Monday, February 20, 2017

Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure Part 3: Buttonhole and Needle Weaving

Alice A.: Netting and needle woven stitches.

After experimenting with the basic stitches learned in Hand Stitching (see this blog post), I introduced some textural stitches into the mix. These stitches fell into two categories: variations of Buttonhole stitch and needle woven stitches over "laid" or warp threads. All these stitches are worked on top of the fabric's surface and could be considered another overlay of texture. Students found the Knotted Buttonhole Netting the most challenging, but with practice, felt more confident about the possibilities of the stitch.

Ann Z.: Netting and needle woven sampler.
Ann Z.: Netting and textural stitches inspired by her muse.
Jan B.: Buttonhole rings.
Jan B.: Buttonhole rings
Jodie F.: Netting and needle weaving inspired by her muse.
Marine W.: Needle weaving
Marine W.: Needle weaving detail.
Peggy G.: Buttonhole and needle weaving sampler.
Susan G.: Nightscape with some needle weaving and Buttonhole details.

Next post: Fabric manipulation with stitch.

Susan P.: Challenge using warp threads and needleweaving.

Susan P.: Detail.
Enrollment for the spring session of Jumpstart in Hand Stitching (3 evening sessions) and Hand Stitching Continued (7 evening sessions) is now ongoing. If you live in the Washington, DC area, considering joining me!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure Part 2: Layering Stitches

Jodie F.: Challenge detail.


While the painted backgrounds (see this post) were drying, students started on their first Stitching Challenge. I listed the stitches we covered in the Hand Stitching class and challenged students to combine and layer them in new ways...again referencing their nature "muses".

Jodie F.: Challenge: Layering stitches.

Jodie F.: Layering stitches.
Jan B.: Challenge: Layering stitches.
Jan B.: Inspired by her "muse".
Marine W.: Layering stitches.
Marine W.: Inspired by her muse...a geode.
Marine W.: Challenge detail.
Peggy G.: Challenge: Layering stitches.
Peggy G.: Inspired by her muse.
Alice A.: Challenge: Layering stitches. Alice told a story about growing up surrounded by farmland and how the fields change throughout the seasons. This piece "mapped" the seasons in the fields.
Alice A. : Challenge detail.
Ann Z. : Challenge: Layering stitches.
Susan G.: Challenge: Layering stitches.
Susan G.: Inspired by her muse.
Susan P.: Challenge: Layering stitches.

Working with even the most basic stitches continues to intrigue and inspire me. There are so many possible ways to change and distort stitches and then add to that the many ways of combining them with each other!

Next post: Buttonhole variations and needle weaving.


Enrollment for the spring session of Jumpstart in Hand Stitching (3 evening sessions) and Hand Stitching Continued (7 evening sessions) is now ongoing. If you live in the Washington, DC area, considering joining me!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure Part 1- Painted Backgrounds

Jan B.: Bound resist on silk
Jan B.: Unbinding the resist.
This week was the last session of my new class, Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure. This 5-session class was a continuing exploration of hand stitching for students who took my multi-session Hand Stitching class or my Jumpstart in Hand Stitching workshop. In the Continued class, each student chose a "muse" from nature as a starting point. The "muse" informed color choices, use of stitches and how students approached new techniques. The goal was to create more textured surfaces with stitch, learn fabric manipulation techniques and culminated in the creation of small free-standing sculptures.

Ann Z.

Over the next few blog posts, I plan to share the results. As usual, I was blown away by my students' work!

Ann Z.

The first session focused on color. In the Hand Stitching class, I limited the palette to black, white and gray with the eventual addition of a couple of colors. I knew that I wanted to open things up a bit color-wise in the Continued class. Students experimented with  color mixing fabric paint using just one or two base colors and black and white. I wanted them to see the wide range of color that can be achieved even within those parameters. Students also designed some hot glue blocks using their muse for inspiration. The resulting fabrics were used for subsequent stitching assignments.

Marine W.
Marine W. : Monoprint.
Susan P. : Hot glue block print over painted fabric.
Fabrics drying before adding printing.

Next blog post: Layering stitches.

Ann Z. : Hot glue print block and painting.
Fabrics by Sarah H. and Jodie F.
Alice A.
Susan G: Monoprint over texture prints.

Enrollment for the spring session of Jumpstart in Hand Stitching (3 evening sessions) and Hand Stitching Continued (7 evening sessions) is now ongoing. If you live in the Washington, DC area, considering joining me!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Linda McNutt...Healing with Cloth


I'd like to introduce Linda McNutt ....creator of small, inspiring works of art made from bits of cloth and hours of hand stitching.

The beginnings...Linda's first healing cloth in process.
I first met Linda when she journeyed to Virginia (with her friend Ruth T.) from New York to take my
Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth workshop in March 2015. Above is the first "healing cloth" (in process) that Linda started in the workshop. 

Linda and Ruth recently returned to Virginia for my Jumpstart in Hand Stitching workshop. At the end of the first day, Linda pulled out a selection of healing cloths. Seems that she caught the "stitching bug"! The entire class was astounded by these amazing jewels!







I was fortunate to be able to purchase this particular piece from Linda. It really spoke to me.





This final piece has a beautiful story. We didn't actually get to see it in person, but Linda told us about it and later sent me this photo with the story behind it.


Linda created this piece for her friend Julie W., who is a psychotherapist as well as a healer. Her friend works with energy healing and channeling, prayer, astrology, and crystals. Linda's friend wanted a piece that would cover a person's chest for when she does her crystal healing work. When working with someone, she could lay it on their chest, or on another affected area of their body, then sometimes place crystals, or a laying on of hands.

The antique quilt centerpiece has a very special story. The original quilt was given to Linda by a mutual friend of both hers and Julie's. This friend was also  a therapist and Buddhist teacher and unfortunately lost her life to cancer. She was Julie's best friend and even though Julie didn't request it, Linda felt it seemed right to include something that evoked the love and energy of their friend from a quilt that lay at the end of her bed.

In Linda's words:
Parts of the quilt block that were frayed and torn were mended or embroidered over to make them whole. I found this a very powerful part of the  Meditation and Healing Cloth (Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth) workshop, by the way: the idea of mending, binding, patching, reweaving, with stitch and color. Perhaps not always able to keep the old, but transforming into something new.

The circle is a symbol of unity and oneness, the wheel a reference to the wheel of life. As a "coincidence", the back of the stitching looks like an astrological chart.

The leaves are about new growth, new flowering, spirals of energy radiate from the center. Other symbols came from an intuitive flow through meditation, and I tried to intentionally leave openings and opportunities for the healer and the individual to find their own meanings and purposes.

 ...I must say this stitching process is as much a healing for me...

Thank you Linda for sharing your beautiful, rich work with us!

I will be teaching the next Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth workshop on June 17 and 18. Click on the highlighted words for more information.