MJ Kinman
March 2019 Instructor

About MJ


 When people ask me what I do, I like to tell them I make the biggest diamonds in the world. But instead of working with the hardest substances on earth, I work with the softest .... cloth. The idea to create giant gem portraits took hold of my soul 20 years ago and has grown into a passion that has enriched my life.   

The adventure started years ago when, as a novice quiltmaker, I discovered an image of a gorgeous gem. With only a basic understanding of quilting techniques -- and no knowledge whatsoever of gemology -- I was unsure how to transform that image into a pieced work of art. However, I was convinced there had to be a way. And I was determined to find it. After several years of research and experimentation, I made my first gem portrait.

It's my pleasure to share with you my passion for light and color. 

Bite-Size Gems -- Create a Small Faceted Quilt

Date: March 18, 2018, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
: Aloha Sewing and Vacuum, 7550 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
: $95


In this fast-paced workshop, participants will create their own singularly beautiful work of faceted light using the same single-foundation piecing techniques I use to create my own “diamond quilts”.  Participants will choose from one of several pre-selected abstract gem designs based on their skill level. They will then learn how to chart the design onto freezer paper; code each piece for color, location, and adjacency; position template pieces onto fabric to achieve the desired light effects; and ultimately create their own unique study in faceted color. Participants will leave the class with a small top that can later be hand- or machine-quilted at home.

Supply List

  • 36 inch length of freezer paper (standard 18” width); parchment paper or tracing paper will not work with this technique

  • Colored pencils in the colors of the gem they want to create. However, don’t limit yourself! You may want to make a gemstone reflecting a wide variety of hues and values.

  • Erasable pencils

  • Ball point pen in blue or black

  • Eraser (preferably a gum eraser, rather than using the top of the pencil. These remove marks much better.)

  • 18” ruler 

  • Small ruler with a ¼” measurement

  • Bic Wite Out Correction Tape (available at any office supply store)

  • Domestic sewing machine and thread assortment (neutrals or colors that match your fabrics)

  • Scissors and rotary cutting tools (cutter and mat)

  • Iron and ironing pad (or board)

  • Fabric -- Assortment of skinny 8ths (half of a fat quarter) of cotton fabric in white, black, and up to four values of at least two different colors

1 hour for lunch, not included in cost of workshop


Series: Diamond Divas (2018)

W X H: 45" x 45"
Traditional quiltmaking techniques

The first of the Ice Queens, work representing the diamond divas and drama queens of the gem world.