Denise hand paints all her (cotton, cotton-silk and cotton-linen blends, and/or silk organza) fabric, from which she then individually cuts out each stone. Working the same way as an actual stone mason building a wall or structure (working from the ground up, one stone at a time), these fabric stones are then – depending on the composition – reverse, turned edge, and/or raw edge appliquéd, or inset. In contrast, landscapes are typically free-form strip pieced incorporating both her hand-painted fabric as
well as couched threads, metallics, and yarns, whereas skies may be either strip pieced or hand painted as a single large panel. Tops are heavily machine stitched.
The first two days are dedicated to fabric painting – how best to mix, use, and layer (Seta sun-reactive transparent) paint; how to create and use resists; and how to cause (and control) layer-by-layer paint absorption, diffusion, blending, patterning, and mottling. The following three days focus on construction techniques and “best practices” re: turned edge appliqué, raw edge appliqué, reverse appliqué, insetting, free-form strip piecing, couching, and quilt finishing – all thematically integrated within a project-focused “working from photographs” framework.
Denise’s workshops are highly interactive and very hands-on, and are focused more on the development of participant creativity, confidence, and experiential exploration and learning than on rigid, one-size- fits-all lesson plans or patterns – her goal is to teach re-useable and replicable techniques and "lessons learned" that each participant's own creativity can then confidently expand on once away from the classroom.