Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hand Stitching Moves Online: Theme #1-- Line


Susan T.: Interpreting lines drawn with ink on paper

Sometimes circumstances give you that little extra push (or kick in the you know what!) you need to try something new. When things started shutting down here in Virginia back in March, I figured that was going to be it for me for classes. The school where I often teach was trying to work out some version of socially distanced in-person classes. The protocol seemed overwhelming. I could already imagine that other teaching opportunities such as The Textile Museum Muse Project class would be postponed indefinitely. And with retail shops starting to shut down-- my teaching gigs at local places such at Artistic Artifacts were also vanishing.

Martha P: Interpreting wood grain lines.

Well thank goodness for Zoom. Who knew that it would become such an integral part of everyday living!  And who knew that using it would finally give me the confidence and opportunity to move to online teaching....something I'd thought about for years.

Jill B. : Line Stitch sampler
My beginning Hand Stitching class at The Art League School made a quick transition to online. A very seat-of-the-pants operation to start. I set up shop on Google Classroom so that students would have the opportunity to show their work and interact. It was also where I could add links, material and recordings. By the end of five weeks, I had the mechanics down!

Jill B.: Stitch for Five and Change
I also had one other thing down. Something I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull off...fostering a sense of community. I encouraged the 18 students from all across the US plus Canada and even Japan..to post their works in progress and to leave comments. I put together weekly Power Points of their assignments. And gradually I could see a community starting to gel with respect and appreciation for each others' work.

Barbara B: Black and White
The stitched work that emerged from this class will be the subject of the next few posts. My approach to hand stitching is very experimental. I enjoy exploring the types of marks and patterns basic embroidery stitches can make by changing just a few basic elements. I limit the size and color palette of students' work to encourage looking at the stitches as marks and not as making "pretty pictures".

Susan T.: Interpreting lines drawn with ink on paper
 I divided the class sessions into themes: Line, Pattern and Rhythm, Texture and Layers. I chose  stitches and stitch techniques that I felt reflected the themes. I also gave weekly Journal Prompts and encouraged the use of a journal to continue a "dialog" with one's stitching. I provided students with a choice of Stitch Challenges that focused on some aspect of the weekly theme and the stitches. I  encouraged students to keep exploring on their own just to see what they could discover.


Journal prompt by Jude J. based on photo of coral.
These next posts will follow the class themes and will feature a selection of Stitch Samplers, Journal Prompts and Stitch Challenges. My hope is that you might consider picking up needle, thread and fabric and take a "stab" at hand stitching too!

Coral by Jude J.
Judy P. : Plant growth lines.
Kristin A.: Line Sampler
Mary K.: Line Sampler
Myania M.: Journal Prompt: A Line Can Be
Myania M: A Line Can Be Circular
Pauline S.
Roberta A.: Journal Prompt: A Line Can Be
Roberta A: A Line Can Meander
Carolyn L.: Stitch Sampler
Heidi O: Stitch Sampler and Challenge
Irene C: A Line Can Be

I will be teaching this Hand Stitching class in the Fall 2020. Check back here for more information about dates and times.

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