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
Often referred to as a negative, I’ve always thought of obsessions as a lifeline to exploration, creativity, joy and boundless energy. Being obsessed with something (rather than someone) results in any number of truly awe-inspiring things, such as these artists who carve thread spools into amazing miniature works of art.
Or Andrea Love whose website is filled with animations that she creates using felted wool.
How does one work through the fear that inevitably arises when creating if one isn’t obsessed with whatever it is you’re working on? I love creative, obsessive people (and thankfully so does my husband!)
My latest hand stitched piece began as a challenge for myself – Pick a fabric that is on top of the pile and do something with it. And so it began. The fabric that lay before me is a color I find problematic. It’s a kind of pinkish, salmon flesh tone. There’s nothing wrong with the color, it just isn’t a color that speaks to me, particularly. But I had set myself up with a challenge and so I was determined to see where it took me. That was in the beginning of November.
I began playing around, trying different threads and thread weights adding texture in the form of hand dyed cheesecloth, wrapped wooden beads, etc. At one point in a moment of desperation I took some pastels and just painted right over the fabric and the stitching. Gasp! I know. I know. Sometimes taking drastic measures is exactly what’s needed, though.
And slowly, very, very slowly it began to take shape. There were plenty of moments when I thought – well, worse case scenario I’ll just use this piece to demonstrate various things, including what to do when you don’t know what to do or how to proceed!
But I kept at it and eventually began seeing things I liked, as opposed to all the things I didn’t. And once that happened, I began to turn a corner with this piece. However were it not for the fact that I’m obsessed with hand stitching, creating and designing, there’s no way I would have stuck it out. This piece would have been put into a corner and forgotten about. I credit my obsessiveness, dogged determination and perseverance as the reason that didn’t happen.
The joy of being obsessive.
Welcome to my store!
Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane