MJ
Kinman

Quilting Classes & Events

Schedule of Upcoming Classes & Events

I’m thrilled to be back out on the road teaching IN-PERSON classes! I’m now booking classes and trunk shows through 2026.
To check if I’ll be at a guild or show near you, CLICK HERE for a listing of scheduled classes.

To learn more about the classes I’m currently teaching and the new classes planned for 2024 and beyond, keep reading!

IMG 20221117 212733 427 3
IMG 20221118 194817 284
In class picture

Trunk Shows/Lectures

Logo GemsJoyTrunkShow

Gems & Joy Trunk Show

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

My “Gems & Joy” slide lecture and trunk show chronicle my 25-year adventure in learning how to create the biggest diamonds in the world using fabric.

During my presentation, I’ll talk about the techniques to create and assemble the hundreds of pieces in each diamond, materials I use to create the wash of color and light across a gem’s surface, and the quilting techniques that enhance a gem’s facets. And, as so often happens with any artist’s decades-long journey, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the importance of choosing joy and saying “no” to fear as I made the leap from the Corporate Life to the Creative Life.

Download the overview below.

Length of Presentation: 60 minutes

Skill Level: All

Lecture Fee: $450 ($400 when a class is also scheduled)



Logo Smithsonian Series

National Treasures Trunk Show

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

My “Smithsonian Series” slide lecture and trunk show introduce you to the artwork inspired by the most beautiful gems in the world. Learn about the gems and their amazing stories, including the amazing people who were caught up in their orbits.

Download the overview below.

Length of Presentation: 60 minutes

Skill Level: All

Lecture Fee: $450 ($400 when a class is also scheduled)


Playing With Pixels

Playing With Pixels (Lecture)

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

When I’m searching for inspiration for a new piece or perhaps the seed of a new series, I love to play with images of gemstones in photo-editing apps like Photoscape.

These apps allow you to manipulate images in a myriad of ways, transforming them into intriguing sources of inspiration for new work.

Download the overview below.

Length of Presentation: 50 – 60 minutes

Skill Level: All

Lecture Fee: $250 ($200 when a class is also scheduled)


Logo Color Play 2 1

Color Play: Beyond Color Theory (Lecture)

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

Color plays a pivotal role in my gem quilts. Over the past 25+ years, I’ve learned ways to approach color with confidence and I’m delighted to share these method and ideas with you. My Color Play lecture is targeted to helping you gain confidence when working with color choices.

We start with basic color theory, discussing how our brains crave harmony and why certain color combinations satisfy that craving. Then I move beyond basic color theory to explore how a color can “change” simply by being placed next to other colors.

I’ll demonstrate how to make your quilts sparkle and glow by selecting fabrics of different values and saturation levels, how to create effective transparencies, and how to change the appearance of a color in a variety of ways just by placing it next to another color.

Why are these concepts important? I want to help demystify the use of color, help you gain confidence in your color selection, and create beautiful quilts regardless of your inspiration!

Download the overview below.

Length of Presentation: 50 – 60 minutes

Skill Level: All

Lecture Fee: $250

Classes (Half-day & Full-day)

Logo Color Play 2 1

Color Play: Beyond Color Theory (3-hours)

Due to the hands-on experimentation, this class is best taught in person.

Over the course of the last 25 years, I’ve learned a few things about how to make quilts sparkle and glow. Join me and learn how to use value and saturation contrast bring sparkle and drama to your work, regardless of your inspiration.

This is a class filled with time to experiment and build on lessons learned. There is no sewing required in the 3-hour workshop.

Download the supply list below.

If guilds would prefer this to be a 6-hour/full-day workshop, I can accommodate that. We may also want to build in time to sew toward the end of the day. The full-day version is priced at $750.

Length of Workshop: 3 hours (can be expanded to 6 hours)

Skill Level: All

Workshop Fee: $450 (6-hour version is $750)

Maximum Students: 24

Logo for Improv Gems Class 2
Logo for Improv Gems Class 2

Improv Gems (3-hours)

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

In this class, I’ll show you how to create sparkling gem blocks in a whole new way using the power of improvisational piecing.

Learn how to use improvisational strip-piecing techniques to create emerald-cut, baguette-cut, and Asscher-cut diamonds. These are diamond styles that feature long, lovely facets — the “hall of mirrors” that highlight the interior clarity of a gem.

I’ll demonstrate different styles of piecing, as well as discuss how to make your quilts sparkle and glow by selecting fabric of different values and saturation levels.

Download the supply list below.

Length of Presentation: 3 -Hours

Skill Level: All

Lecture Fee: $450


Logo BiteSizeGems

Bite-Size Gems (Full-Day)

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

In this fast-paced workshop, participants will create their own singularly beautiful work of faceted light using the same single-foundation piecing techniques I use to create my own “diamond quilts”.  

Participants will choose from one of several pre-selected abstract gem designs based on their skill level. They will then learn how to chart the design onto freezer paper; code each piece for color, location, and adjacency; position template pieces onto fabric to achieve the desired light effects; and ultimately create their own unique study in faceted color. Participants will leave the class with a block that can later be hand- or machine-quilted at home.

Download the supply list below.

Length of Workshop: 5-6 hours

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Workshop Fee: $750

Maximum Students: 24


Logo Dames and Diamonds

Dames & Diamonds (Full-Day)

In-person & Zoom presentations available for guilds and other organizations.

I’m delighted to introduce students to the technique I use to create all my gem patterns: traditional piecing using freezer paper as a template. I’ve designed three patterns inspired by some of the world’s most beautiful gems, all of which are made available to class participants. Patterns are available as PDF downloads.

Participants will choose one of the fully-charted gem patterns to make during class. During class, we’ll not only create a quilt block of the patterns, but I’ll share all kinds of gossip about the gems and their outrageous, eccentric, and intriguing owners.  

Download the supply list below.

Length of Workshop: 5-6 hours

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Workshop Fee: $750

Maximum Students: 24


Teaching at eQuilter cropped

Schedule of Classes & Events

Find downloadable PDF of descriptions and supply list for each class above.


Caribbean Holiday Twin Size
Caribbean Roses Twin Size

June 21 – 29, 2024

Quilting Cruise with MJ Kinman (Adventures by Michelle)

IN-PERSON

Join me on my very first QUILTING CRUISE! We’ll spend this 8-night/9-day Royal Caribbean cruise line adventure visiting beautiful spots in the Caribbean like St. Croix, St. Thomas, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Coco Cay. While at sea, I’ll show you how to make 1 of 2 special quilts I designed just for this trip: “Caribbean Holiday” and “Caribbean Roses”. Both projects are twin-size quilts featuring large and small gemstone blocks.

The full kit is included in the fee, and I’ll bring a variety of backgrounds and embellishments for you to choose from to customize your quilt. Plus you’ll have lots of downtime for free sewing to your hearts content!

Michelle and I sat down to chat about our destinations, the projects, and more. Click the image below to listen in.

Screenshot 904

Itinerary:

  • 21 June 2024:     Depart Port Canaveral, Florida at 4pm – Make & Take Sponsored by our Janome Provider
  • 22 June 2024:     Quilting and Cruising Day at Sea – Welcome Aboard Party – Evening Open Sewing
  • 23 June 2024:     Quilting and Cruising Day at Sea – Evening Open Sewing
  • 24 June 2024:     Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas from 8am to 6pm – Evening Open Sewing
  • 25 June 2024:     St Croix, USVI from 8am to 8pm – Evening Open Sewing
  • 26 June 2024:     San Juan, Puerto Rico from 7am to 4pm – Evening Open Sewing
  • 27 June 2024:     Quilting and Cruising Day at Sea – Evening Open Sewing
  • 28 June 2024:     Morning Open Sewing – Coco Cay from 9am to 5pm – Farewell Party
  • 29 June 2024:     Arrive Port Canaveral, Florida at 7am

Registration is now open! Click below to download the flyer with more information or CLICK HERE to visit the Adventures by Michelle website.


Gems Joy Logo Revised Jun 2021
Logo

July 10, 2024

Loose Threads Quilt Guild (St. Peters, MO)

IN-PERSON

Join me and the members of the Loose Threads Quilt Guild for my trunk show “Gems & Joy”. This slide lecture and trunk show chronicle my 25-year adventure in learning how to create the biggest diamonds in the world using fabric.

During my presentation, I’ll talk about the techniques to create and assemble the hundreds of pieces in each diamond, materials I use to create the wash of color and light across a gem’s surface, and the quilting techniques that enhance a gem’s facets. And, as so often happens with any artist’s decades-long journey, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the importance of choosing joy and saying “no” to fear as I made the leap from the Corporate Life to the Creative Life.

Contact: Leslie Blanchard; [email protected]


Logo BiteSizeGems
Logo Dames and Diamonds

July 11 & 12, 2024

Bits ‘N’ Pieces Quilt Guild (St. Louis, MO)

IN-PERSON

Bite Size Gems Class (July 11)

In this fast-paced workshop, participants will create their own singularly beautiful work of faceted light using the same single-foundation piecing techniques I use to create my own “diamond quilts”.  

Participants will choose from one of several pre-selected abstract gem designs based on their skill level. They will then learn how to chart the design onto freezer paper; code each piece for color, location, and adjacency; position template pieces onto fabric to achieve the desired light effects; and ultimately create their own unique study in faceted color. Participants will leave the class with a block that can later be hand- or machine-quilted at home.

Dames & Diamonds Class (July 12)

I’m delighted to introduce students to the technique I use to create all my gem patterns: traditional piecing using freezer paper as a template. I’ve designed three patterns inspired by some of the world’s most beautiful gems, all of which are made available to class participants. Patterns are available as PDF downloads.

Participants will choose one of the fully-charted gem patterns to make during class. During class, we’ll not only create a quilt block of the patterns, but I’ll share all kinds of gossip about the gems and their outrageous, eccentric, and intriguing owners.  

Contact: Candy Grisham; [email protected]


Logo Smithsonian Series
Color Play Logo Beyond Color Theory2

July 16 & 17, 2024

Hearts ‘N Hands Quilt Guild (O’Fallon, IL)

IN-PERSON

Smithsonian Series Trunk Show

My “Smithsonian Series” slide lecture and trunk show introduce you to the artwork inspired by the most beautiful gems in the world. Learn about the gems and their amazing stories, including the amazing people who were caught up in their orbits.

Color Play: Beyond Color Theory

Over the course of the last 25 years, I’ve learned a few things about how to make quilts sparkle and glow. Join me and learn how to use value and saturation contrast bring sparkle and drama to your work, regardless of your inspiration. I’ll also show you how to create powerful transparency in your work. Finally, we’ll explore ways to manipulate color just by pairing different hues. The 3 concepts we’ll discuss will change the way you view color forever!

Contact: Laurie Litvin; [email protected]


Copy of Teaching at Quilt Festival 2024
Logo BiteSizeGems
Logo for Improv Gems Class 2
Color Play Logo Beyond Color Theory2

Oct. 28 – Nov. 2, 2024

International Quilt Festival (Houston, TX)

IN-PERSON

I’m thrilled to have been invited to teach at this year’s International Quilt Festival! The schedule will be posted in June at Quilts.com.

I’ll be teaching my favorite classes!

“Bite Size Gems” introduces students to the technique I’ve used for over 25 years to create my giant gem quilts.

“Improv Gems” shows you how to make gem blocks in a whole new way without all the prep work.

In my lecture “The Magic of Color Interaction” , I’ll lead you on a color adventure that starts with this idea: When we see colors in close proximity, our brains act to make them as dissimilar as possible. In other words, it’s all about the contrast! No wonder so many people believe (wrongly!) that they have trouble with color.

We’ll talk about…

  • How to make quilts sparkle with value contrast and then use that to create lovely all-over shimmer, dramatic focal points, and movement in your work.
  • How to make quilts glow with saturation contrast and then use that to create work that looks like it’s lit from within.
  • How to use your new skills in creating sparkle and glow in your quilts to produce cool effects like replicating metallic surfaces and creating powerful transparencies.
  • How to change the appearance of a color just by pairing it with a different color. I’ll show you how to make 1 color look like 2 and, conversely, how to make 2 colors look like 1.

These are concepts that blew my mind when I first heard about them. They’ve opened up a whole new way of approaching color with confidence.

Ready to gain more color confidence? Join me for this lecture.

“Color Play – Beyond Theory” is a hands-on class dedicated to exploring the concepts listed in the lecture above. Develop your confidence in using these principles by experimenting with fabric swatches to create sparkle, glow, transparency, metallic appearances, and color changes.

To learn more, CLICK HERE to go to the International Quilt Festival website.


Gems Joy Logo Revised Jun 2021
cropped qor header smaller

February 17, 2025

Zoom

Join me and the members of the Loose Threads Quilt Guild for my trunk show “Gems & Joy”. This slide lecture and trunk show chronicle my 25-year adventure in learning how to create the biggest diamonds in the world using fabric.

During my presentation, I’ll talk about the techniques to create and assemble the hundreds of pieces in each diamond, materials I use to create the wash of color and light across a gem’s surface, and the quilting techniques that enhance a gem’s facets. And, as so often happens with any artist’s decades-long journey, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the importance of choosing joy and saying “no” to fear as I made the leap from the Corporate Life to the Creative Life.

Contact: : ‘Rosa Merrell’; [email protected]


Teaching at QuiltCon 2025
Logo for Improv Gems Class 2
Color Play Logo Beyond Color Theory2
Playing With Pixels

February 21-23, 2025

QuiltCon (Phoenix, AZ)

IN-PERSON

I’m so excited to to have been invited to teach for the very first time at QuiltCon next year! I’ll be teaching and lecturing on some of my favorite (and newest) topics.

“Improv Gems” shows you how to make gem blocks in a whole new way without all the prep work.

In my lecture “Color Play – Beyond Color Theory”, I’ll lead you on a color adventure that starts with this idea: When we see colors in close proximity, our brains act to make them as dissimilar as possible. In other words, it’s all about the contrast! No wonder so many people believe (wrongly!) that they have trouble with color.

We’ll talk about…

  • How to make quilts sparkle with value contrast and then use that to create lovely all-over shimmer, dramatic focal points, and movement in your work.
  • How to make quilts glow with saturation contrast and then use that to create work that looks like it’s lit from within.
  • How to use your new skills in creating sparkle and glow in your quilts to produce cool effects like replicating metallic surfaces and creating powerful transparencies.
  • How to change the appearance of a color just by pairing it with a different color. I’ll show you how to make 1 color look like 2 and, conversely, how to make 2 colors look like 1.

These are concepts that blew my mind when I first heard about them. They’ve opened up a whole new way of approaching color with confidence.

Ready to gain more color confidence? Join me for this lecture.

In my lecture “Playing With Pixels”, I’ll demonstrate some of the coolest and most fun ways I find inspiration for new work or a whole new series. Playing with images in any image-editing app (like Adobe Photoshop, Photoscape, and others) can lead to design breakthroughs you can’t achieve through hand sketching.

I’ll demonstrate over 20 different effects and the practical ways I use them in my work.

To learn more, CLICK HERE to go to the QuiltCon website.


Madeline Island 2025

Kinman Class Image 4
Kinman Class Image 1
Kinman Class Image 5

Vista 1

September 8 – 12, 2025

Madeline Island School of the Arts (Madeline Island, WI)

IN-PERSON

Make plans to meet me on Madeline Island, a gorgeous retreat on Lake Superior, in September of 2025!

“Treasure Hunting: Designing with Freezer Paper”, is an immersive, hands-on adventure in design. I created this class specifically for quiltmakers who want to make a quilt in which every piece is a different size and shape but aren’t quite sure how to execute it.

The secret is freezer paper. Freezer paper piecing techniques are powerful tools that can transform your idea into reality. While I MJ finds her inspiration in gemstones, your inspiration might be landscapes, florals, portraits, or abstract images. These techniques apply to them all.

I’m always quick to point out that this is not foundation paper piecing. There’s no sewing to paper or tearing paper out of the back of your quilt block when finished. Instead, I like to describe this technique as traditional piecing using freezer paper as your templates. If you can sew together two pieces of fabric with a quarter- inch seam allowance, you can do this!

Using images of gemstones (which I will provide) — or any other image you want to use as your inspiration – I’ll work with you step-by-step to transform your design into a quilt.

Here are just a few of the skills you’ll master that week:
– Transform an image into a quilt design by charting the “through lines” in your image.
– Understand the visual clues and codes that will help you put your quilt together with confidence.
– Evaluate fabric’s impact on the “clarity” of your design.
– Create a color palette that makes your heart sing.
– Create focal points, visual movement, and “bling” in your quilts with value contrast.
– Make your quilts glow with saturation contrast.
– Create powerful transparencies by manipulating alignment, middle mixtures, and depth order.
– Build your color confidence by mastering the rules of color interaction.
– Master piecing techniques specific to freezer paper.

Additionally, I’ll show you….
– How to use photo-editing apps to find inspiration for new work or a new series
– Fabric painting techniques
– Finishing techniques for your quilt (i.e., quilting designs & gallery facing)

And finally, throughout the week I’ll share tales of famous gems and the wild, eccentric people who owned them.

Make plans to join me for a week of design inspiration and create your own singularly beautiful work of faceted light!

Note: This class is also open to anyone who wants to work on one of my gem patterns ( i.e., Birthstone Series or Diamond Divas Series) during the week. The curriculum will inform those students’ work, as well.

CLICK HERE to register for “Treasure Hunting” on Madeline Island now!