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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 program:


  • 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
  • Digital drawing alternative: How to draw, scan, and upload hand-drawn designs


  • 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)

Cricut Cutting Hands-On Workshop

This workshop is available in person only, to groups of 3-10 people. It can be combined with the "Save Your Scissors! Cut with a Cricut." lecture (such as lecture in the morning, workshop in the afternoon scenario.)

This workshop is intended for people who already own a Cricut and haven't yet started using it, or who have used a Cricut but not to cut fabric.

Participants would need to bring their own Cricuts and a computer. Some supplies would also be required; I will provide a supply list of what's needed, or put together kits for everyone.

Topics covered:

  • Making sure everyone has the correct drivers installed, has a Cricut account set up, and is able to access the Cricut software. (Internet access is required.)
  • Practice correctly preparing fabric for cutting (including what not to do and how to recognize if there is a problem)
  • Optional: Practice using an iPad or the Adobe software to design, or just going over the info from my presentation in more detail
  • Practice drawing designs, scanning them correctly, and uploading them to the Cricut software, including how to make sure your uploaded design is exactly the same size as what was drawn (I will have a portable scanner with me to do this part.)
  • Information on supplies: what to get, where to get it, why certain materials are better than others, and when to replace mats and blades
  • Practice cutting with their own machines
  • How to handle cutting mistakes (Just because there was a mistake doesn't mean the piece of fabric is ruined.)

New technology can be intimidating, especially without knowing how to use it. My goal in this workshop is to make sure everyone has hands-on experience using their machines and dealing with any problems that arise so they can jump in to cutting their own designs at home.

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 groups of 3-10 people.

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
  • Why different camera lenses matter when choosing a photograph
  • 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 required for each picture.