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Hats Off to Fiber Arts

by Cory Marie Podielski on February 4, 2015

in Featured Classes, Fiber Arts

Functional and stylish, hats keep our heads warm and allow us to express our inner creativity. There are so many styles and materials to consider… just ask Chad in the Dining Hall! We offer several Fiber Arts classes that focus on creating and embellishing hats. Try your hand at making both practical and fanciful hats these head-topping classes:

Hats Galore!
with Vasanto Nechemias • February 15-21


Hat by Vasanto

Make a hat for every occasion, for every family member, or for every day of the week! Be practical or fanciful…ready for the Kentucky Derby, a night on the town, or a day at the office. Focus on a different hat process each day: hat on a ball, double hood, template, and two piece.

[click to continue…]


Audrey Hiers Featured in McCall’s Quilting

by Cory Marie Podielski on January 27, 2015

in Featured Classes, Fiber Arts


Cover FULLA big congratulations to Folk School instructor, Audrey Hiers, for her American Wildflowers quilt, featured in McCall’s Quilting March/April 2015 issue! Read my interview with Audrey from November 2014.

And consider Audrey’s upcoming class:

“Crazy Dazies” – Tilt and ‘Qué!
March 15-20, 2015
Explore a simple way of tilting blocks for an asymmetrical and lively look to your quilt. This is a different method than you may have tried in the past and will save a lot of fabric. While we’re at it, how about a bit of raw-edge applique to apply vibrant and fun daisies? You may choose any size project you wish, from wall hanging to large quilt. All levels are more than welcome. Some sewing machine experience and rotary-cutting skills are helpful.

Register for “Crazy Dazies” – Tilt and ‘Qué!


Bonsai by Tim Ryan

Bonsai by Tim Ryan

Japanese aesthetic philosophy inspires us all the way from the Far East to the Folk School. Radically different from Western design, Japanese design principles mesh especially well with the Folk School due to an emphasis on simplicity, unobtrusive beauty, function, irregularity, weathered textures, nature, and tranquility. Cultivate a bonsai, write a haiku, try Ikebana flower arranging, learn about traditional Shibori dyeing, demystify Asian spices, create raku vessels for a Japanese tea ceremony and much more at the Folk School. Embrace Wabi-Sabi and Zen philosophy with these 2015 offerings focusing on Japanese design and techniques:

Beading by Judy Walker

Beading by Judy Walker

Beaded Kumihimo
with Judy Walker • February 1-6

Learn to do kumihimo – the beautiful Japanese braiding technique – with beads! Use a braiding disk for consistent results, starting with the easiest cords. Progress to more intricate designs and discuss the various results achieved with different materials and with the traditional marudai stand.

Haiku Poetry Writing Workshop
with Redenta Soprano • February 6-8 Weekend

Haiku Poetry by Redenta Soprano

Haiku Poetry by Redenta Soprano

Haiku is a traditional Japanese poem, consisting of 3 lines and 17 syllables. It is easy and fun to write, as well as an expedient, creative way to capture life’s special moments. Try your hand at it, using the winter beauty of the mountains as inspiration. Bring your powers of observation and depart with a:

Small book of haiku
At the end of the weekend
To take home with you! [click to continue…]


Want to play an instrument to accompany singing?
Don’t want to sing?  Just have fun strumming along.
Four fingers, four strings… the ukulele was made for you!

Try Beginning Ukulele with instructor Peter Thomas February 22-27.

Learn basic chords, keys and styles like Hapa-Haole, Tin Pan Alley, old timey, bluegrass, folk, and rock – the uke can handle them all!

Thomas_Peter_MU_BA_ 2_BIO


Peter has fond memories of his dad playing the ukulele. Peter says his dad only knew three chords, but could sing and play any song with just those three cords. Peter grew up singing old songs to the the strumming of the uke.

Time went by and Peter learned to play guitar and bass. In the early 1990’s his brother mentioned he had a ukulele and that he should get one too, and they could play along with their dad.

Peter bought his first ukulele at a flea market. It was a nice Aloha Royal Hawaiian ukulele for only twenty bucks. With the old instruction manual, he tuned up the uke to A,D, F#, B (what he now calls the mainland tuning) like the manual told him to do and learned the chords.

The family didn’t form a band together, but he and his dad enjoyed playing songs like “Moonlight Bay,” “Pretty Baby,” and “Dark Town Strutter’s Ball.” He fell in love with the ukulele and brought it with him everywhere he went.


In 2002, Peter founded the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz with Andy Andrews. From that time he has been leading ukulele bands, selling ukuleles, ukulele books and teaching ukulele lessons.

Peter Thomas will be teaching Beginning Ukulele, February 22-27 at the Folk School.

For more information or to register, please our visit the website:

Visit Peter Thomas’ website.



How to Make a Modern Quilt taught by Christa Watson.

Have you always wondered what makes a quilt “modern?” Come learn how to make one with instructor Christa Watson as she teaches you all the steps needed to complete a quilt from start to finish. Along the way, she will share key points of the modern aesthetic along with a little history of the modern movement.


A happy student shows off her Modern Log Cabin block.


Modern quilts can be liberating while they allow you to explore the boundaries of what is possible. Good technique is still important, and everyone’s quilts will end up being unique, while still following the same construction process.

Christa Watson is an enthusiastic and experienced instructor and award-winning quilter who loves to encourage others to find joy in making. Living with her husband and three children in Las Vegas, Nevada, she currently writes a column titled “Quilt as Desired” for the National Quilting Association. Look for Christa’s book, “Machine Quilting With Style” in the summer of 2015 from Martingale/That Patchwork Pace.


Christa loves to teach as much as her students love to learn!

Register for “How to Make a Modern Quilt” (March 8-14, 2015):

Learn more about Christa on her blog: