September Quarterly with Dana Bontrager

Dana Marie Design CoDana BontragerJoin us for a day with Dana Bontrager of Dana Marie Design Co.  Dana has made a career of “thinking outside the fashion box,” constantly stretching design and sewing conventions to develop new skills and creativity.  She creates unique, eye-catching garments that are both casually simple and wonderfully imaginative.

MORNING TRUNK SHOW, 10 AM-Noon  (Open to All)

Get ready to have your creativity revived! Dana produces patterns for the art-to-wear enthusiasts that are casual and built on simple lines. The style and design become the focus in her unconventional approach to sewing. You’ll learn an incredible array of wearable art techniques that are fun, flattering, and fantastic in a showing of the Dana Marie Design Pattern Line!  Questions, comments and enthusiasm encouraged!

Notions, Patterns, Supplies

danab01LUNCH & WORKSHOP, 12:30 PM-4 PM   (Registration Required)

The Ins and Outs of Binding Binding is a way of finishing an edge, it can be both functional and decorative. In this lecture/demo (no sewing machine needed) learn methods for binding inside and outside curves, like necklines and scalloped edges. See multiple ways of binding straight edges, adding treatments like piping and prairie points, and imitation binding. Dana will show her technique on how to create an inside corner like you would find on a square armhole or a stair stepped edge to a quilt. Learn when and how to use a variety of binding options including fold over elastic, seam binding, and self-fabric; how to use tools to create your own binding; how to calculate the amount of binding needed and the difference in binding styles like single, double, French and more!


QUESTIONS?  Contact: Ruthann Carter


What makes a person want to create? For myself, I’m intrigued by the way something moves or the way colors interact, like a bright yellow car on a grey rainy day. I’m often inspired by my particular surroundings. Living in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no end to the artistry provided by nature. From feathery ferns and crinkled moss, to the silvery trail left by a big banana slug, all are opportunities to recreate in fabric.

I began making patterns out of necessity. If I had a picture in my mind, I figured I should learn how to do it myself. I quickly realized how effective patternmaking can be. It gave me a whole new avenue in which to create. It satisfies both the right and left sides of my brain, by requiring inventiveness and logic. Creating patterns for others is just a way to share ideas and inspiration!

Fabric, patterns, stamps and paint are merely tools to express creativity. There is just something about having the chance to wear my artistic endeavors that prolongs the fun I had in creating it! Visualizing fabric as something other than a flat surface helps in design. How will it change when it’s on a three dimensional form (me)? How will I change it? I often chalk out the pattern shapes right on the fabric (something I learned from the modistas while living in Spain) and plan my surface design accordingly.

Very often your tools will be the inspiration. Did you ever find a great button, and buy it having no idea what it would go with? Maybe you should change the focus. Design a garment to go with the button! Look at it in minute detail, explore the ways the button can be expanded. How can you duplicate that design in fabric?

Some of my best design ideas happen by accident. Texture created by the folds in fabric are often more intriguing than smoothing them out with an iron. Spilling paint or dropping a brush may just be the touch needed. By purposely creating the same effect, you might have an award winning garment!

danabsigI never allow my creativity to be limited by what I know. It’s the unknown that I find more exciting. The revelation of something new is what makes sewing creatively so much fun. The culmination of what you see, learn, and do, sits in a corner of your mind, tapping in to that treasure is what leads to new discoveries. When asked how I came up with an idea, I often have to reply “I was just playing one day and….”.

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