Trunk Show and Workshops

Lectures/Trunk Shows/Vending

To book a lecture, trunk show or workshop, please contact me using the contact form on this website. I am happy to work with you to find the perfect trunk show and workshop combination. If you book both, there is $50 discount for the guild. I appreciate the opportunity to vend at your meeting in conjunction with a trunk show or workshop. To check to see my availability, please check my schedule.

Trunk Shows and Lectures

“Machine Quilting – the Basics and Beyond”
A broad overview of the basics of machine quilting, including sewing machine features and set up, key materials (thread, batting, needles), and basic and versatile motifs (cross hatching, variations on meander and continuous curve). This lecture is full of practical tips and inspiring suggestions to help quilters of all levels.



“Quilting as a Design Element”
How do you choose quilting designs? With the explosion of machine quilting, new design ideas are everywhere. Whether you are hand or machine quilting, Allison helps you explore ideas on how to find quilting designs that complement, not cover, your piecing. As a long arm quilter and a teacher of machine quilting on a domestic machine, I share a wealth of ideas on building a design library and talk about how to apply these ideas to make your own quilts sing. Lots of examples help you choose designs and plan from the very first steps of choosing your pattern and fabrics.

Haru - Spring by Allison Wilbur 2016Japan: Tradition and Inspiration
Did you know that Japan is home to the second largest quilting community in the world? Delve deeply into the Japanese aesthetic and learn about the many different traditional Japanese textiles traditions including cotton yukatas, silk obis, shibori dyeing, and sashiko stitching. See an array of quilts which incorporate these beautiful fabrics and motifs and entice you to step into the world of Japanese inspired quilting. Allison Wilbur is an award winning quilter who has traveled the world and lived in Japan. Many of her quilts focus on Japanese fabrics and design principles. This slide show and trunk show combination will leave you with a greater understanding of the special fabrics made in Japan and how to use them in your quilts.

“Trip Around the World”
This trunk show features textiles and quilted pieces collected from Allison’s years of living in Asia, the Middle East and Europe including pieces from Japan, Oman, India, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Thailand, Myanmar and many other countries. Learn about quilting, appliqué, and patchwork traditions in other countries and how to enhance your experience as you travel with a “quilter’s eye.” Allison shares quilts using foreign fabrics and talks about Quilt for Change, a project she founded which uses the art of quitting to inspire social change.

“Fabulous Fabric Selection”
What factors are important in choosing fabrics that will work well together in a quilt? Allison talks about color, value, scale, repetition and the many elements that are key in making your quilt sing. This is a great lecture to help you use your stash and learn to branch out in your fabric combinations.


“I just wanted to write and thank you for your fascinating lecture on Quilts Around the World. We received such great feedback from the guild members who really enjoyed your presentation. You have the most amazing collection of fabrics, clothing, beading and quilts; it’s obviously been a passion of yours for many years, and it showed in your lecture. Thank you again, it’s not easy to find a lecturer who appeals to a large group of quilters each with their own talents and interests.”
– Judy Chase, Program Committee
Narragansett Bay Quilting Association

“On behalf of the members of the Hannah Dustin Quilters, we want to thank you once again for coming to speak at  our June luncheon yesterday. The breadth of knowledge about your subject is truly amazing, and the trunk show was one of the largest (and most varied) I have seen. You brought us on an international tour with your work, and each of us left the brunch with a deeper understanding of our place in the greater quilting community.  You were definitely worth the wait, and very very well received.”
– Linda Pearl, Program Chair, Hannah Dustin Quilters


“Quilting as a Design Element (Half day workshop)
Do you struggle with that awful phrase, “Quilt as desired”? Are you looking to move beyond stitch in the ditch and meandering? This workshop complements the “Quilting as a Design Element” lecture and helps students find a wide range of options for all levels and styles of quilting. Students bring quilt tops and we discuss design options to suit the use, style, and design of the quilt. This is a great guild activity and will help all levels of quilters  including domestic machine quilters, hand quilters and longarmers. This is a design class and no sewing machines are required. The more quilts students bring in, the more samples we will have to talk about quilting! 
Machine Trapunto Feathered Wreath class with Allison Wilbur

Machine quilting and Trapunto Feathers (Full day workshop)
Learn to make fabulous feathers then combine them with machine trapunto methods to make a beautiful pillow.  Both these elements add sophistication to a traditional quilt but can also be used to add dimension and texture to modern quilts.

Hand and machine sashiko workshop with Allison WilburSashiko – by hand and machine
(Full day workshop)
Learn about the traditional Japanese art of sashiko – white stitching on indigo fabric including the history of sashiko in Japan and traditional patterns. We cover methods of marking your fabric, and stitch both by hand and on your domestic sewing machine.  We also talk about how to use traditional sashiko motifs in your machine quilting.

Sashiko – by hand
(Half day workshop)
Learn about the traditional Japanese art of sashiko – white stitching on indigo fabric.  Allison starts off with the history of sashiko in Japan and a sampling of traditional patterns. She then teaches you how to transfer patterns, how to start and end stitching, and more complex forms of sashiko. Allison brings a variety of samples that show how you can use sashiko stitching to embellish your quilts and to make a number of wonderful handmade gifts. Students complete a pillow sized piece in the three hour workshop. A perfect workshop for all levels.

Allison’s Sashiko workshop is a thorough introduction to the art of Sashiko. Allison gives a brief history of Japanese Sashiko from the purpose of the stitch, meaning of the designs and the evolution of the process to current trends. How to transfer designs to fabric is also discussed. A hand-stitched project along with machine bobbin work projects showcase the possibilities of this technique. Even if you have some knowledge of Sashiko, you will benefit from this workshop. I’d highly recommend it, if you have the opportunity to explore Sashiko with Allison.” – Kathy Maxwell McLaren, Cabin Branch Quilters, Woodbridge, VA

Color iMystery quilt pattern in which I ignored the "choose three colors" instructions!n Quilting
(2 hour guild activity or half day workshop)
Do you puzzle over which green to pick? What makes a great accent color for blue? Do you wish your quilts had that special spark of color you have seen in many quilts you love? This fun interactive workshop makes a great whole guild activity or works for a smaller group. After a run through of color theory with many examples, you start playing with colored charm squares to get a hands on understanding of how colors play off each other and effect one another. Gain confidence in selecting fabrics in a way that will make your next delve into your stash or trip to your local quilt shop more informed and fun.

Painting with Tsukineko Inks

Painting with Tsukineko inks (half day workshop)
Learn how to paint with inks to add beautiful images to your quilts. Wonderful for portraits, animals, florals and many other images, fabric inks offer an array of colors from vivid to subtle. We will talk about layering colors, working with inks, and fabric preparation. This class is easy enough for a beginner and yet can be the basis for a beautiful art quilt. A kit is provided which includes freezer paper backed fabric with an image outline, a wide array of inks, and ink sticks.


“Tsukinecko Inks come in such a wide variety of colors, it’s easy to make beautiful art. Allison is a very patient and thorough teacher; I highly recommend taking a class with her!”

– Cathy LaBonte


Two Day Machine Quilting Retreat
(2 day workshop)
Design and quilt a small whole cloth quilt on your domestic machine. We will cover materials, machine set up, design elements, marking and have lots of time for sewing both with a walking foot and free motion foot. You can incorporate elements such as feathers, pebbling, echo quilting, cross hatching and much more. Excellent offering for a retreat setting!

Note:  For all workshops, there is an additional charge of $25 per student once there are more than 20 students.

If I come to your guild I would love to have the chance to bring an assortment of foreign fabrics, patterns, and vintage embellishments including lace, trim, buttons and fabric.

Travel Expenses
In addition to lecture/workshop fees, I charge the current government mileage rate for the round trip mileage. Guilds must provide lodging at locations further than 80 miles away from my hometown of Barrington, RI.