Maria Pimenova, sewing, felting and patchwork teacher:
The technique of patchwork is different from painting because we instantly make the picture come alive. We take fabric of all grades, density, brilliance, and texture. For example, snow banks look real when made by needlepoint, and smoke from a chimney jumps out of the sky when made from polyester batting. We also use beads, buttons, pompoms, yarn, ribbons, and sequins in order to give life and volume to the projects. Because of these efforts, you can feel how curly a mural man's hair is or how silky his shirt is.
Collaborative patchwork "Thaw"
Some children can't even hold a needle when they come to the studio for the first time. We then begin the lesson by studying how to thread a needle. Next we have the children cut out fabric shapes and sew them onto a larger piece of fabric. Some children enjoy making little people the most, like our Mila. Another child, Masha, likes making little dogs the most. We also teach the children how to use sewing machines, if they haven't already learned at their orphanages. Besides creative fabric art, children also acquire skills which help them in their daily lives, such as sewing on a button and carefully measuring fabric. One of our children, Anton, loves to make dolls and puppets. It's amazing how he can make a new one in as little as two or three days. He names every single one.