What I Did Over the Weekend…

What I Did Over the Weekend…

I spent at least 16 hours this weekend analyzing and stitching examples of the Trellis Stitch. Specifically the spiral trellis stitch, which was one of dozens of stitches that adorned the Plimoth Jacket, a women’s waistcoat, made in the early 1600’s.

Photograph Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Another heavily embroidered jacket is in the costume collection at the Metropolitan Museum here in New York City, which I would LOVE to see one day.

While I have done dozens and dozens of Spiral Trellis Stitches over the years, and have used this stitch in a number of my designs, I had never tried to figure out why it was often so difficult to replicate, and to replicate consistently.

So this weekend I decided to do just that. I experimented with a couple of different ways of stitching it, how to best add a new length of thread when your thread, which it inevitably does, runs out, how to consistently get good results when decreasing, stitching in all kinds of different threads and thread weights, and I even tried my hand at stitching a non-circular Trellis, which I will need to do a bit more experimenting with before I am completely satisfied. I had to fill in the center part with French Knots because I couldn’t figure out how to decrease the inside in a way that looked flawless.

I then posted my results to my Youtube Channel: Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand.

As I am left handed all of this was even more tricky because none of the embroidery books give instructions for the way I finally ended up stitching this beautiful, yet challenging stitch.

What did you do over the weekend?!


My Son, An Award & The MET

My Son, An Award & The MET

My son, Nic, who is a teenager and has been painting since he was old enough to pick up a brush, just won an award from Scholastic Art & Writing for one of his pieces.  It’s a portrait, done in acrylic on a large piece of wood, of a friend of his.  That painting will be hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, here in New York City, in an exhibition featuring the award winners.  To say that I’m proud of him would be an understatement.  I’m beyond ecstatic.  Every time I think of him and his beautiful painting I smile.  A big, sweeping, all-encompassing smile.  A smile that makes my cheeks hurt and my whole body feel as though it were filled with sunlight.

When Nic was little he began painting every day.  We have drawers filled with his work.  When he was three, a friend of mine wanted to buy one of his paintings, but it was one of my favorites, so I wouldn’t let her purchase it, even though Nic was happy to have her buy it.  He sold his first painting to an art collector when he was 8 or maybe he was 9, I can’t remember now.  It had a Basquiat feel to it, lots of color, playful and yet there was an undercurrent of something deeper.  Nic was thrilled with his first sale and said he was going to save the money so he could buy himself something important, “like college”.  He was 8 or maybe 9.

Nic’s always been a collector of sorts and, like both his parents, tends to get obsessed with things that interest him.  I see this as an excellent trait.  Every member of my immediate family is passionate (another, more accepting, word for obsessed) about their line of work.  I say YAY to obsessions!  I cannot imagine life without obsessions.  This is also something that some people frown upon in the world of disability, particularly autism, where an obsession, having a passion for something, is called, “special interests.”  There’s something so condescending about that.  Why should a passion be called anything even remotely derogatory?  Every human should be so fortunate as to have passions in this life.

Here’s to a life filled with passion and obsessions.  And here’s to my son, Nic, his talent and this award!  You’re amazing and I’m so proud of you!!!


Nic holding his painting