Colleen Wise

Quilt artist, lecturer, teacher

Quilt art

My quilts are distinctive for their illusion of depth. Leaves seem to float above the surface. Balls bounce and planets swing through their orbits. Architectural elements protrude. It almost seems as if you could reach into the quilt, rather than just look at it.

Beyond the illusion, my quilts have something to say. Each has a story, and its story starts with a title. I repeat this to myself as I work, and it informs my decisions on design, fabrics, even the quilting itself. Each quilt is a collaboration between my Irish story-telling heritage, my engineering problem-solving education and my sewing skills.

Taken as a whole, they reveal my interests in geometry, astronomy, physics and biology. I love every kind of tree. I enjoy walking through old cemeteries. I never miss an opportunity to look through a telescope or a microscope. Or an art museum. I am mesmerized by marbling on fabric.

Please enjoy browsing through my galleries here.

workshops anD LectureS


I’m the author of Casting Shadows: Creating Visual Dimension in Your Quilts (2005, C%T Publishing).

You can bring me to your guild or group via Zoom. I love to share my work and my techniques.

I’m told I’m funny…I will do my best to make you laugh!

Colleen will leave you in stitches!

UPcoming Workshops

Creative Marbling

2-day Creative Marbling workshop

Join me in the Vancouver WA area for two days of marbling on fabric.

Marbling is the dance of color on the surface of water, captured on fabric. You’ll learn the science of marbling: how to make the size, adjust your paints, and pretreat your fabric. And you’ll practice the art of laying down paint, stirring, combing — and sometimes just ‘reading’ the tray — and waiting to drop your fabric and print that unique moment. You will learn some traditional combing patterns from Turkey and suminagashi techniques from Japan, with lots of room for innovation and creativity.

As a little side show, you can also try out hydro dipping, a kind of marbling done on hard surfaces with solvent-based paint. Suggestions: metal travel mugs, leather shoes, gourds, white bowls, clear plates….

Supplied: Methocel size, marbling tray, alum pretreatment solution, 1/3 yard of treated fabric, whisks and knowledge/experience

Bring: Extra fabric, paints, buckets, gloves and an openness to exploration

See the supply list here.

Workshops will be held at the home of Su and Brian Scott in Brush Prairie, Washington (WindsRest BrewBarn)

Want to see more examples? Check out my marbled fabric gallery!

Session 1: July 28-29, 2022, 9 am to 4 pm

Session 2: July 30-31, 2022, 9 am to 4 pm