Layer, Stitch & Burn…..

One of my favourite workshops has to the Layer, Stitch & Burn which I will be running again at the Alford Craft Market Centre on November 16th. This class teaches a technique made famous by the American mixed media textile artist Susan Lenz.

The title sums it up exactly, we begin by layering our fabrics, we use free motion machine stitching to hold them all together and then we set them fire! OK, so we don’t go quite that far but we do apply heat to manipulate and burn away sections of our work which results in a beautiful lacey effect.

This is an example of Susan’s work

I first discovered Susan’s work via a video on YouTube where she was teaching how she made her “In Box” series. I had only just discovered there was such a thing as textile art and had started experimenting with my own projects, so to see a Textile Artist with a heat tool and a soldering iron was pretty exciting stuff! It inspired me to research further which led me to Margaret Beal and her book New Ideas in Fusing Fabric…..needless to say I’ve had an interest in manipulating fabric by burning ever since!

Originally In this workshop we made a square piece of work to fit a small box frame but there is also the option of using this technique to make several smaller pieces which can be used as brooches. These leaf brooches were made using the same fabrics that are supplied for the workshop and the same method but students can apply it to any shape or subject matter.

Leaf Brooch made using the Layer, Stitch & Burn technique

It’s very strange times right now and, understandably, lots of ladies are not yet ready to come back to classes. I’m just hoping that we get enough interest to run this workshop on the 16th……fingers firmly crossed!

4 thoughts on “Layer, Stitch & Burn…..

    • Thanks Lyn, the previous students certainly produced some lovely work. Unfortunately it’s sounding like we will have a national lockdown starting next week so the class will have to be cancelled! Hey, ho…..theses always another time.


  1. Your samples are great as usual Karen.

    These are indeed strange times….a total unknown – in a vacuum!
    I would love to add new ideas (more accurately refresh my memory) on this technique not only to be creative but to be in the company of like minded folk.

    Sadly not only are you too far away but like so many I’m being extremely careful….we were all used to juggling the ‘work/life balance’ – now it is the physical/mental balance – the former is needfully heavily weighted in our bubble.

    Stay safe Karen if you manage to do your workshop.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your pyromaniac creations….😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you Antje regarding the need to be in the company of like minded folk right now. It’s not quite the same as being up close and personal but the textile groups I belong to regularly have email and Zoom “show and tell”. It’s great to see what everyones doing and still get to exchange ideas and tips. Stay safe yourself!


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