Thursday, June 22, 2017

Healing with Cloth and Stitch


Susan G.: Detail of healing cloth: Portrait of a family relationship
This past weekend, I held my Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth workshop (The Art League School, Alexandria, VA). The premise of this workshop is that the act of stitching and mending can be a metaphor for healing. For this go-round, I decided to revamp the class handout. I wanted to open up the possibilities for types of "cloths" that students could create (including: healing (for another or for self), protection, meditation, transition or celebration) and also to have students do some journaling exercises at the beginning of class as a way to set a clear intention. I then covered different ways to create a base fabric (patching, collaging and/or weaving fabrics) and also applique, reverse applique and stitching techniques.

Susan G.: First of a series of six healing cloths representing each of her siblings (and herself) in relation to family. This piece represents one sibling who decided to break off from other family members. Susan plans to use pieces of her family tartan in each piece.
Diane M.: Healing cloth for a friend whose grandchild is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Lace doilies are used as clouds with organza and beads moving from dark to light. The word "hope" is couched ending with a blue bird of happiness.
Diane M.: Detail.
Donna P.: Meditation cloth. Donna wanted to make a piece that reminded her of the ocean...one she could meditate on! Lots of lovely textures, use of natural objects, and soft colors.
Melanie H.: Melanie created a piece jumping off from photos of human DNA and microscopic images. She created all the fabrics used in this piece. Lots of subtle stitching and beading to enhance and add texture.

I was very pleased with the results. Each piece tells a story and fulfills the intention of the artist.

Marine W.: Meditation cloth. Marine used her own hand painted/printed fabrics in these lovely soft colors. She further softened the intersections with organza and is now adding seeding stitch.
Marine W.: Detail showing seeding stitches.
Jutta M.: Jutta stitched together this wonderful nine patch using a selection of nature-inspired fabrics. She is planning to add some small stitched stars to complete this meditation cloth.
Megan P.: Megan decided to create a two-sided meditation cloth. This side is the evening meditation cloth in softer, calmer colors. Megan is a painter who is working on a series of paintings featuring insects. She decided to carry this subject matter over to her meditation cloths. Megan looked up the symbolism of the insects she used. For this evening meditation cloth she is featuring a scorpion.
Megan P.: Here is the morning meditation side with brighter colors and more contrast. This side will feature stitched ants.
Megan P.: Here are some of the stitched ants!
Catherine D.: Catherine is working on a transition/healing piece. The left side symbolizes where she has been. Catherine is the circle..that has undergone a lot but is now being mended. She is heading to a place that will be full of energy and positive things (to come!).
Rebecca K.: This is also a transition/healing piece. The weaving represents the man-made...complications. The open areas..simplification. Other parts of this colorful and textural piece have special and significant meaning to Rebecca.
Rebecca K.: Detail of woven area.
Thank you students! It was an inspiring weekend. Thank you for sharing you stories.

If you live in the Washington DC area and think you'd like to take this workshop, I teach it twice a year ...in the fall and in the spring/summer. Please feel free to leave a comment if you would like more information.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hand Stitching Continued: Fabric Manipulation Fun

Susan S.: Combining needle weaving stitches with fabric manipulation. Detail.

Back to blogging! I just finished my last scheduled workshop this past weekend (will be posting about it this week). I am determined to get blog posts out...so I can share the incredible work of my students. I admit to a recent addiction to Instagram...I finally got on it and I can't stop! Okay...back to blogging...

The pieces that follow are from the Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure class (The Art League School in Alexandria, VA) that ended a week ago. This is the second of two installments of work from that class. If you want to see the other post...please go here.

The second half of the class focused on a number of fabric manipulation techniques. First, we played with what Running, Back and Ladder stitches could do to change the shape of fabric.

Kate M: Playing with random gathering and raw-edge reverse applique.
Mary M.: Gathering with Running stitch.
Mary M.: Random gathering with Running stitch, reverse applique, couching and stitching.
Susan S.: Random "smocking" using a variation of Back stitch.
Susan S.: Scrunching fabric and tacking with Seeding stitch.
Susan S.: Gathering with Running stitch.
Susan S.: Needle weaving and gathering with Ladder stitch.

There is really so much potential in just these few stitches! I'm looking forward to spending more time exploring over the summer...especially the Ladder stitch.

We also played with creating dimension with stuffed shapes. The techniques included: Cording (threading cord or yarn through stitched channels), Trapunto (slitting and stuffing from the back) and some techniques for stuffing shapes appliqued to a fabric base.

Kate M.: Cording and Trapunto.
Susan S.: Cording with the addition of Japanese cloth-covered buttons.
Susan S.: Cording and Trapunto. Trapunto center decorated with crocheted doily, beads and button.
Susan S.: Trapunto piece in process.
Mary M.: Appliqued and padded shapes.
In the second to last class, I showed students how to create small sculptures using a craft felt base.

Mary M.: Sculpture beginnings.
Kate M.: Sculpture in process.
Susan S.: Sculpture in process.
Susan S. took it one step further and turned her sculpture into an angel!

Susan S.: Angel in process.
Susan S.: Pleated and stitched detail.
Susan S.: Stitched detail on back of cape/wings.

The last class was an open studio. Students could continue working on their sculptures or choose to start a new project.

Annie G.: Layers and stitching.
Annie G.: Opened flat.
Mary M.: Boro stitching on indigo-dyed shibori.
Mary M.: Darning/weaving on indigo-dyed shibori.
Mary M.: Rolled and "whipped" fabric, couching.
Mary M.: Rolled and "whipped" fabric.
Thanks for a great class, students! Enjoy your summer!

If you live in the Washington, DC area and are interested in this class, I will be teaching it again in 2018...in the winter and again in the spring. Prerequisite is Hand Stitching or Jumpstart in Hand Stitching. Please feel free to leave a comment if you would like more information.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stitch-In April 2017

Beautiful shibori-dyed and hand stitch cloth that Ann Z. purchased in Massachusetts.
Still in catch-up mode. Here's what folks were working on at the April Stitch-In...such a variety!

We had two doll makers at the Stitch-In this month, Erika C. and Sandra O.
Erika is continuing work on her Conant Grant project: Re-Imagining Flip Dolls. She brought in a number of dolls, including these beautiful subtle ones in neutrals and white.

Flip dolls by Erika C.
Flip dolls by Erika C.
She also brought in the prototype for her Flip Doll Challenge using sticks as an armature. Erika is looking for people to take part in the Challenge which will become part of a gallery exhibit in early 2018. For more information about taking part go here.

Erika C.: Flip Doll Challenge prototype side one.
Erika C.: Flip Doll Challenge prototype side two.

Sandra brought in a "bottle" doll...worked around an empty soda bottle. Sorry that I didn't get a great photo of the face...it was exquisite!

Sandra O.: Bottle doll.

Here is a detail that will be appliqued to the doll.


Sandra and I met almost 20 years ago when she took my Fiber Sculpture workshop. Here is the doll that she made during that workshop (now owned by a student in my Hand Stitching Continued class...small world!).

Sandra O.: Wire armature doll.
And here is a chair piece that she started in the same class.

Sandra O.: Wire armature chair
Ann Z. brought in a book that she made in a class...combining paper, cloth, printing, and stitching.

Ann Z.

Ann Z.
She also brought in a few of her healing cloths...that she is making with Peggy G. as part of a church project. You can see some of  Peggy's cloths in this post.

Ann Z.

Ann Z.

Ann Z.
Cheryl C.was working on a piece for the Jumpstart in Hand Stitching workshop (The Art League School). You can see the final piece here.

Cheryl C.

Diana G. brought along some of her pieces started in the Boro and Beyond workshop that I taught at Artistic Artifacts this spring. I just love the subtle palette!

Diana G.: From Boro and Beyond workshop

Diana G.: From Boro and Beyond workshop
Holly C. was working on a large piece using a black table runner that she purchased at Ikea (she's found linen yardage there too!). Great experimenting with simple stitches!

Holly C.
Some amazing purchased textiles made there way to the Stitch-In. Ann Z brought the piece at the top of this post (I'm coveting this!!)...it's shibori-dyed and then completely stitched with Running stitch.

Cheryl brought in two embroidered pieces that caught her eye at an auction.

Cheryl C.: Purchased stitched piece
Cheryl C.: Purchased stitch piece.

Detail.
As usual...lots of great discussions and sharing! I so enjoy this get together every month!