- Article: Vercillo, Kathryn. 5 Craft Therapy Books to Learn About Handmade Healing
- Bibliography: Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who also has a Masters in Psychological Studies. Her expertise is writing at the intersection of crafts and mental health. Kathryn is the author of several books on this topic including Crochet Saved My Life.
Creating for health – One stitch at a time!
I am creating the 6 inch squares that will be placed in each corner of the sashing and border of the quilt. This means that I am almost, almost ready to start making a sandwich of each quadrant in preparation of machine quilting.
- Cutting sashing and border fabric
- Stitching the cornerstones or bosses
- Stitching the border to quadrants
- Stitching part of the sashing to each quadrant
- Pressing the backing and top
- Making a sandwich
- Machine quilting each quadrant
- Joining each quadrant to make the finished top
- More quilting in border and sashing
In the photo below I am still working on the triangle shapes and trying to decide if they need a border. Of course they did! There was more work and stitching ahead!
The photo shows the drafting process to make six inch square mosaic tiles that will be placed at the intersection of border and sashing.
I wasn’t planning on such a large quilt. I guess this is what happens when you design as you go! It has evolved to be what it needs to be.
The colours of this stitch meditation are rich and luscious! The hand dyed hot pink varying slightly making it just a little bit more interesting than a flat colour. Layers of black knots tying it in with the darker gray cotton. The piece of repurposed silk sari fabric has a shimmer of pink while also tying into the lighter grey. It is tied together with the hand dyed pink perle cotton. I don’t usually sit back and study the piece I’ve stitched to analyze why it works. Having the time and perspective makes you realize that following your instincts can lead you in the right direction.
I am fortunate that a friend gave me a bag of silk and upholstery fabrics that I have been using in some stitch meditations. They are so gorgeous and often times reversible — the colour varying slightly from front to back. These delicate fabrics are precious snippets
- Blogpost: What is Intuition from Psychology today
- Article: Karen Broude interview: Motivated by Intuition in TextileArtist.org
Don’t second guess yourself, close your eyes and pick a colour – One stitch at a time!
There are quite a few articles about the benefits of slowing down your thoughts with traditional meditation. For many people mentioning the word meditation brings about a negative reaction. I’ve heard: I can’t do it, it doesn’t work for me, I’ve tried it but I wasn’t successful and so many more. Meditation was and is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Quietly lying down or sitting comfortably and trying to empty your mind! How is that even possible! No way I can’t do it! Who can! I’ve had only a very few times I think I can say that meditating worked, maybe.
That’s why having having something more specific to focus on — like a hand stitching project makes the idea of meditation a little easier to understand. I know that I’ve lost track of time, my discomfort, and those around me (child and husband) when I focused on my sewing. I am in my happy place — making.
An article I discovered by Monika Auch a Naturopathic doctor and artist talks about “creating with your hands makes you happy”. She has an inventive project where you stitch your brain!
Stitch your Brain an international embroidery project: “Creating with your hands makes you happy. Embroidery, knitting, weaving, crochet and other craft activities release feelings of well-being in our brains.” Is this what a successful meditation session feels like?
You can map what your brain looks like to you. Join the project and embroider your brain on a printed canvas using: yarn, threads, beads, with any types of stitching, anything! Finished pieces are on tour throughout Europe and some are on display on the website. Meditate on your brain – such an interesting project!
- Video: Monika Auch 25 April 2017 lecture on – Art Knowledge: our senses in art and scientific experiment (in Dutch)
- Website: Stitch Your Brain – is a project and study by Monika Auch, visual artist and medical doctor (n.p.) about the intelligence of our hands and the effect of creative making on health and well-being.
Brain health – One stitch at a time!
I’ve been preparing the squares for the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project before the actual stitching. I’ve found that this works for me as I can pick up and work on different squares as I feel inspired. I may not complete one before starting another and then finishing the first!
- I use far fewer layers in my meditations than others
- My squares are simpler
- I create in similar colour combinations as you can see below
Preparing for stitch meditations – one square at a time!
I’ve spent some time not working on my Venetian Mosaic project. I just needed to do a little sewing that didn’t require concentration, was simple and mindless.
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Strip piecing with scraps from my growing scrap container! Looks like I curated these strips. In reality I just chose those long enough to fit! #scrapbusting #quiltingfabrics #quiltfabricscraps #patchworkstyle #patchworkquilting #fabricscraps #fabricscrapsproject #stashbusting #stripfabric #stripquilting #stripquilts #scrappystringblock #patchwork #scrappyquilt #squaringupblocks
Pulling out my scrap boxes, yes boxes, and pulling out a project I began a few years ago. I strip pieced on a foundation of paper ripped from an old telephone directory I’ve had around for a while.
Piecing tip: old telephone directories make a great foundation to stitch through. (Just make certain they have aged so the ink doesn’t transfer to your fabric when pressing!)
It was an opportunity to use up the many scraps that I’ve accumulated. They never seem to decrease!
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Strip piecing with scraps from my growing scrap container! Looks like I curated these strips. In reality I just chose those long enough to fit! #scrapbusting #quiltingfabrics #quiltfabricscraps #patchworkstyle #patchworkstripes #stripquiltblocks #leftoverfabric #patchworkquilting #fabricscraps #fabricscrapsproject #stashbusting #stripfabric #stripquilting #stripquilts #scrappystringblock #patchwork #scrappyquilt #squaringupblocks
Storage Tip: If you keep the fabric strips together from a single project, they will absolutely look good together!
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Finished block at the front. Undecided if I will stay with all white solids or use a variety of other colours. What do you think? #scrapbusting #quiltingfabrics #quiltfabricscraps #patchworkstyle #halfsquareblock #halfsquarerectangles #patchworkstripes #stripquiltblocks #leftoverfabric #patchworkquilting #fabricscraps #fabricscrapsproject #stashbusting #stripfabric #stripquilting #stripquilts #scrappystringblock #patchwork #scrappyquilt #squaringupblocks
What would you choose? All white or a variety of colours for the solid triangle?
This is one of four large blocks I’ve been working on for a long time. That is to say, I started this project a long time ago and then put it away for a long time! I recently pulled it out again, last winter, and thought I could have it pieced and quilted by the end of March this year. As you can see, that did not happen!
The quilt is based on marble mosaic floors I saw in Italy. I took many photographs and purchased a few postcards that inspired these original designs. And, because they are original, I am designing and drafting the quilt. Mostly as I go. I did have an overall plan, but not all the details.
All four of the medallions are pieced and the circle into a square striped border have been stitched.
Fabric still needs to be trimmed and some paper pieces can be removed. The four triangles for each medallion have been designed and colours chosen. To date, I have 2 and 1/2 triangles completed. The new deadline is still March, now of 2020. I am a bit more optimistic that the quilt can be completed. I plan on machine quilting it myself and will quilt each quadrant separately and then join the four together.
Wish me luck!