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

(Almost) All is revealed.

So now I can reveal what I have been working on for the last few weeks. I was asked to tape three new segments for the 1400 series of Quilting Arts TV and after a couple of conversations and a few e-mails back and forth we had a plan! I have been devising some cute projects and stitching lots of step outs, hoping it would all be alright on the night…

Tuesday morning found me in make-up.

DSC07492 I always forget how grey my hair is until I see a picture like that one.

Cheryl was up first so I was able to relax and watch her on the screen. Here she is enjoying some Sharpie fun with Susan, the new host of QATV.

DSC07496 My trays were looked over and organized. I had three trays this time.

DSC07499 DSC07500 DSC07501 Cheryl’s segments all done it was time for lunch. Then, after all the waiting, all of a sudden I was on… Things happen so quickly but we did remember to snap a few pics on set.

Here we are sitting together, very graciously, on the sofa. My machine quilting samples are set up in the front.

DSC07512Cheryl went back to the green room and took this one of me waiting to be joined by Susan. That’s a great blouse from dream on. (thanks Bridget!)

DSC07517 The segment was all about quilting with the walking foot. Here I am in action at the machine..

DSC07525 We changed our clothes between each segment. That makes for a lot of work for the sound guy, finding somewhere safe for the microphone each time.

DSC07531 Susan and I were all smiles before the second segment.

DSC07533 Here’s my view from behind the table.

DSC07535 And here we are in action. I made paper foundation pieced blocks for a pin quilt.

DSC07544 Vivika joined us for a photograph before my third project. Looking great?

DSC07549 And here I am with my clamshell paper pieces for an english paper piecing segment.

DSC07555 My pillows looked good on this white chair!

DSC07565And that was that! Cheryl had some more taping to do so I learnt lots watching her at work. Meanwhile it snowed!


The little bit of the white stuff was not enough to deter us from a final dinner out with the gang. We made a quick stop in at the studio on Wednesday morning, just to discuss a few details for future adventures…

The drive home was uneventful with Cheryl at the wheel. No sleeping this time as we shared our experiences and discussed our plans. There’ll be no slowing down any time soon!

  1. Off, out and away? Leave a reply
  2. A quick project for the grandchildren. Leave a reply
  3. On retreat… Leave a reply
  4. Out and about (but not too far away!) Leave a reply