Friday, January 2, 2015

Online tapestry weaving class: all the information you need!

Learn tapestry weaving in a supported environment online from home

Does the art of tapestry weaving fascinate you but you're just not sure where to start?

Do you enjoy collaborative workshop environments but find when you get home you don't weave again until the next workshop comes along?

Do you get frustrated by not understanding why your edges are drawing in, your fell line is as wavy as the Atlantic in a hurricane, you can see those white dots of warp peeking through, or you have big ridges in your fabric?

Are you fond of attending intimate workshops with the opportunity to ask questions, receive personal feedback, and time to work through your ideas?

Do you love tapestry weaving but find yourself stuck with just how to express your visual ideas?

If so, you may be an ideal candidate for my online tapestry techniques course, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry.

I understand where you're coming from...

For years I struggled to put together the bits of knowledge I had gleaned from various sources. My learning was fragmented and came from occasional workshops and the few existing tapestry texts, many of which contradict each other. I longed for some solid guidance.

I was fortunate to be invited to apprentice with James Koehler, the late master tapestry artist from Santa Fe. The regular, scheduled practice of tapestry in his studio allowed me to build my skills in an environment that offered frequent feedback and constant incentive to keep working and learning.

I have built this online class with that model in mind. I teach many in-person workshops and love meeting students in a face-to-face context. But I find that when they go home they often have many questions and when the next workshop is six months away, they often put the loom on a shelf.
Your course has motivated me to actually weave in a way that none of the books I have bought over the years have done. It is well-organized and filled with important and inspiring information.
                                                             — Nancy Nordquist, Woodlands, TX

How did this program come about?

As I watched tapestry students come to my workshops with the work on the loom from whatever the last workshop they took was, I realized there had to be a better way to learn tapestry weaving.

I wanted to create a learning environment more like what I experienced as James Koehler's apprentice... one that extended over a good chunk of time with consistent feedback and the ability to ask questions at any time.
I really don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun learning how to weave. Rebecca is always right there to answer our questions and discuss any problem we might have and she will keep at it until we get it. I love this format, not only because I can sit at my loom any time night or day, but I don’t feel like I’m holding others up like in a workshop.                                                                                        — Michele Dixon, Seguin, TX

Does it work?

Yes! Here is one video of student work. Many of these students had never woven tapestry before and some of them had no experience with fiber at all. There are more videos linked at the bottom of this page for the curious.

What does Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry include?

  1. Printable PDF handouts with exercise instructions, diagrams for the techniques, photographic examples, and design ideas to try
  2. Extensive video teaching. All techniques are demonstrated, often more than once
  3. Troubleshooting: videos and handouts explain common problems you might encounter and demonstrate how to fix or avoid them
  4. Discussion with fellow students all over the world helps clarify potential problems and solutions as well and share more general understanding of tapestry practice 
  5. Continued bonus material throughout the class created by me in response to your particular questions. (This feature is not included in the Self-Directed version of the course.)
  6. Feedback: the opportunity to submit photos of your progress, problems as you have them, and questions
    From these photos I am also able to give you feedback on something you may not see as a problem yet and show you how to fix it before it becomes obvious and frustrating. And most importantly, you will get feedback about what you are doing that is successful. (This feature not included in the Self-Directed version.)
  7. Invitation to a secret Facebook group where students in the program and those who have graduated can continue to connect over a virtual cup of tea.
The pieces that are being woven during this class are a great source of inspiration.                             — Barbara DiTrani, North Bend, WA

Who this course is for

  • people who have never woven tapestry before--if you can get your loom out of the box, I can help you from there
  • people who have some knowledge of tapestry but need a structured review of foundational principles and encouragement to design their own work
  • people who want to learn tapestry techniques and are committed to practicing. The best outcomes are to students who can commit a few hours a week to study and weaving or who can block out larger chunks of time at some point during the course.
  • people who benefit from a structured outline of learning activities to achieve their own unique outcomes
  • people who want to give themselves the gift of time to learn a wonderful fiber skill

Who this course is NOT for

  • people who do not have the necessary computer systems or knowledge to access the course (see technical specifications below or contact me for more information)
  • people who do not want feedback about their work. It is my job to teach and I will do it. (Hint: In this case, the Self-Directed version might be for you.)
  • people who don't appreciate my silly sense of humor. It comes out in the videos, though primarily in the outtakes at the end. If you can't put up with my upbeat, cheerful humor, this course isn't for you. THIS video has an outtake at the end that is an example of this silliness.
  • I have been accused of being a cheerleader, though I was the geeky clarinet player in the marching band and have never owned pom poms. I am not going to say to you, "Your selvedges are crap, fix them." I will say, "You seem to be struggling with keeping your selvedges straight. Here are some things to try to improve that. Let me know what works!" If you are looking for the same kind of teaching you got from your scary high school physics teacher, this isn't the course for you.

Technical specifications for the course

This course is hosted in an online platform called Pathwright. It is designed as a linear path that steps you through the learning process one piece at a time. There is an overall menu that you can return to at any time to skip backwards or forwards as necessary.

It is largely video-based. If you pay for your internet services by the gigabyte, this course is not for you (unless you don't mind paying). You can turn off the HD feature of the videos, but they still use a lot of streamed data. If you are able to view standard YouTube videos, you will be fine.

This course does work on iPads and is compatible with Mac or PC. It does not work on mobile phones. 

Browsers: Safari does not work well though most features work on iPad. Pathwright recommends Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, both of which are great browsers and are free to download. If you don't understand what I just said, this course is not for you.

My only hesitation about taking this class was my lack of intuitiveness when it comes to technology. Technology things that seem obvious to younger people are never obvious to me. I found the Pathwright platform to be simple and easy to use.   
                                                                                     — Vicky Standley, Georgia

Here are a few results you can expect from taking this course

  • understanding of basic and some intermediate tapestry techniques
  • how to use weaving equipment including looms, yarn, and hand tools
  • examples from the work of tapestry weavers past and present to illustrate the concepts you are learning
  • suggested readings about design and the practice of tapestry
  • introduction to design especially in regard to what is weaveable
  • increased confidence in your tapestry weaving skills
  • samplers from each of the three parts which you create as you practice the techniques
  • completed small format tapestries from each of the three parts
  • connections with new tapestry weavers all over the world and the opportunity to continue those interactions after the course is over

The Options and The Investment

There are three ways you can take this course:
  1. All-Three-In-One

    With this option you get all the material in one class. The course is divided into three parts, but they are all available to you from the first day. You can work through it at your own pace and I will meet you wherever you are in the curriculum for teaching and troubleshooting. You also have the advantage of being able to skip ahead to videos presented later in the course. This class lasts six months. The price is $595.
  2. Parts 1, 2, 3

    You can take each of the three parts separately, registering for each as you're ready. The course is designed to be taken with the three parts in sequence and with that in mind, you have six months of access to Part 1, five months for Part 2, and four months for Part 3 with all three parts ending on the same date. It is completely acceptable to take Parts 2 or 3 at a later date when you are ready. The price is $220 for each part.
  3. Self-Directed

    This is the same class as the All-Three-In-One course but with no teaching or discussion from me. You won't get the bonuses I make in response to individual questions and you won't be able to submit images for feedback. Some people learn very well this way however, so if this sounds right to you, this might be your option. The price is $395.
I am always a little budget conscious, so I paused to consider the price. I also wondered if I would have the time to keep up with the class as a working mother of two small children. However, I now think the price was well worth it and really actually a bargain for all the value I got out of it.                                                      — Julie, Orinda, CA

Where, What, and When


All-Three-In-One: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Part 1: This class is currently open and because I made a big goof on the dates, it goes until June 30th, 2015. Register and start today!

Part 2: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Part 3: Starts February 11, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available now.

Self-Directed: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Matrix of dates for all classes is on the online learning page of my website.

I will be offering these courses at most twice a year. Reserve your space today. The next opportunity will be in September of 2015.


Refund Policy
I believe in the efficacy of my course. If, after the class starts, you find it is not for you, I will refund your investment, no questions asked. You have seven days from the start of the class to make this decision. I do not give refunds after that seven day period has passed.

Space in these classes is limited! Reserve your spot now.

The link below will take you to the registration page on the Pathwright platform. From there, you can use your credit card to register through (works like PayPal) and have instant access to the preliminary information for the course.

REGISTER: Click Here

If you have problems with registration, please don't hesitate to contact me HERE.


What happens after you register?

The dates posted in the Pathwright program will look like the class has already started. This is because I have to set the start date when I open the class for registration to give you access to preliminary information in the course. The rest of the material opens on the start date given for the class. When you try to access the material before the class starts, you'll see the page greyed out and a clock timer counting down to the moment the class opens. Like this!

As soon as you register you can go to the Pathwright class platform and view the preliminary information. There are videos about tools and materials you'll need and how to navigate the platform. There are also some PDFs with more detailed information and some welcome information about the program.

There are instructions about how to warp your loom once the class starts. If you don't have enough time to get all necessary materials before the start date of the class, that is just fine. You have enough time to order and receive supplies and still finish the class.

I love teaching and have enjoyed all the wonderful students I have met in this course so far. I hope to meet you online soon!

All my best,


Do I get access to the course forever?

No. I designed these courses to mimic an experience of working with a teacher over a period of time--six months in this case. I want you to focus on the material and work through it for a fairly short amount of time, building a consistent weaving practice.

This course was not designed as reference material. It is an experience somewhat like a college course (but without the grades!) from which you will learn enough to weave your own expressive art. Also, I can't guarantee I will offer this course "forever". There will be new courses that take its place and I can't promise maintenance of this one beyond the schedule on my website.

This class has been akin to an art college course; I have learned more than I could have imagined.       — Liz Johnson, Freeport, ME

I can't picture how the course works. Can you give me a better understanding of what I will be doing?

The trailer video below as well as THIS video show you the Pathwright program and give you a good idea of what the activities in the course are like. There is a list of more links at the very bottom of the page.

Does the class work on a set schedule?


No. The material for the entire class for which you are registered will be available from the first day. You may work through it as quickly or as slowly as you wish. Of course if you are registered for Part 1, you won't be able to access Part 2 until you register and the class starts. The All-Three-In-one and Self-Directed options give you all the material at one time.

What have students who have taken the class already said about it?

I have a long list of student reviews on THIS page of my website as well as multiple videos of their work.

I like how you continued to update the videos or handouts in response to specific questions people had and also posted other people’s ideas. It makes the class feel like a “real” class rather than a virtual one. Your prompt feedback is also extremely valuable and made me feel like I was in a class.                                     — Julie, Orinda, CA 

What if the world crashes down around my ears and I am not able to complete the course in the six months?

Let's hope this doesn't happen, but if it does, I offer a crazy, unbelievable discount on the second registration for a course you've paid for once. If something major happens and you don't have time to access the course, you can register for 75% off the initial price at another time.

I am not very good at "coloring within the lines". Do I have to do things your way?

No. My goal is to provide experience with basic tapestry structure and technique and encourage you to build your tapestry practice in whatever way suits you. I weave from the back on a Harrisville rug loom, but the class demonstrations are woven on a Mirrix because it is easier for you to see. I present ways to weave both from the back and the front and you can choose which is best for you. I also present opinions of other tapestry artists in regard to technique and encourage you to experiment with different methods depending on what materials are available to you and what your interests are.

Do you offer a DVD version of the course? I live off the grid and don't have fast enough internet to stream video.

No. Right now this course is designed for this particular online format. That isn't to say I won't offer it on DVDs eventually, but it isn't available now.

I have another question and I didn't hear you address it...

Please email me! I love answering any and all questions. Just don't ask me what the meaning of life is. CONTACT ME HERE.

The course video trailer

This short video gives you an idea of what the course will be like with some glimpses of the Pathwright program.

Need more information? Here are some further links.

Click here to register

This information is available on my website HERE.

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