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Tracy will focus on the historic shirring techniques: chenille, bias, pleated, and bundled, as well as other standing wool and coiling techniques that have become popular. The historic techniques are from American Sewn Rugs: Their History with Exceptional Examples 2012, the book Tracy and antiques textile dealer Jan Whitlock wrote about some of the extraordinary handmade rugs created before rug hooking became more commonly used.

Tracy will demonstrate each of the shirring techniques and have samples for students to study. Students will then have the opportunity to try one or all of the techniques. They consist of fabric manipulated and sewn to the surface of a foundation; different from hooking or needle-punch techniques where the surface material is pulled or pushed through a foundation. 

Tracy will provide original project patterns that are in her book. They are well suited for these specific techniques and work with the 12” stretcher frames she will have, or students are welcome to bring their own patterns. Projects can be discussed and planned when she contacts students.

Teacher will contact students prior to class:  Yes

Level: Basic – students must have basic hand sewing knowledge & experience.        

Supply fee description: Depending on the project & supplies you select: 12” stretcher frame (only the center 9” is worked on) $15.00, foundation with various fabric surrounds sized for the 12” stretcher frame $20.00, a variety of fabrics and yarns (ranging in price), selection of patterns from her book (to fit the 12” stretcher frame) are free. Other original patterns of various sizes) $40.00 - $60.00, handouts describing each shirring technique & an assortment of books, new and vintage (various prices).

Students Need to Bring: Students may wish to combine workshop techniques with hooking so basic hooking supplies are recommended: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades #8 & larger, & a hook. Additional supplies needed: rotary cutter & cutting pad (Tracy will have a rotary cutter & cutting pad to use in class), needles, sturdy thread in neutral color, markers or pens, uncut fabric, regular hooking wool, lighter weight wool (which is typically not good for hooking), cotton knits, denim, blends or silk fabric, & various yarns (sport weight and worsted).


Tracy has had over 30 years experience as a restorer and conservator working primarily with American antique textiles. Moving to New York City from Minnesota in 1979, she became head of textile restoration for the America Hurrah Gallery, opening her own restoration studio in 1985. In 2006, she returned to college to complete an undergraduate degree, graduating in 2009, from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. After which, she committed her time to creating contemporary fiber works exploring various techniques using a combination of new, old, repurposed and non-traditional materials.

Tracy was the keynote speaker and a teacher at the ATHA 2019 Biennial in Denver, Colorado. She taught at Green Mountain Rug School in 2018 and 2023 and other locations. She wrote Coils, Folds, Twist and Turns: Contemporary Techniques in Fiber, 2017, and taught at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week (2016) in anticipation of the publication of her book. The book followed and was inspired by working with antiques textile dealer Jan Whitlock on their book, American Sewn Rugs: Their History with Exceptional Examples, 2012, about antique rugs using various sewing techniques before rug hooking became popular. They had an exhibit at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week, in 2013, where Tracy also gave a short workshop on shirring techniques.

She received “Best Mixed Media” (2014), and “Best Sculpture” (2020) for shirred pieces in the Guild Hall Members’ Art Exhibit, East Hampton, NY. Tracy’s works have been shown in juried and invitational exhibits including the Farnsworth Art Museum’s “Beyond Rugs!” where her piece, “Land Parcels Quad” was used on the exhibit poster.  She has received two Awards of Excellence from the Surface Design Association, as well as Juror’s Choice from the Newtown Hooked Art Show and Juror’s Choice in Hooked Art 2014. Tracy has also appeared on HGTV with Mary Emmerling and twice as a guest on Martha Stewart Living TV show. Several of her articles have been in Rug Hooking Magazine and the ATHA magazine.


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white and blue woman Jamar workshop

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