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Mandals: Working in circles

“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word for circle or centre and I use it to refer to any circular imagery.   When we work in a circle or with circular forms we access deep inner resources of knowing – after all, we were created from an egg and live on a circular planet that revolves around the sun.  Mandalas have a long historical and spiritual history – Navaho sand paintings, Buddhist Mandalas (used as mantras), labyrinths worldwide, and, in the West, Rose Windows in large Gothic cathedrals.  Carl Jung has also used mandalas extensively in his explorations of the subconscious.

I will bring many, many images of mandalas as well as give a CD presentation to introduce you to all of the circle’s possible forms

We will spend Day One creating circular images in paint to use as starting points for the rest of the workshop.  As we work with circles, all the inner resources that they open up in us combine with all the skills we already have in sewing and quilting.  We are encouraged to work in new ways and our work moves to new levels that are reflective of each of us as individuals.  Depending on how fast you work, it is possible to get several done over the course of the workshop.  

Length: 3-5 days
Level: Beginner to Advanced. Some knowledge of free-motion stitching.
Materials Fee: $ 5.00 per participant

Supply List:

For Day One: Painting Supplies
• Several small yogurt containers and/or muffin tin
• A tray to carry paint back to your work station
• A large white plate or plastic lids to mix paint on
• Small sponges, a couple of paint brushes (stiff bristles)- ½” – 2” wide,
• 1 large sponge and 4-ltr. Ice-cream bucket for clean-up
• Paper towels
• Masking tape
• Any rubber stamps you may have (optional)
• 2 m. unbleached, medium weight cotton (plain white is OK, too)
– pre-washed and ironed Cut into 12” x 12” squares. This is what you will paint your mandalas on.

For Rest of Workshop:
Fabrics: Bring bag of scraps (any fabric, any size and shape). We will be working approx. 12” x12” so no larger pieces of fabric are required. Bring lots of your favourite colors, some metallics, some shiny, some with textures (velvets, velours, etc). They can be printed, mottled, solid, upholstery weight, chiffons and bridal nets, etc. Just make sure you like the things you bring! Try for a range of colors and intensities.

• 2 m. quilt batting (I use needlepunch polyester)
• 2 m. backing fabric (can be any scraps that are at least 12” x 12”)
• 1 m. paper backed adhesive (Heat’n’Bond Lite, etc.)

Sewing Machine: Oiled and cleaned plus all attachments for your machine, the machine’s guidebook, and an extension cord.


Threads: LOTS of machine sewing threads – cottons, polyesters, metallics, rayons, embroidery threads, etc. Perhaps beads and sequins (if you’re a beads and sequins kind of person!!!) and, if you like handwork – some of the threads and needles for that also.

Basic Sewing Kit: It should include extra needles (size 11, denim and/or topstitch), extra bobbins, container of sewing machine oil and brush, scissors (large and small), seam ripper, straight pins

• Olfa cutting board, ruler and cutter.
• Pen/notebook/sketchbook, eraser
• Geometry set – compass, etc.
• Set of colored pencils (Prismacolor, etc.) (optional)
• Set of oil pastels and/or Shiva sticks (optional)
• Rubber stamps (optional)
• Stencils (optional)

Classroom Requirements:

For Day One Only:

  • A studio space where we can “make a mess” –  painting the mandalas!  It must have an easily accessible water source.
  • Large tables to paint on
  • Extra table to hold supplies and samplers
  • A couple of drying racks and clothes pins
  • Area to lay out wet fabrics  
  • A partial set of Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paints – 250 ml bottles of the following colors: (Other brands of fabric paints would be OK)
  •    13 Buttercup
       24 Cardinal Red
       49 Fuschia
       12 Ultramarine Blue
       11 Cobalt Blue
       30 Turquoise
       28 Moss Green
       19 Black Lake

  • A selection of the Setacolor Metallics and/or Shimmer paints (optional)
  • 2-3 irons and ironing boards
  • For Rest of Workshop:
    • Ample workspace for each participant (2/table)
    • Enough wall space for each participant to view all their work vertically (This requirement is particularly important!!)
    • 2-3 irons and ironing boards
    • Communal cutting board, ruler and rotary cutter
    • 2-3 extra tables for supplies and samplers
    • A “teaching space” comprised of a table and demo space for me with an extra set of chairs around it for participants.
    • An easel with a pad of paper and/or a chalk board for demonstrations
    • A can of 505 Spray Adhesive and paper to protect the table surface
    • For CD presentation – LCD projector, screen, darkened room

    Instructor Will Provide

    • Assorted support materials – Heat’n’Bond Lite, Tear Away, unbleached cotton, etc.
    • Pins/tacks/sticky tape to attach items to walls
    • Geometry sets, compasses, circle templates
    • Set of oil pastels
    • Set of colored pencils
    • X-acto knife and mylar sheets for making templates and stencils
    • Rock salt
    • Assorted sponges/brushes
    • Many, many images of mandalas and samplers

    Print Supply List

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