Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jumpstart in Hand Stitching Review

Mary M.: Couching fabric strips with a variety of stitches.
For those of you who don't know, I've been juggling a number of classes over the past month or so. I've been teaching the To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections and Memories class during the daytime on Wednesdays and classes in hand stitching on Wednesday evenings (at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA). Now that the daytime class is over, I'm getting caught up with blog posts starting with Jumpstart in Hand Stitching. This was a three 3-hour session workshop that was basically an accelerated (you might call it a "crash" course) version of my 25 hour class. We covered some fabric painting and printing techniques, followed by assignments in Line, Pattern, Texture, and Layers. This class was considered preparation for the Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure class (seven 3-hr evening classes) that is still ongoing. Here is a selection of work by students in the workshop...

Some of the hand painted and printed fabrics created in class.
Painted and printed fabrics.
Freezer paper masks.
Kate M.: Line sampler.
Mary M.: Line sampler
Cheryl C.: Line Challenge
Kate M.: Line Challenge in progress. Kate based this on bacteria in a petri dish.
Cheryl C.: Line, Pattern and Texture sampler.
Mary M.: Pattern and Texture sampler.
Cheryl C.: Texture Challenge.
Cheryl C.: Pattern and Texture Challenge.
Mary M.: Texture and Layers Challenge.
Kate M.: Layers Sampler
Kate M.: Layers Challenge.
Cheryl C.: Layers Challenge.
Annie G.: Layers Challenge.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Chris V.: Swatch book sample to learn binding.

Yesterday, I taught my Play-with-Your-Fabric-Stash Cloth Book class at Artistic Artifacts. In this class, we haul out our stashes of fabric, threads and other goodies and learn some applique and layering techniques to put together a unique cloth book. I also teach a simple "stab" stitch binding that is based on a Japanese cloth swatch book that a friend of mine gifted me (she's in Japan for 3 years!).

Beth R.: Stab stitch binding sample

Kathy S.: Swatch book sample with turned applique.

Here are some of the pages that students completed during class...along with others that are works in progress.

Beth R.: Trapunto teacup!
Chris V.: Layering with turned and cut away applique. Love the cat fabric!
Chris V.: Trapunto stuffing with some reverse applique. This fabric is one that Chris made (in another class) using PaintStiks.
Etta S.: Layers of painted cheesecloth, Trapunto and stitching.
Etta S.: Reverse side of previous page. Silk threads captured in cheesecloth with stitching.
Etta S.: Trapunto and cut away layers.
Etta S.: Etta designed a "window" page to get peeks of other pages.
Kathy S.: A soft velvet patch layered with netting and stuffed to give it dimension.
Kathy S.: Reverse side of previous piece. Stuffed with stitching details.
Lindy M.: Lindy turned her binding sampler into her book with the addition of a raw-edge applique patch and stitching.
Lindy M.: Another book page with reverse applique windows using dyed lace.
Lindy M.: Some of Lindy's hand-dyed lace fabric stash.
Lindy M.: Trapunto with layers and cut-aways.

Thanks students! I really enjoyed my day with you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections, and Memories: Memory Cloths

Judith K.-P.: This piece...one of Judith's Memories of Japan series, was inspired by a Haiku by renown Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho. Judith printed the fabric flowers and crocheted the basket from twine. The poem is written with pen and embellished with stitching.
This is the final post of five showing student work from my To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections, and Memories class. I want to highlight finished pieces and works-in-progress.

Judith K.-P.: Part of the Memories of Japan series. This piece was started in the Mapping Memories lesson. It is an Impressions Map of her experience in Japan. Applique, Trapunto, hand stitching.
Judith K.-P.: Another piece from the Memories of Japan series featuring a Haiku by poet, Chen-ou Liu. The teapot print was created using an embossed aluminum printing plate.
Ann Z.: Memories of Beach series. This piece is still in process. Ann is planning to add some additional stitching. Here she is auditioning some textures.
Ann Z.: Detail of stitching and reverse applique. Ann is also working on a series of smaller pieces featuring stitched words inspired by Rachel Carson's writings.
Jan B.: In addition to the pieces about her parents (see Significant Object Portraits and Word Impressions posts below), Jan is continuing work on this Color Map. She is adding a stitched azalea over the spring greens.

Barbara C.: As part of her Memories of London series, Barbara created this little box sculpture featuring some of her hand printed fabrics along with fabrics purchased on her recent London trip. The house is the one that T. S. Eliot lived in. You can see the Eliot poem piece in the Word Impressions blog post below).

Barbara C.: Here is the incised craft foam print block she used.

Barbara C.: I couldn't resist including this incredible stitched ribbon that Barbara bought in London. She is using bits and pieces of it in her continuing series.
Alice A.: Alice fell in love with this little Mexican bull! It is a motif that reminded her of her childhood and visits to a marketplace in Mexico. Alice realized that watching the women weaving and making their wares is what inspired her to become a weaver and fiber artist. This print was created with a freezer paper stencil.
Alice A.: Freezer paper stencil.
Alice A.: This little red bull was created with a freezer paper stencil and an aluminum printing plate.

Alice A.: Alice made these miniature aluminum animals based on her memories of  Mexican tin ornaments. She plans to attach them to one of her Memory cloths.
Judy M.: A selection of Judy's Memory cloths about visits with her grandmother at the cottage near Lake Michigan. Judy is continuing to create more pieces and plans to turn them all into a cloth book.
Judy M.: Map showing the location of the cottage.
Judy M.: The cottage.
Judy M.: Completed version of Coffee and Milkshakes.
Judy M.: Good Night! Judy's grandmother used to wish her good night through the wall between their rooms. She would say "good night" in many different languages.
Judy M.: Judy's grandmother used to read lots of poetry with Judy. Here is a line from one of the poems.

I have to say that this was an extremely rewarding class to teach. First, I gave the original Story Cloth class a complete overhaul. Rather than having all the classwork culminate in one piece, I decided to break the class into themes. I also added journaling and assignments with cut paper and color pencils at the beginning of each class as a way to get students focused on the theme of the week. Students were able to choose from a number of suggested challenges. So the pressure was off about making one "perfect" piece and instead encouraged students to begin thinking and working in a series. It also helped to have a group of enthusiastic, open-minded and trusting students...so a BIG thank you goes out to you... intrepid students!

If you haven't had the chance to read the previous posts about this class you can follow the links below:

Color Connections
Mapping Memories
Significant Object Portraits
Word Impressions

If you live in the Washington D.C. area and would like to take this class, I will be offering an evening version in Fall 2017 and a daytime version in Spring 2018. Specific dates TBA. Please feel free to contact me with your questions.