heidi Parkes'
Contemporary mending
workshop details



Learning to mend your most beloved clothing items will open your mind and heart to look in your closet with new eyes. Join Heidi Parkes in this intimate three-day retreat, where students will learn Heidi’s thoughtful approach to contemporary mending: considering comfort, drape, pride, and time-spent. Instruction will include creative and aesthetically pleasing solutions for holes, thinning, and ‘hacks,’ to alter a garment, giving it a new life. Techniques will be taught through hand mending, and include knots, quilting, faux darning, and visible and invisible mending that can be applied to a wide variety of garments. Students should bring a nice stack of clothing with them!

Known for her mending and quilting, Heidi’s work emphasizes visible handwork, believing that if you take the time to sew something by hand, that work should be seen and beautiful. She also has a focus on infusing meaning and storytelling in her textiles, and will work with students to create mends that will beg the telling of stories about right-handedness, dogs, heirlooms, unconscious habits, and interesting events. She is constantly inspired by the ever-growing mending world, as you can see by her mending Pinterest page.

Part of this experience will incorporate a neck and shoulder chair yoga session, led by Heidi, both to stretch and tend to the muscles we use in our sewing practice, but also as a nod to self-care.

Residing in Milwaukee, WI, Heidi can often be found at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art, and is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches and exhibits her hand quilting and hand mended clothing across the country in galleries and museums. Heidi often mends clothing on a commission basis for people across the country. Believing in living a handmade lifestyle, Heidi also loves making her own clothing, furniture, and food. She’s a certified yoga therapist, and has been practicing yoga since 2008.

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Before Heidi Parkes was born in Chicago, IL in 1982, her grandmother organized a collaborative family quilt to commemorate her birth. This set the tone for a life centered on the handmade-raised in a home where sewing, mending, cooking, canning, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, and plasterwork were the norm.

Heidi is a quilter and mender living in Milwaukee, WI. She received her BFAEE from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005, and was a high school art teacher in Naperville, IL for 9 years. Heidi continues to pursue her passion for teaching by lecturing and leading workshops across the country. She shares her creative process with thousands on Instagram. In 2016, Heidi won 1st place in Handwork and second place in Improvisation at The Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon, and is now a returning instructor there. Heidi has exhibited in The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art, The New England Quilt Museum, The Charles Allis Art Museum, The John Michael Kohler Art Museum, and more. Heidi was an Artist in Residence at Have Company in Grand Rapids, MI. Celebrating the hand is an essential component in Heidi’s clothing repairs and quilts. She is inspired by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Whether visibly hand-pieced, intricately machine-pieced, or a wholecloth quilt, her art is infused with meaning and history, employing traditional techniques including: Korean Jogakbo, Seminole patchwork, American knots and improvisation, Japanese and Indian big stitch hand quilting, and European hand embroidery. Often using specific textiles, like an heirloom tablecloth or bed sheet, Heidi adds subtle meaning and material memory from the start. Additionally, Heidi collaborates with her father to make her own furniture, is an enthusiastic fermenter, a certified yoga therapist, and uses her own hand-thrown pottery daily.