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Mindful Making in New Mexico: A Virtual Workshop With Blair Stocker



Calm your mind and warm your soul this summer with Quiltfolk

Join host Jenni Smith for a live, virtual two-day workshop from the New Mexico home of quilter and author Blair Stocker, where you will soak up the incredible scenery, learn the tradition of chicken-scratch embroidery to make a gorgeous table runner, and get an up-close, exclusive look at some of Blair’s most famous quilts… all while she shares her wisdom for imbuing quilts with meaning and crafting mindfully.

  • June 11 & 12 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT
  • Hosted as a Zoom Webinar
  • Recordings for both days provided for access at any future time
  • Open to all experience levels
  • 100% money-back guarantee

When: The workshop will take place over two days, approximately three hours each day.

Day 1: Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT
Day 2: Sunday, June 12, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT

Where: It is a virtual workshop—no camera required—so find a comfortable location and connect via Zoom!  After registering, you will receive an email from Quiltfolk and Zoom with all of the details.

A recording will be available to all who register. So, if you can’t make the live event, or if you want to revisit the workshop at a later time, you will have access to the recording for as long as you would like.

What You’ll Learn: Blair and Jenni will guide you through the basic chicken scratch embroidery stitches, which you will then use to stitch three blocks (designed by Blair). These blocks will make up your table runner, a Quiltfolk-exclusive project that will build your confidence in using chicken scratch embroidery and also includes piecing small hourglass patchwork blocks, sashing, and quilting. Once you learn this classic technique, you will find that chicken scratch is a versatile skill that can be used in all manner of projects, from patchwork and garments to home decoration.

Experience Level: This workshop is open to quilters and non-quilters alike of all experience levels.

What You’ll Need: Once you register for the workshop, you’ll receive access to the attendee hub on Quiltfolk’s website, where you can find the kit list and more detailed workshop information.

Money-Back Guarantee: If you are not satisfied with the workshop when you are through, we will refund your total amount, no questions asked!

You may have learned chicken scratch before, but never like this! Commonly referred to as “Depression lace,” chicken-scratch embroidery is a hand stitching technique that Blair found to be very meditative during her recent move across the country, and she is excited to share her process with other makers. For our upcoming workshop, you will use this easy-to-learn, relaxing technique to create a table runner. First, you will spend time in Blair’s tranquil, adobe-style home where you will not only soak up the incredible desert setting but also gain insights into ways you can infuse new meaning into your own quilt projects. Together, we will look closely at some of Jenni’s favorite quilts from Blair’s bestselling book Wise Craft Quilts, while learning the meaning behind each one!

Then, back in Jenni’s studio in Yorkshire, you will learn the basics of chicken scratch embroidery and create a uniquely designed table runner that is exclusive to workshop participants only.

Our two-day workshop also includes a fun tutorial on how to make your own tortillas (while sipping margaritas), beautiful views of the southwestern United States, and a live Q&A session with Blair. Consider it a mini summer staycation!


If I had to sum up this workshop in one word, it would be: serendipitous. Blair Stocker came into my world with her book Wise Craft Quilts in which the concept behind each project explores storytelling and adding meaning to your quilts with just a slight shift in approach. I devoured it, recommended it to students, and, without doubt, Blair’s ethos was a big influence when writing my own book Quilting with Liberty Fabrics a few years later. I followed her creative journey online, we exchanged the occasional message about our shared passions, and during lockdown, I became slightly obsessed with watching her chicken scratch creations flourish from her home in New Mexico—and soaking up the incredible sunsets that she posted from her studio window!

Not long before Kay and I headed out to QuiltCon Arizona earlier this year, I searched the distance from Phoenix to Santa Fe, and it was just a one-hour flight. So, I messaged Blair, and we talked Quiltfolk and how relaxing chicken scratch embroidery is to sew as well as the big impact this skill has had on her during a global pandemic (including a major move from Seattle and the shifting of her family dynamic). Before we knew it, we had a crew, a brand new stitching project, and a relative’s adobe-style home in which to stay. We sat laughing around a kitchen table stacked with homemade tortillas, safe in the knowledge that we had created something very special to share with all of you. 

During this workshop, we will recreate that feeling of warmth, have fun, and tell you the stories of our adventure to an unfamiliar landscape whilst teaching you a technique that has provided many people comfort, including during the Great Depression. Moreover, chicken scratch is gorgeous to look at, very portable, and straightforward to learn, especially from an experienced teacher like Blair. In short, this weekend will be the perfect start to your summer—and did I mention the margaritas?!


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