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Kestrel Michaud

Classically-trained Fine Artist and Fabric Illustrator


Contact Me

Save Your Scissors! Cut with a Cricut.

This lecture & demo is available in person or online, to groups or individuals.

You will learn everything you need to know about how to design for DIY cutting. My DIY cutter of choice is a Cricut, but this information is also applicable for Silhouettes and other at-home cutting machines.

Covered in this class:


  • What app to use on your iPad for drawing
  • What settings to use on your iPad to help cut down on time required for editing once you move to Illustrator
  • How to start drawing overlap on your iPad to help cut down on editing time in Illustrator
  • How to correctly export your file so it's editable in Illustrator
  • Recommendations for Android alternatives


  • How to "clean-up" the exported iPad file (by reducing the number of points without distorting your drawing) to make it manageable for editing
  • How to quickly turn your drawing into a colored picture made up of complete shapes
  • How to set up artboards in Illustrator to match Cricut's software and cutting mats
  • What to do & settings to use when making files for Cricut's software
  • Recommendations and alternatives for what to do if you do not own a vector graphics program


  • How to import your exported Illustrator files
  • The correct blade-pressure settings to use for cutting
  • How to prepare your fabric for cutting
  • Recommendations on blade types, sticky mats, and types of fabric that will give you the best cuts, and where to purchase supplies
  • How to keep track of your pieces once they're cut
  • Live demo of Cricut cutting (Unavailable for online version of this class)

Beyond the Quilt: How to Maximize Your Profit

This lecture is available in person or online, to groups or individuals.

I am constantly looking for opportunities to make money in multiple ways from every design I create. Simply selling the quilt is not good enough. To that end, I have done extensive research on all the possible avenues of profit available. This lecture is all about sharing my findings with you, as well as how to take advantage of them. You will learn:

  • How to choose the best platform for your online store
  • How to sell prints and other merchandise of your art without having to keep an inventory or manage fulfillment
  • How to offer digital downloads of your designs
  • All about licensing contracts and how to get them
  • Ways to get paid for time and expertise, beyond teaching
  • What to do to market your products

Design for Realism

This class is available as a lecture, 1-day class, or 2-day class. The lecture can be in person or online, to small groups or individuals. The class is in person only, to small groups or individuals.

This lecture is focused on incorporating principles of good design and composition into art quilt layouts with the intent of creating a realistic piece of art. Using my own work as examples, I will teach:

  • Basic elements of composition and why they are important (and when to break the rules)
  • What the difference is between color and value, and why they both matter
  • How to incorporate lighting into a picture, such as how to make an object appear as though it's sitting in direct sunlight
  • For landscapes: How to create an effective illusion of distance
  • Why the "posterize" effect in Photoshop is a no-no
  • What photographs make the best designs
  • How to choose the best fabric colors and patterns for realism-style art quilts
  • Demo: I will show how to incorporate the concepts from my talk using a sample photograph.
  • Optional: Students taking the 1-day or 2-day class are welcome to practice on an iPad or computer. I will be happy to teach concepts from my "Save Your Scissors!" program as part of this class.

1-Day Class: I will provide photos, or students can bring their own. Supplies will be provided. If desired, students can bring a tablet (such as an iPad) or computer on which to practice. The take-home from this class will be a finished design.

2-Day Class: Student(s) will draw a design on day 1 and create it out of fabric on day 2. Supplies will be provided. The take-home from this class will be a finished, appliqu├ęd quilt top. Sewing machine optional.

Note: If the 2-day class is at a location where students can choose their own fabrics, such as a quilt shop, students can work on a photo and design of their choosing, such as a pet or still life, and purchase their fabric from the store. I will provide all other supplies. Alternatively, I will provide a choice of several different photos from which students can create a design, as well as the fabrics and supplies (except thread) required for each picture.