Fiddling with Fabric

Instructor: Margie Binker

Workshop & Lecture

Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20, 9:30 am to 4 pm; Sign up by March 29, 2017

Arts Center

Gualala Arts & PPQG Members: $85, Gualala Arts or PPQG Members: $90, Non-Members: $105

Download the official materials list here

Workshop Description:

Fabric Manipulation or fabric fiddling, as Jenny calls it, is lots of playing and a little sewing. It is a chance to challenge oneself with colors, textures and design combinations. Projects can be small or large. (See Projects). This is not a time to quickly put together a baby or donation quilt. It is a chance to touch, audition, rearrange, squint, press, iron and play. These are fun but not quick projects.

Our project for the class is a 25” square wall hanging. No wall space? How about a pillow? Or, how about putting 6 motifs together to make a full sized quilt. In the class, we can work with changing the configuration to create a project that will meet your needs.

We will begin the class auditioning colors. I ask you to bring in a variety of fabric colors that appeal to you. I have found that colors or patterns I thought would work don’t appeal to me once the project is underway. I know this way of working can be uncomfortable for some people. But we will have fun with the project and everyone I have taught has been happy with their own results. AND each project is unique working in this organic fashion.

About the instructor:

Margie Binker has been affiliated with the Mendonoma Coast since the sixties when her Father, Snap Binker sold some of the first lots on The Sea Ranch and helped design and build the Binker Barn homes.

Her quilting career began in Gualala while she still lived in Silicon Valley. The first president of Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Naida Mauthe, her step-mother, taught her, in a weekend, to make a very rudimentary log cabin design. It took her 10 years to finish it.

Then, having moved to the area, in classes at Gualala Arts and with the help of many local quilters, her fire was lit and she learned many skills and techniques. “Quilters are very generous people,” reports Margie.

Her fascination with fabric manipulation came from watching Kalynn Oleson play with fabric in their shared studio in Gualala. Kalynn would sit in her special corner and fiddle and play and cuss and twist and come up with fascinating scraps of texture and color that she would then add to her innovative projects. Margie would secretly try and duplicate what Kalynn was doing. (Shhh…don’t tell Kalynn.)

In 2015, Margie (now living in Reno) took a class at the Palm Springs Quilt Show from British quilt artist and fabric manipulator, Jenny Rayment. She was inspired to take the techniques taught by Jenny and expand them into a variety of projects. She is also inspired by Rami Kim, Colette Wolff and other who use fabric manipulation in their projects.

Margie never saw herself becoming a quilt teacher. But after many requests to show other quilters how to do fabric manipulation, she has now taught these techniques many times.

Materials and tools needed


Background to motif – 1 yd

Pleated trim – 1/2 yd WOF (width of fabric)

Motif petals and binding – 1/2 yd

Inserts – fat quarter or 1/4 yd

batting and fabric for backing (28″ sq. approx.)

(feel free to bring several fabric fat quarters to audition and explore)

These projects are fun to play with and expand our color sense!


Working sewing machine (singer classics will work)

Rotary cutter, ruler and small cutting surface

June Tailor Grid Marker (I will bring a couple so no worries if you do not have one)

Thread, scissors, pins, seam rippers, hand sewing needles, etc.


Final project will measure 25X25 approx. and will include three or more techniques.

Most students should be able to finish their project within two days. Those who want to focus on learning more techniques, there will be opportunities to do so.

Contact Information:

Margie Binker


Registration, Payment & Cancellation Policy

Register at Gualala Arts Center, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm or call (707) 884-1138. We accept Visa and Mastercard. Out of town workshop participants: see our Visitor Information page, including lodgings & restaurants.

If you would like to receive monthly workshop email announcements, please go to our website, Go to the left menu and click “Email sign up.” After signing in with your current email address, instructions will be mailed to you for updating your email choices. Class must be paid in full at registration. Payments can be refunded (minus a $25 non-refundable fee) until the “register by” date; after that date, no refunds. Classes are filled on a first come first served basis until all spaces are filled. All classes are subject to minimum and maximum enrollment. If the class does not fill, you will receive a full refund. Please check that your class has filled before the first meeting date.