOUBLE SIDED INTERWEAVING TECHNIQUE AND THE ROLLER COASTER TECHNIQUE, both of which use chain stitch as their foundation. Use of color and different fiber weights are incorporated into these techniques for effect and enhancement.
  5. Additional Stitches – using our needles as paint brushes and threads as paints we learn how to do the following stitches: Satin Stitch- vertical, horizontal and diagonal satin stitch as incorporated into the design for effect and contrast. This allows the student to make each part of the design into a feature within itself. French knots and bullion stitch as a filler stitch and for various parts of the design are discussed and then illustrated.
  6. Advanced stitching such as cross stitch, herringbone, spider web blanket stitch are taught and incorporated into the designs
  7. Couching techniques which make use of silk ribbons, metallic threads and stranded floss will be illustrated and incorporated.
  8. Embroidered Beading techniques – All beads are provided as part of the class fee. The inclusion of different types and weights of beads takes the African Folklore Embroidery design to a whole new level.

At the end of the day, students will feel like they have been on a visual safari, learning, exploring and extending themselves creatively.

A 3 hour workshop will be a shorter condensed version of the 6 hour class. In 2 days students will have chance to master all the stitches and be well on their way to a completed project.

My lectures and workshops are entertaining, interactive, fun, educational, creative and humorous!

FEE SCHEDULE ( now booking 2014)

Lecture/Trunk Show: $200 (with product sales permitted)

Workshops: $400 per day (maximum 20 students, $15 daily fee per person above 20 students) $300 for 3 hour workshop

Reasonable travel/accommodation expenses will also be the responsibility of the organization making the booking.

Recent Posts

Family and (new) friends.

We had a very happy Easter Sunday with the family in Rockford!

I could bore you with my 24 photos of the adorable grandchildren but instead I just chose three….

Julia organized an Easter egg hunt in her very tidy back yard. Benjamin and Ruby waited patiently, clutching their baskets.

DSC07794 Ruby picked the eggs up as carefully as if they were real ones.

DSC07799 There was nothing inside any of the eggs but I guess if you don’t know any better then you are easily pleased?!!

We went on a walk around the neighborhood. It felt so good to be outside AND warm. Here is Benjamin encouraging his grandfather after the long trek…

DSC07811 Fun times!

Then yesterday I made the short trip to Sandwich to meet the Fair City Quilters.

DSC07814 Lisa came with me and handled sales after my Language of Flowers talk,

DSC07816 while the ladies got a little more up close and personal with the quilts!

DSC07817 And look what I came home with…


A dozen fresh real Free Range eggs!

Those quilters in Sandwich are a lovely bunch but I sure hope they get a volunteer to be secretary soon…


I’m going to be traveling further afield and making more new friends before the end of the year. Here’s a hint…


Find out the details at the Sew Many Places web site. I’ll be teaching a hand work project that we can work on sitting on deck in the sunshine… Sound like an adventure? There’s still some space left. I’m thinking it would make a fantastic early Christmas present (if you need an excuse!).  I’ll be posting more about it in the next few days.

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