There’s nothing quite like being woken in the middle of the night only to then not be able to go back to sleep. I took this opportunity to read. I read about Britney Spears and her ongoing battle to gain her full independence and then an article about how learning a new language will increase one’s chances of not getting Alzheimers. Lest you think me shallow, I just finished my french lesson. Je suis encore très fatigué, mais au moins je suis moins inquiet, which means: I am still very tired, but at least I am not so worried. Added plus, I may even be able to purchase a train ticket and find a bathroom when in France next year! Now to tackle a few pages of Marcus Aurelius.
In stitching news, oh there’s always stitching news(!) I’m working on three different projects simultaneously and am feeling okay about that. Usually this would make me anxious; I don’t like having lots of projects going at once, but at the moment, it’s fine. I have at least four other projects in various stages of completion, but have put them aside for now so that I can concentrate on these three.
And today is the 2nd day of my Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Scissor Case Workshop. We are beginning to stitch the Dorset Buttons and the stitching around the wool shapes. This is one of two workshops I will be teaching again in the fall with thread kits AND fabric kits now available!
I just posted a new video about using the Helix Angle and Circle Maker on fabric with mixed results. I think there are definite possibilities for this little gadget. Go see for yourself.
My mother sends me some truly fabulous things, among them is this video of the Denver Airport. I promise you, this in NOT what you’re expecting!
As the Denver Airport is one that I have frequented many, many times I was particularly pleased to see this. All airports should have things like this. It would make the not so fabulous air travel experience just a bit nicer and more fun.
On the stitching front, I finished my pin cushion or potpourri satchel or whatever else you might want to use this for. So much fun!
As you may remember this was begun as a demonstration for The Basics Workshop that I taught and which I’ll be teaching again this fall. Kits are available!
I have to end this post with a comment to all of you who watched my video entitled, The Ice Cream Situation, which should really be called, The Ice Cream Situation: A Cautionary Tale, but that title while better, is too long and unruly for most social media postings, so I went with the truncated version. Now many of you have reported looking for this particular ice cream, some even saying they went to several different stores in search of it. And yet, this was meant to be a “cautionary tale“! You know, one of those – do as I say, not as I do, videos, but it is now obvious to me that hand stitchers are a bunch of rebels. No, seriously. Rebels. All of you. And here’s another thing that I’ve decided; you’re rebels AND you like to live dangerously. Either that or we (I’m including myself in this group) have a fatalistic streak that forces us to do things that we have been warned, explicitly, will be our undoing. This had to be said. I do not want to be the one who says, I told you so, when there are tears and stories of cases of ice cream being shipped all over the place, except that I did tell you. Just pointing that out. I told all of you and I have it on record.
When last we met, I had just pulled my Bernina 790 out of hibernation only to find it did not fit my Koala sewing cabinet and so I had to order a new insert. Check, check and check. Who says I’m not getting sh*t done?
I know all of you want to know how Pat Pauly’s Take 2 virtual workshop went and I won’t leave you hanging. It was all that I’d hoped for and more. Just fabulous. Of course now I’m trying to talk her into doing another one: Line, Shape & Setting. I think I may have persuaded her, and the minute she adds it to her jam packed schedule I’ll tell all of you so that those of you who might like to sign up for it, can.
In the meantime I’m back to my improvisational stitching, Youtube tutorials, working on my next design, slowly chipping away at my Stitching Book, juggling my other various commitments and oh, yeah, life!
I have photos of what I worked on in Pat’s workshop, but it’s still a work in progress, so I think I’ll wait until I have something I love before I show you. Which means that I’ll have to pull that sewing machine out again or use my smaller, travel Bernina, which isn’t as much fun, but will do the job.
Yesterday as I was doing a livestream for my Patrons over on Patreon, I was talking and stitching away, as I do, and then I had this idea to add a piece of hand dyed t-shirt to the linen piece I’ve been playing around with and ended up loving it! I just love when that happens and it doesn’t happen all the time, so when it does, it’s just thrilling!!
It reminds me of organisms that have been put under a microscope. I love that!
I am doing a new 5-day workshop! Improvisational Stitching!
But what does that mean, exactly? Well funny you should ask, because I’ve given it a great deal of thought. Improvisational Stitching is what I call what I do when I begin with a piece of fabric, usually a piece of hand dyed linen, with no preconceived notion of what I’m going to do other than follow the striations in the fabric and begin stitching. I don’t sketch anything out, I just begin stitching.
Over time the piece develops and I begin adding other elements. Sometimes I’ll add other materials, other times that means painting directly onto the fabric and even over the stitching, as I did with my piece, Perseverance.
Eventually the piece takes on a life of its own and then it’s up to me to follow as best I can.
Olea began as a 14″ by 16″ piece of olive green hand dyed linen. I started stitching and adding things, like the hand painted t-shirt strips to the left.
Eventually it became this, which I titled, “Olea” but my friend Anna Bates called, “After the Wedding”.
Improvisational Stitching is so much fun! There are no rules, nothing is forbidden, anything goes. I absolutely love it!! Which leads me to the workshop I’m doing: Improvisational Stitching!
Have you ever wanted to create an improvisational piece, but felt too intimidated to start? This is the workshop for you!
We begin with a hand dyed piece of linen, loosely woven cotton or wool. I suggest starting with a piece that isn’t too large – say 14” x 16” or smaller. It can be a square or a rectangle. Choose a color that you love for the background. It can be any color, just make sure you LOVE it! If you want to piece a background together, you can also do that.
This is a “hands on” workshop, in other words, everyone will be working and creating during the workshop with me cheering you on. Using a wide variety of threads, and other materials, we will embellish with no preconceived ideas. I will hold your hand, encourage you to explore and try new things. Each week you will be given a challenge to expand and add to your piece. This is a dive-into-the-deep-end workshop. We will have a blast. All levels of stitchers are welcome. You will not be alone. I will be with you every step of the way.
Workshop Length: 5 Saturdays from 1pm – 4:30pm EDT
I’m doing a Dorset Buttons Gone Wild 3-hour Workshop via Zoom. (It will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube, but will only be available to view if you have purchased the workshop. You can reference the entire workshop later or whenever you like once the workshop is over.)
When: A 3-hour workshop: Saturday, March 20th from 2-5pm EDT
Cost: $40.00 – I accept payment by check, through Zelle, Venmo or Paypal using my name: Ariane Zurcher and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me in the comments how you are paying so that I can make a note of it.
The workshop is limited to 30 people, first come, first serve. I have 19 spots left, so reserve your spot now!
What you’ll need and what you can expect:
Have at least a few rings to make the Dorset Buttons: https://amzn.to/2PyqNH3 whatever size you like and a couple different threads. I recommend 3 wt and 5 wt threads to begin and then a few specialty threads such as 4mm silk ribbon, Aurora, Oriental Linen, Soft Cotton, or whatever else you might like to try. For the first couple you might want to use some thread you have lying around that you don’t care about to practice.
#18 Chenille needle and/or #24 Chenille depending on the thread weight you want to use. A tapestry needle will work as well, and you will also need a Milliners Needle so that you can experiment with making some wrapped stitches on the Dorset Button. We are thinking out of the box, so think about what else you might want to add!
I will demonstrate a number of different variations on the traditional Dorset button, incorporating lots of different materials and threads that I think you’ll find exciting and different! You will have completed at least one or two Dorset Buttons by the end of the workshop. ❤️
*Optional: For those of you who are really adventurous, I suggest purchasing, if you haven’t already, my glasses case and/or scissor’s case. If you choose to go this route, prep the linen, with the lighter color linen wave and whipstitch on the wool circles as the instructions describe, so that you are ready to apply your Dorset Buttons to the wool shapes. I embellished the background as you can see below. If you are signed up for the workshop and would like to embellish as I have, let me know in the comments and I will send you instructions.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment that you want to reserve your space and then proceed to payment.
Later today I am doing a livestream on what to do with those odd looking Silk Cocoons. A lovely follower of mine sent me one a few months ago and I put it aside, not sure what to do with it. Then someone in my Facebook group: Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle asked what does one do with such an interesting and weird looking thing. I replied that I had no idea, but I had one sitting next to me, still in its little bag. Another helpful soul then suggested (dared me) that I do a livestream demonstrating. So I am, because I can’t let a dare suggestion like that go unheeded. If you’re curious, tune in today at 1pm EST.