I am very interested in modern art. There is something about the colours and design that really appeals to me. Specifically minimalist art. I find myself looking at these pieces much more than others. Some reach out and speak to me while others quietly whisper. It forces me stop, to listen, and think.
I had only stitched the orange blanket stitch and thought it was complete. Yet, I kept putting it back into the container to wait. I stitched a few others. Then it popped to the surface and I added more stitches. Now its journey is complete.
French knots and a Y-stitch on hand dyed cotton sprinkled with salt. Is it the ocean or the sky?
YouTube: Handiworks. Hand Embroidery for Beginners: 10 types of leaves. (starts with fly stitch)
Waiting and stitching to the finish — one stitch at a time!
Stitching is still happening in fits and starts. Simple shapes and basic stitches. Rummaging through to find just the right pieces of cloth. Drawing lines with knots and running threads, outlining a circle with variegated thread, improvising and stitching quietly.
Changes to my stitch repertoire are bound to happen though. A friend lent me her copy of a book she thought I would enjoy reading: Intentional Thread: a Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch by Susan Brandeis.
After just a quick look at this book, I knew it was a fantastic resource for anyone who loves to hand stitch. I immediately ordered my own copy! Susan Brandeis is a retired Distinguished Professor Emerita at North Carolina State University’s College of Design with degrees in art education and textile art. This is the textbook she wished she had when she was teaching.
Beautifully illustrated with examples of her work, a guide to stitch types, samplers of her stitches and so much more! I know that I will be referring to this book for a long while and seeing new things each time.
In the preface to the book, Brandeis writes about living in a world of speed – information, transportation, and commerce are happening faster and faster.
But the abscence of speed in the handmade stands in opposition to that hurry, offers an anitidote to frenzy and commotion, and is one of the reasons I love handwork. I am drawn to the ‘meditative’ quality of working slowly at human (rather than machine) speed.
I’ve listed a YouTube video in the Stitch Resources. It’s a short video of Susan’s retrospective show. It’s interesting to hear of her talk about the ideas, inspirations, and techniques she used to create her pieces.
Website: Susan Brandeis: Textile Art, Craft, Design, and Education
YouTube: Susan Brandeis Retrospective: Quilting & Surface Design, 1978-2008.
Always studying and improving — one stitch at a time!
Blueprint formerly Craftsy has announced the platform is closing. This is sad news for so many people. It offered such a wide range of classes from some very skilled craftspeople. Maybe, some of you like me may have purchased classes and not actually worked your way through them. The time for this is now!
I just looked at my old emails and the original purchase date of my first Craftsy class was 2013! I believe that I first learned about them when I attended QuiltCon. They had a booth in the vendor’s market and were very active in promoting themselves.
I am embarrassed to say that I have 2 classes from Craftsy. I completely forgot about the first one purchased: The Art of Cloth Dyeing with Jane Dunnewold. I have never logged into this one!! Absolutely one I am interested in viewing and applying to my work.
Placing, then removing, trying a new piece, adjusting. Placing it down, stepping back, repinning. Finally leaving it be and moving on to the next step: thread. Spilling out all the choices. Sifting through, picking out the finalists. Looking at the individual threads – only one or two this time? Simple decisions…
Stitching – running, french knots, cross stitches seem to be my favourites. Something different next time?
Two stitch meditation squares featuring shades of green and turquoise. I see warm Caribbean waters, palm trees and miles of sandy beaches! Wishing I could escape the cold, dark days.
The current situation in the world has made relaxing and stitching thoughtfully even more important. But, also more difficult. Your mind has difficulty focusing. I find that focusing by listening to a podcast can help. Two of the podcasts I’ve been listening to deal with art, artists and the business of creating and selling art. They are conversations between friends and interviews with other creatives. What are you listening to?
Podcast: Laura Horn Art Podcast – Helping artist to build their skills, confidence and creative style.
Podcast: Art Juice – The podcast for artists, aspiring creatives and art lovers
Why does time move more quickly as you get older. I find myself running out of time to do the things I really enjoy. But, I am finding time to work on other (unnecessary) projects and daily housework more and more. So, I spend less time on the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project than I had expected when I first started. It certainly hasn’t become a focus of my down time! Read about the 2 Argentinian artists who have made their entire life about hand embroidery and sharing everything in their lives together. The projects they hand embroider take years to complete!
The other article I read from Selvedge Magazine is about an exhibition of work: “of seven pioneering women who went against all established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and international public collections of textiles in the UK today.” So many beautiful pieces of hand work!
Blogpost: Hewitt, Bonnie Burstein. Argentinian Artists Stitch Their World Together at Lux. Encinitas Advocate. 27 Jan. 2020