Donalee Kennedy: Thoughtful Improv Piecing | June 24-27, 2019

Donalee Kennedy: Thoughtful Improv Piecing | June 24-27, 2019

from 250.00

Loosen up and explore the magic of combining colors and textures in your pieced quilts without need for templates or patterns. Beginner to intermediate level retreat.

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Check In: Monday, June 24th, 2019 | Check Out: Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Tuition: $495 per person
Tuition + Meals: $710 per person
With Shared Lodging Package: $1,085 per person
With Private Lodging Package: $1,400 per person


A 5.5% tax on tuition/meals and 12% tax on lodging packages will be added to any full payments made online. Deposits will not include tax and will be applied to overall retreat registration. Communication shall follow all online deposits showing applicable remaining fees, including taxes.

Companion Rates are available for one companion over the age of 18 and one per registered retreat participant.


If you appreciate good design, and want to work looser in your quilts, here is your chance to explore piecing improvisionally! We’ll address design principles, sources, and color theories related to the project. Improv piecing is a fun and playful technique that you will want to employ in many future sewing projects. You will learn to select the best fabrics, format, and how it all fits together for the success of your piece.   By cutting and sewing 6 different formats, we’ll take the mystery out of the making of improv while you apply your own unique ideas every step of the way. Individual attention will be emphasized, and you’ll learn many creative solutions to possible obstacles in the safety and camaraderie of the group and our luscious setting.


Download + Print

  • Sewing machine in good working order

  • Needles / bobbins - filled / neutral thread

  • Small cutting mat

  • Rotary cutter and blades

  • Scissors/thread/ruler

  • Straight pins (lots of them) long and sharp.

  • Batting/Flannel (white)

  • Camera (your smart phone will work fine)

  • Sketchbook/pens/other supplies you want

  • Fabric, Solids; bring as many colors and values you can; fat quarters are okay if necessary

  • Prints, plaids, stripes, polka dots

Fabric kits will be available for sale in class.


I'm known for my textural and colorful fine art quilts for the wall. By working in an abstract improv style, I'm able to build each piece with the heart of an artist and the skills a structural engineer might employ.

No matter what medium I'm working in, the result reflects my energetic enthusiasm, and passion for abundant beauty. As I build a piece I'm also building the stories associated with the shapes and lines that come together to create the composition. I work until I'm happy with the overall visual and it feels dynamic and engaging. No two pieces are ever alike.

I was a jeweler for 25 years, as the owner-operator of a successful retail and wholesale business based out of Bayfield, Wisconsin. Those experiences and practices carry forward into all my work efforts.

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Lodging and Meal Rates & Info

All lodging costs listed are per person/per night costs. Due to the format of retreats, meal plans are required of all participants to maximize time with other students and instructors, while still providing time to explore Bayfield and the surrounding community. Please reference the cancellation policy as needed.