Cynthia England

Picture Piecing

with Cynthia England

Image (2)

September 5-7, 2024
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

$495 Public/ $396 NQM Friend

Skill Level: Intermediate and Up

Supply List –
•MATERIAL FEE FOR CLASS: $55.00 – to be paid directly to Cynthia in class (cash preferred).

Material fee includes pattern, fabric pack (all fabric for the top including borders and binding) and all
design supplies.

Picture Piecing – Learning how to create realistic pieced pictures.

Homework… should you choose to do it… There are videos on the website: both sewing and designing. Good idea to watch those before class.

This will be a two-part class.
In the morning of the first day we will learn what differs the Picture Piecing technique from other methods. This technique stresses straight seam lines. There are no insets, working on the right side. You will have a choice of two designs for the machine piecing portion of class : Smoky Mountains or Blue Heron.

When signing up please indicate which design you want to work on so that I will have an adequate supply.

In the afternoon of the first day we will be learning how to break up a design so it can be sewn using this technique. You will be provided with a packet of designs. They start out simple and gradually become more difficult. The goal of this class is to make you more comfortable designing your own wall hanging.

The second & following days, students can decide whether to continue sewing on their project or begin designing a landscape quilt of their own.

For the First Part of Class:
Sewing machine with light and medium gray threads, if you have a single hole needle plate, bring it,
but don’t go out and buy one

Personal sewing supplies – i.e. pins, scissors (both fabric and paper) seam ripper

Iron (travel irons works great for this, not the tiny curling iron type), ironing surface (small table top
ironing boards work well)

Plastic tray – one that has a small lip on it (i.e. plastic lid from a shoe box or sweater box, not a huge one).
This is for laying out and organizing the individual pieces.

zip lock baggies – around fifteen should do – this is to separate the individual sections

For the Second Part of Class:
If you are planning on concentrating on the project you started the day before, no additional supplies needed.

Optional: Bring an interesting photo or magazine clipping for discussion. Look for good contrast.

If you are planning on working on your own design:
You will get the most accomplished by coming to class the Second Day with a line drawing full-size.

The facility has a copier we can use, so you can do this there. It is helpful to do your line drawing beforehand: enlarge the photo on a regular 8 1/2” X 11” piece of paper and place acetate over it (or drop it in a sheet protector) and make an outline drawing of the main objects. No shading, just an outline.

This outline then needs to be enlarged full-size to whatever your finished quilt size will be. Consider superimposing another part of a different picture on top. For instance, maybe there is a dead tree in front of your house and you want a healthy one in the quilt. Find another photo of a nice tree and make a tracing of that and superimpose it onto the other line drawing and create a new line drawing. I would suggest enlarging your design no smaller than 28” tall or wide. The larger the quilt, the more detail you can put in.

When choosing your photo, make sure you love it! Make sure that it has high contrast and think about bringing more than one photo to choose from. Feel free to bring fabrics for discussion that you would like to incorporate in your own design. Look for light, medium, and darks of the different colors in the photograph. Light, being the highlights in the photo, mediums, the main colors and darks, where the shadows are.

If you would like to email me a few choices of photos you are considering please feel free. I can also bring fabrics (1/2 yards) that I think may work well with your photo.

Designing your own – Bring the following:

  • A Photo or photos to work from
  • Freezer paper. If you have not worked with freezer paper before, look at the grocery store.
    I like Reynolds Brand the best.
  • Scotch Tape
  • Yard stick or Long Quilters Ruler
  • Tracing Paper
  • Fine Point Sharpie Marker
  • Ultra Fine Point Sharpie Marker
  • Acetate or a few drop-in sheet protectors

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Looking forward to working with you!



Cynthia England

Cynthia England is a native Texan and graduate of the Art Institute of Houston and
has been creating quilts for more than fifty years. Experimentation with quilting techniques led her to develop her own unique style and technique called, “Picture Piecing”.

Cynthia’s quilts have been honored with many awards, including three Best of
Shows at the prestigious International Quilt Association, as well as Viewer’s Choice at
the American Quilter’s Society. Her quilt, Piece and Quiet was distinguished as one of
the Hundred Best Quilts of the 20th Century.

Cynthia teaches and lectures nationally and internationally. To date, she has shared her
techniques at quilting events in South Africa, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Canada, Australia, Spain and Mexico.

She is the designer and owner of England Design Studios which is a publishing/pattern company which specializes in the “Picture Piecing” technique. Visit her website and watch the free videos which explain her process.