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Classes & Workshops

Winter Textile Workshop Series with Judilee Fitzhugh

Portland Japanese Garden is partnering with textile artisan Judilee Fitzhugh to provide a series of four textile workshops. In each session, relax and enjoy the rhythmic dance of needle and thread as you learn to use the meditative art of hand-stitching to construct Japanese and garden inspired projects.

Each workshop will run from 9:30 am until 4 pm, which includes 6 hours of instruction and a 30-minute lunch break. Participation is limited to 20 students. Workshops are open to students of all levels of sewing abilities.

Workshop Dates and Projects:

January 11: Chikuchiku Stitching
January 25: Sashiko Mending
February 1: Pieced and Stitched Birds of the Garden Appliqué
February 22: Happi
March 14: If a class is cancelled due to a weather cancellation, the class will happen on this date.


Yanai Classroom, Portland Japanese Garden


Purchasing the full workshop series as a bundle reflects a 10% savings versus individual class tickets

Full Workshop Series:

Members: $480
Non-Members: $600

Full Workshop Series SOLD OUT

Individual Classes:

Purchase individual classes à la carte in the event details section below.

All tools and materials are included in the workshop fee. Coffee, tea, water, and light snacks will be served. Students should bring a sack lunch and a reusable water bottle. Students may bring a small sewing kit if desired.

Event Details:

Thursday, January 11, 2024: Chikuchiku Stitching

An offshoot of more formal and precise sashiko, chikuchiku is a loose and playful form of stitching named for the sound of a needle going through fabric. Students will rough-piece precious scraps of fabric onto a base using expressive running stitches in this first workshop of the 2024 textile series. With this fun project, students may create a stylish layered piece like a patch, table mat, hot pad, tablet case, or needle case.

$135 for Members
$165 for Non-Members

Full Workshop Series SOLD OUT

Thursday, January 25, 2024: Sashiko Mending

“Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste.”
(G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World).

Now famed worldwide for its striking traditional indigo-and-white color scheme and complex decorative patterns, sashiko’s utilitarian use as a mending technique is sometimes forgotten. In this workshop students will learn to mend well-loved items using beautiful and strong sashiko stitching. While fabrics will be provided, students can also bring their own textiles to mend such as jeans, flannel shirts, or hand towels.

$135 for Members
$165 for Non-Members

Sashiko Mending SOLD OUT
Full Workshop Series SOLD OUT

Thursday, February 1, 2024: Pieced and Stitched Birds of the Garden Appliqué

Over the years, garden staffers have seen (or heard) more than 50 types of visiting birds, including dark-eyed juncos, hawks, owls, sparrows, chickadees, mallards, spotted towhees, bald eagles, finches, and more. In this workshop, students will take inspiration from our feathered friends to cut snippets of fabric and stitch them into a painterly collage of their bird of choice. Students will leave with a textile piece which can be used to make a patch for clothing or bags, a pillow top, table mat, laptop case, or more.

$135 for Members
$165 for Non-Members

Pieced and Stitched Birds of the Garden Appliqué SOLD OUT
Full Workshop Series SOLD OUT

Thursday, February 22, 2024:  Happi

Perfect for light cover indoors or as a jacket in warmer weather, a happi is a versatile and stylish addition to your wardrobe. In Japan, happi are loose-fitting casual cotton jackets often worn at festivals or to identify members of a group. They are also popular among Portland Japanese Garden staff and volunteers! In this final workshop of the series, students will learn to sew a fashionable modern version of a happi, with a variety of fabrics and basic sleeve options to further personalize your jacket.

$155 for Members
$185 for Non-Members
(The increased cost is due to a higher materials fee.)

Full Workshop Series SOLD OUT

About Judilee Fitzhugh:

Judilee Fitzhugh is a textile artisan who specializes in natural plant dyes and couture sewing. A tour of duty in Japan with the U.S. Navy led to a profound Japanese influence and a lifelong affection for indigo and plant fibers. She gained her Certificate in Craft at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2002 and taught in the BFA and Studio School programs until the school’s closure in 2019. Her finely crafted work combines natural objects with vintage fabric remnants, hand weaving, and surface design to portray a single moment in history.

Feedback from past students:

“Fabulous location, people, and instruction. Judilee is so generous and positive.”

“Loved these classes! The Garden + the people + the instructor + facility…all the stars lined up!”

“Our teacher gave us the precious gift of artistic creativity, and inspiration!”