Monday, September 26, 2016

Great Beginnings: Fall Hand Stitching Class


This past Wednesday was the start of a new session of my Hand Stitching class. I have eleven students who are already on a roll. We began the class with painting and printing backgrounds. I provided a selection of black or white fabrics for students to paint and print. I'm, once again, delighted with the outcome (only wish that my camera had cooperated fully). Here is a selection of student fabrics...

After working on backgrounds we spent the afternoon getting down to some stitching. The first class theme was Line and so we explored a few line stitches. I'll have more on the results of that on Wednesday....Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Catching Up Part 2: Pop-Up Washington

Some of my scarf designs for Pop-Up Washington.
I'm still in "catching up" mode. I wanted to post a bit about last weekend's event called: Pop-Up Washington: A Bead & Craft Social. It was a two-day event sponsored by the bead shop I work for (Star's Beads in Vienna, VA) and held at the local Moose Lodge.

I had an enjoyable two days! The first day I taught two 1-hour mini-workshops, one on how to carve a print block and the other on how to print a scarf.

A block design by one of my students.
Scarf printed by one of my students.
Scarf printed by one of my students.
There was only a 15 minute break scheduled between workshops...so a bit crazy! I'm so lucky to have a wonderful, supportive husband who sat at my table most of Saturday helping me sell while I taught.

My 6-foot table on Sunday.
Another view.

This was also the first time I'd ever sold my scarves...so a bit of "testing the water " so speak to see if there was a market for them. I sold 7 silk scarves, 4 Fabric Printing at Home books, and one doll pattern. Considering this was primarily a bead show, and that it was my first time selling them, I was pretty happy.

Some of my scarf designs.
Some of my scarf designs.
In addition, I made some contacts and was asked to sell at a home show coming up in November. So...I will be back in the studio whipping up some more designs!

More designs.
Corn-on-the-cob prints. All of my corn print scarves sold!
Knotted resist with printing.
Here are a few photos of some of the merchandise tables.


I think vendors and teachers were pretty happy and the plan is to have the event again next year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Welcome Break and Catching Up! Healing Cloth Workshop

Dog Dreams by Holly C.
After three weekends in a row of teaching and events, I'm coming up for a temporary breath! I was supposed to teach this coming Saturday, but the class was cancelled. I can't say that I'm super-sad...my dining room table (where I write) and my studio are both a disaster. I need to dig out and also prepare for classes coming up. I also want to create stitched samples and make more scarves to sell closer to the holidays.

I'm also playing a bit of "catch up" with the blog...I've been away too long.

So...I will start off with my Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth workshop from two weekends ago.

I had four students...all enthusiastic to get going stitching on a variety of projects. I'm not sure that the "healing" theme was a priority for this group...but the act of stitching and sharing can also be a healing experience and I think that is what this particular workshop was about.

Carol worked on a small bag for a friend. She was interested in giving new life to various fabrics and other bits she'd concluded had no use. She was happy to discover that these bits could, in fact, be put to use as a gift and at the same time she discovered the pleasure of hand stitching.

Carol's fabric bag in process. Running stitch ("boro") details and the addition of beads and French Knots.

Holly also brought many scraps from her collection and put together a piece about her dog's dreams. I love the flow of the stitches (and the pink toenails!). See the image of the completed piece above.

Debbie had an interest in taking some of her hand dyed indigo pieces and adding stitching and applique. Her hope is to create utilitarian pieces and accessories that combine her dyeing with stitched and appliqued details. She worked on a piece that could be a wall hanging...or a hand towel.

Debbie S.: Piece in process.

Kate used some sun-printed fabrics she'd made at a recent conference. She plans to turn the pieces into book pages with healing images and messages for her to enjoy.

Kate M.: Healing book in process.


Thank you for inspiring me!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Celebration of Textiles!

Star fruit, limes,  and corn.

Yesterday was my first teaching event of a five-weekends-in-a-row teaching marathon!

Lots of activity at my printing hands-on.

I was at Celebration of Textiles, the annual event at The Textile Museum where fiber is the focus. There are demos of fiber techniques including needle felting (by my friend, Erika Cleveland--who makes incredible felt dolls and sculptures), weaving, knitting, quilting and spinning. This year, there was also African dancing and music (which I only heard). There was also my hands-on where folks could hand print a bandana using veggies and fruit, craft foam stamps and textures.

Some of the fruits and veggies for printing.

The hands-on was definitely a hit! We started with at least 100 blank color bandanas and used them all. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the helpful volunteers and especially to my great friend, Laura Freeman. Laura was the perfect person to help out since she is a pre-school teacher (very organized and patient!). The crazy wind gust were our only challenge...which I'm assuming had to do with hurricane Hermine.

Here is a selection of the printed bandanas. It was really interesting to see families interacting and in some cases the results were a group effort.


I had to laugh at one sweet little toddler who managed to paint more of himself than his bandana!


And leave it to kids to come up with some fabulous painted designs...



One young boy walked away wearing his bandana as a super hero cape....Perfect!




Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 Stitch-In

Susan P.

Well...I've certainly been away from this blog...my apologies! I've been busy contemplating the next five weeks...getting prepared for lots of classes and events (which I'll highlight in future posts).

Today was a nice respite...getting together for the August Stitch-In!

Susan P.: Cheese cloth and stitching.

Susan P. is continuing to work on her black and white squares...the series originally started in my Hand Stitching class... I just love what she is doing. Deceptively simple but effective compositions...only 4" squares...but can't you just imagine these larger?

Susan P.

Susan P.
 Ann Z. brought in her now finished piece from last month. It is so rich with the addition of many Running Stitches.

Ann Z: Finished piece
Ann is off for a two week trip to Ireland. She decided to start a piece called, "Pilgrimage" and will use it as a stitch journal during her travels. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Ann Z: Pilgrimage

Jodie continued on her piece from last month. I couldn't get a good new photo of it ...so here is one I took last month. I love all the patterns and textures and how she is using her stitches to integrate the two.

Jody F.

This was Helen B.'s first time at the Stitch-In. She just finished a piece based on a drawing of a map of Anchorage, Alaska. What a great idea!

Helen B.: Anchorage map
Helen B.: Detail

During the Stitch-In she began a new piece jumping off from a sterling silver pin design (which she inherited). She is planning to incorporate the pin into the stitched piece. This got us talking about jewelry inherited from mothers and grandmothers and how one might create pieces (of jewelry; of art) that would honor those precious possessions.

Helen B: Using a silver pin for inspiration.

Peggy G. brought in a piece that she started in a class at Artistic Artifacts...piecing a quilt top (or hanging) which used a batik panel as the focal point. Judy Gula, owner of Artistic Artifacts also owns Batik Tambal..and the shop has quite an array of gorgeous batiks from a number of Indonesian artists.

Peggy G.

Peggy is adding hand stitched details and plans to hand quilt it. Lots of hours of stitching ahead!

Peggy G.: Notice the stitched details (white on white).

I brought in two of my "swatch" books from the summer and continued adding stitching. I'll be sure to show you more about them and a book about my grandmother's sewing basket in a future post.

Julie B.: Swatch book about Cape Cod.

Looking forward to next month's Stitch-In!