Summer Camp is on! Join me in Haliburton in 2019!

Cheesecloth Imagery - July 1 - 5, 2019

Experience the magic of a week in Haliburton: Architecturally inspiring campus - Creative energy - Faculty exhibition, entertainment, and art talks - Self-guided walk-about exhibitions - Local galleries, shops, studios, and the Haliburton Sculpture Forest

Here is what Cheesecloth Imagery students have said about the class:

Mary was a warm, down-to-earth person - she took time needed to help each and everyone. I felt out of place at the beginning ... for about 1 hour and then it was full speed ahead. The classroom was perfect with perfect amount of students. Her teaching skills are that of a mother: patient, knowledgeable, welcoming and positive attitude at all times.
Mary Pal is an exceptional communicator and teacher. Not only does she facilitate a fluid and compassionate learning environment but brings out the best in all of her students. This course was exhilarating and refreshing - a must-have at Haliburton!
Fantastic! Awesome! Mary is an excellent teacher and I earned so much! She was particularly adaptive to student needs .... She was inspiring, thoughtful and incredibly generous - an instructor who I would come back for again and again.
Very well organized! Excelent examples - wonderful teaching skills - use of various teaching methods - extremely knowledgeable - well timed. Gave me the ability to produce wonderful new art in a medium I otherwise would not have experienced.
Mary is one of the best skilled teachers I have had the pleasure to learn with. She works with group dynamics, professional and seamless in her understanding of teaching techniques. She is positive, flexible, supportive, inclusive, professsional. (I am an educator and leader).

What is the workshop about?

Even beginning sewers can make dramatic textile art. In this very popular workshop, discover a unique method of creating remarkable artworks with humble cheesecloth. In our exploration of the many ways this surprisingly versatile medium may be used in fibre art, you will learn how to manipulate the fibres to employ transparency and contrast and portray a variety of textures. The focus in this class is on black and white for dramatic results, though you will explore optional methods of adding colour.

In addition to adding texture and interest to your fibre art, you will also learn nuances of portraiture through the study of many examples to determine how to depict the qualities of the human face that elicit emotional responses. You are encouraged to explore a variety of subjects - landscapes, animals, whimsical creatures or abstract designs. You will have an opportunity to try some easy-to-use computer programs as you learn how images can be adjusted on a computer, tablet or photocopier to create useful patterns. Understanding that not everyone is comfortable with technology, the instructor will work with students individually to design the composition and imagery required for their main project.

In a friendly and positive environment, learn how to:

·       incorporate texture into your fibre art: landscapes, portraits and other figurative imagery

·       harness the power of value for dramatic art quilts

·       observe and practise specific techniques to get different cheesecloth effects

·       access huge collections of copyright-free images for your own use

·       adjust photos on a computer or tablet to create your own patterns

·       manipulate and enlarge images for printing patterns

·       add colour to your background or cheesecloth with paint, ink and dye

·       use monofilament for “invisible” appliqué

·       display your fibre art work effectively

After working on exercises and small projects designed to teach you the basics, you will select a specific image of an animal, landscape or person to create a larger and impressive artwork all your own, with supportive guidance every step of the way.

Slideshow presentations and completed art quilts will walk you through every step of the process and inspire you with examples from the instructor’s own significant collection of completed cheesecloth artworks.

The instructor encourages students to email her in advance of the workshop to discuss imagery and to answer any questions you might have.

September 2018

Have moved to Toronto and thrilled to be working out of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op at 401 Richmond. Due to my upcoming exhibitions in October, which will keep me out of the country for most of the month, I am taking a sabbatical from teaching (other than my previously booked workshops). This will allow me to spend more time in the studio producing new work. I will post pieces in my gallery as they are completed. Thank you for your interest in my work!

Summer 2018

Workshop Publicity.jpeg

Elora, ON

July 8, 2018

I'll be Back teaching in Haliburton in 2018! Hope you can join me - July 16-20 AND/OR August 6-10  


An experience like no other...

Hope you can join me for a glorious week at the Haliburton School of Art + Design

I  am delighted to be returning to the breathtaking Haliburton School of Art & Design to teach for five art-filled days learning how to use cheesecloth to sculpt portraits and landscapes, how to add colour with Neocolor II wax pastels, and how to finish and display textile art. A week in Haliburton is a week you will never forget - a retreat like no other. I am looking forward to connecting with fibre art afficionados near and far and spending a week enjoying the beauty of the Haliburton campus and creating wonderful art!


Cheesecloth Imagery on Fabric (July 16-20, 2018)

 Learn to use cheesecloth fibres to portray transparency and contrast

Learn to use cheesecloth fibres to portray transparency and contrast

Textiles – Imagery to Art (August 6-10, 2018)

Discover the pure joy of creating your own compositions using textiles as your medium, learning surface design techniques and experimenting with a variety of processes to create original fibre art. Hands-on painting and printing techniques – including foiling, gold leaf, stamping, stenciling and resists on assorted textiles using a variety of paints – are complemented by learning the basics of the visual language of art.

 Painted andd stitched on canvas fabric

Painted andd stitched on canvas fabric

We will take advantage of our location in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands with a trek to take photographs for inspirational imagery (using your phone or digital camera…or a sketchbook) and to collect leaves and grasses for printing; back in the classroom, you will learn how to look at your subject matter, analyze it, abstract it and translate it to fabric using several different methods to help you accomplish your goals.

Through demonstrations, group discussions and individual critiques, you will learn to work intuitively using a camera or sketchbook, a computer or tablet, or a sewing machine (optional) to manipulate imagery and design compelling compositions. Guided, creative free time is balanced with clear and structured exercises throughout the workshop. Each participant creates one or two larger works along with several small studies. These studies may become completed projects and/or works-in-progress. All levels.

Note: This is not a quilting class, though that is one method of completing fibre art. It is possible to take this workshop without a sewing machine, but the supply list will suggest alternative products for finishing artworks.

Past Workshops

The Mane Event

Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 12:30 - 4:30 pm

at Carriageway Studios, Almonte

An adventure in colour and texture on fabric

Cost: $75 (includes all supplies)

Remember Colour by Number? This is almost that easy, so it is perfect even for someone who has never painted on fabric before. Complete beginners will learn how easy it is to add flowing colour to fabric with water-soluble wax pastels and then embellish with texture by adding sculpted cheesecloth for the mane. Then you will mount your finished piece on  an 11x14 canvas panel to take home, ready for framing. 

I will provide you with the pattern, show you both my trademark technique of sculpting cheesecloth for the mane and teach you how to achieve a luminous watercolour look on fabric. No sewing required!

The Mane Event.jpg

June 5-9, 2017

CEG London, Western University, London Ontario

5-day Workshop:  Cheesecloth Imagery on Fabric

July 10-14, 2017

Haliburton School of the Arts, Fleming College, Haliburton Ontario

5-day Workshop:  Cheesecloth Imagery on Fabric

Recent  Workshops

October 15-16, 2016

Espanola Fibre Arts Festival 

Lecture: One Artist's Journey, October 15, 7:00-8:00 pm

Workshop: Cheesecloth Sculpted Landscapes 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

October 27, 2016

Thousand Island Quilt Guild

Lecture: Accidental Artist, October 27, 7:00-8:00 pm

November 5, 2016

Carriageway Studios, Almonte

Workshop: Cheesecloth Portraits 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

November 15-16, 2016

York Heritage Quilters Guild

Lecture: Accidental Artist, November 15, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Workshop: Introduction to Cheesecloth Portraiture, November 16, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

November 19-20, 2016

Common Thread Quilt Guild

Workshop:  Cheesecloth Portraits and More, November 19-20, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

December 4, 2016

Carriageway Studios, Almonte

Workshop: Paintstiks from Start to Finish, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm



Received my complimentary copy of Art Quilting Studio in the mail today. It is such a beautiful publication and the article about my work is so thoughtfully written.  I feel quite honoured to be included.  Not sure if it is available in Canada, though.... I'll be looking! 

Quilt Canada 2016

 June 15-16, 2016

June 15-16, 2016

Art Quilt Elements

Excited to be getting ready to attend the opening of Art Quilt Elements in Philadelphia at the end of this month:

AQE 2016 postcardJADE.jpg


2016 Teaching Schedule:

My teaching schedule for the next while looks something like this.  I will add others as contracts become finalized.

Tuesday, April 12-Lecture: Getting From Here to There-Orleans, ON - Common Thread Quilters Guild

Monday, April 18-Lecture: One Artist’s Journey-Almonte, ON - Almonte Quilt Guild

Friday, May 6-Vernissage: Fiberart International-Pittsburgh, PA - Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Sunday, May 15-Vernissage: My Corner of the World: Canada-Stratford, ON - Stratford Museum

Tuesday, May 24-Workshop: Cheesecloth Portraiture-Perth, ON - Lanark County Quilters Guild

Wed/Thurs, June 15-16-Workshop: Landscape Basics-Toronto, ON - Canadian Quilters Association

Fri/Sat, June 17-18-Sculpting and Painting the Natural World With Textiles-Toronto, ON - Canadian Quilters Association

August 8-12-Workshop: Cheesecloth Imagery on Fabric-Haliburton, ON -  Haliburton School of Art & Design

October 14-16-Workshop & Lecture - Cheesecloth Sculpted Landscapes - Espanola, ON - Espanola Fibre Arts Festival

November 15-16-Workshop: Sculpting in Cheesecloth-Toronto, ON - York Quilters Guild



March 2015
I am delighted to have been invited to participate in the "Contemporary Fiber: Breaking Tradition" exhibition at the Lore Degenstein Gallery at Susquehanna University in PA.  I'll be there for opening night on April 11th!

December 2014
I was honoured to be invited by Sheila Frampton-Cooper to participate in the Vision Quilt Museum's exhibition "Expressions of Equality," running January 17 - April 5, 2015. A sneak peek of my entry, entitled "The Other 1%," which is concerned with socioeconomic equality, can be seen on the Welcome page of my site. The finished piece is now in the Portraits section of the Portfolio. 

November 2014
My piece "Equus" is featured in an article in Machine Quilting Unlimited Nov/Dec issue.

October 2014
My piece "Precious Time" is featured in an article in British Patchwork & Quilting November issue.

August 2014
My work is featured in an article in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine's Aug/Sept issue.

October 2014
The Celebrating Silver exhibit opens at the Houston International Quilt Festival, which includes "Precious Time."

September 2014
Lovely three-page spread of my work in Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine.

August 2014
Teaching in Brazil, first in Curitiba at the 2014 Quilt & Craft Show sponsored by Janome, and then to Studio Q in Porto Alegre.

August 2014
Six of my works have been selected for Viewpoints 9 exhibitions:

  • Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, Sept. 18-21, 2014

  • QuiltFest Oasis Palm Springs October 2-4, 2014

  • International House, Davis April 8 - May 6, 2015

July 2014
My solo exhibition, Conversational Threads: Impressions in Fibre, opens at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

March 2014
My work will be included in 1000 Quilt Inspirations by Sandra Sider, to be released in early 2015.

May 2014
Invited to teach at Quilting by the Lake, July 20-24, 2015: Sculpting with Cheesecloth and Cheesecloth Portraits.

January, 2014
Invited to participate in special exhibition "Expressions in Equality" to open January 2015 at Visions Quilt Museum, San Diego.

September 16, 2013
Art Quilt Matters interviewed me on the topic of "What is an Art Quilt?" and published it today on their blog

September 1, 2013 
Just learned that two of my works will be included in Linda Seward's upcoming book, The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilt Techniques.