Tribal Applique Workshop – Paducah, KY – Jan 28 and Feb 4 2023
  • Tribal applique workshop 2023

Tribal Applique Workshop – Paducah, KY – Jan 28 and Feb 4 2023


Workshop on global applique techniques with time dedicated to experimentation and creating a patch.


Applique is a sewing technique practiced around the world. It basically involves adding a shape over a base fabric and stitching it down. The stitching and the fabrics used are what makes it interesting as different cultures have become known for their specific designs. Anyone who loves cultural textiles can identify a Kuna mola, a Hmong pandau, Hawaiian quilts, African kuba cloths and many other types of applique at a glance. American quilters use applique in both traditional and contemporary designs.

There is also cutwork applique which is the opposite of stitching a shape onto cloth. Instead, the larger fabric is cut to reveal another layer below it. The Kuna molas are especially known for this.

We will look at actual pieces from my collection in this workshop and examine how the stitching was done, what materials were used and how those techniques might be applied to our own story and time.  Applique can also be done by machine which is a great deal of fun, but for this workshop, we will focus on the hand stitching, although I will show a couple of examples of what can be done by machine.

Participants will also receive an article about these different techniques with links to good sites and videos which can be explored at will.  Example: Click on the image below to go to an article on the history of Kuba Cloths.

Congolese Kuba dancers in their full regalia

The workshops will be held at Green Roof International House in downtown Paducah, Kentucky, USA on two consecutive Saturdays in 2023:

January 28 1-4PM

  • Introduction: Examining textiles and books.
  • Exercises: practice simple shapes with both cutwork and traditional applique.  Freezer paper uses. Test different needles, threads, and yarns for various effects.
  • Decide on a small project.  Creating a patch is ideal for this. It can later be sewn on to a pair of jeans, a jacket, a purse, etc.  Valentine’s Day is coming up, so how about an embellished heart?

February 4 1-4PM

  • Finishing the stitching on the patch.
  • Embellishing with embroidery, beads or buttons.

All materials are provided. Participants will leave with a sampler for future reference, a finished patch, and the list of links to sites on applique around the world.  Fun!

Only six seats available.  Please have up to date Covid vaccines. I’m a Covid virgin and really don’t want to get sick…

Not local to Paducah?  If you are in driving distance, make a weekend out of it and stay at our Airbnb!

Too far to drive?  I can figure out how to make this a virtual workshop if there is enough interest.  Use the contact page to let me know that you are interested and when there are five people or so, we’ll figure out the best way to do it. I can make the virtual class for $48 since I won’t be providing the materials.


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