In-Person Workshops

Introduction to Thread Painting

(1-day workshop)

Try this technique without committing to a major project. Participants will complete a series of small exercises to learn skills in isolation, and then combine them in more intricate compositions. We will begin with basic exercises for drawing, filling, & blending, before moving on to creating texture, contour, and depth. Skills learned in this workshop can be applied to a variety of pictorial and abstract projects.  This workshop also includes information on threads, stabilizers, and needles. A $5 kit fee will be paid to the instructor at the workshop.

Thread Painted Portraits  (1 or 2-day workshop)


This workshop begins with some basic thread painting exercises to practice filling, blending, shaping, while getting comfortable with free motion stitching movements. Next, we’ll focus on stitching specific facial features and adding realistic detail. Along the way, Lea will provide instruction on thread choices, photo editing, and tips for working on larger projects with multiple figures. A $5 kit fee will be paid to the instructor at the workshop.  A take-home, full face, practice panel is available for an additional $5.


Day 1 begins with basic blending, shaping, and contour exercises before moving on to the stitching individual facial features. On day 2, participants combine their new found skills to stitch a complete face, and learn tricks for adding detail and ways of manipulating the background to support the overall composition. Along the way, Lea will provide instruction on thread choices, photo editing, and tips for working on larger projects with multiple figures. A $10 kit fee will be paid to the instructor at the workshop.

Applique Portraits (People or Pets)

(2-day workshop)

Create a portrait quilt from your own photo. Learn the basics of portrait composition and how to
manipulate a digital image to produce a pattern for a portrait quilt. The workshop will also include instruction on fabric selection for pictorial projects. Quilters will cut fabrics and use a fused, raw-edge applique technique to create an amazing life-like portrait quilt approximately 18-inches in length and width, and will do limited quilting to complete the piece. Lea will also provide instruction on how to edit photos and prepare digital files for use in making the pattern.  Due to time constraints, each person will send Lea 2-3 digital photos at least 2 weeks prior to the workshop so that she can edit and prepare a printout for their use in making a pattern. A $5 kit fee will be paid to the instructor at the workshop.

A Play Date with Color & Composition

(1-day workshop)

Spend a day in guided exploration of concepts related to color & composition while creating a series of fiber art cards, approximately 4 x 6 inches, that can be stitched at home and given as postcards, framed as small works of art, or kept for future reference and inspiration. Together, we will experiment with a variety of color schemes, combined with value, line, repetition, shape, and texture. This is a cheap date as you will be working with fabric scraps, trims, and decorative papers from your stash at home. Arrive ready to laugh, share, create the unexpected, and go home with new treasures.

Lively Landscapes

(1-day, or 2-day workshop)

Learn and apply basic principles design to give the illusion of depth and perspective to basic landscape compositions. Lea will teach you how to use scale, and contrast to further enhance your composition. After completing 1-2 practice compositions, apply what you have learned to your own composition.  The size and complexity of projects will be adjusted according to the length of the workshop. Talk with Lea about how to customize this workshop for your guild or group.

Photo Editing

(1/2-day workshop)
Learn basic processes to manipulate and edit digital photos and prepare them for translation to fiber, along with principles of composition and the psychology of portraits. The finished results can be used as the first step in making a pattern for an applique portrait quilt or can be printed directly to fabric. Lea will demonstrate the processes involved in photo editing and participants are invited to bring their own laptop computers with photo editing software and follow along to enhance the learning process. Two people can work together and share a laptop. There is no kit fee for this workshop. This 1/2-day session can stand-alone or be the starting point for other workshops listed above

Contact for more information or to schedule an event.

Lectures available via Zoom.



NOW AVAILABLE: On demand Online Classes:  Start when you want, work at your own pace. 

DISCLOSURE: I earn a commission when you follow the links below to sign up for one of my classes on

Successful Pictorial Quilts with Lea McComas | Start Anytime 

Have you ever wanted to make a statement with a pictorial quilt, commemorate that magnificent view from a romantic vacation, or capture the perfect bloom from the flower garden? In this class, Lea will share the tips, tricks, and techniques to make that happen.

Fused Raw-Edge Applique Portraits Online Workshop | Start Anytime 

Do you have a collection of photos of cherished family members, dear friends, and interesting people you’ve met along the way, and a love of fabric. Combine the two to make realistic fabric portrait quilts. Let Lea McComas teach you her award-winning techniques for translating photo into fiber. Don’t be intimidated as she breaks down the process in easy to follow steps that will allow you to master fused, raw-edge applique portraits using fat-quarter fabrics for your first project. Create portrait quilts that will be prized holiday, anniversary, and birthday gifts, or artwork for your own home.  This workshop is also available as a 4-week virtual workshop, or a 1-day, or 2-day in-person workshop for guilds and quilt shops.