Stitch Meditation – Day 59 and 60

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.

five inch square of deep turquoise blue and circle of yellow cotton hand stitched with perle cotton embroidery thread doris lovadina quilter

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.

five inch square of three strips of fuchsia hand dyed fabric and repurposed silk stitched with embroidery cotton and a narrow cotton strip created by doris lovadina-lee canadian textile artist

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.

cover of Intentional thready by Susan Brandeis
Brandeis, Susan. Intentional Thread: a Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch

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.

Susan Brandeis

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.

Stitch Resources

  • 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!

Upcycling snow dyed wool and silk scarf kantha style!

Moths! These fuzzy winged insects feasted on this beautiful snow dyed wool scarf, leaving it unfit to be worn. I loved the pattern and colour of this scarf and did not just want to throw it out.

Kantha style shibori dyed scarf in fuchsia pink and white in progress by doris lovadina-lee toronto quilter

This is another long-term project that I have on the go. I am using a variety of threads on this scarf, alternating in between perle cotton, embroidery floss, and regular sewing thread. I am looking for similarity in colour but different thicknesses to add texture and interest.

Kantha was originally a very humble embroidery craft. Running stitches kept layers of old saris together to create blankets for the cold winters in Bangladesh. I hope my scarf recognizes the beauty of recycling and stitching too.

Stitch Meditation – 8th Month Review

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!

6 hand stitched squares for the 8th month of the 100 day stitch meditation

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.

What will you be doing this weekend?

Looking back at the eighth month:

Learning online – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 55 and 56

Indigo dyed cotton metallic snow dyed linen five inch square
Indigo cotton, snow dyed linen, perle cotton

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…

five inch square of pale turquoise green dyed cotton hand stitched with perle cotton embroidery thread
Hand-dyed cotton, perle cotton

Stitching – running, french knots, cross stitches seem to be my favourites. Something different next time?

Stitch Resources

Slowly making stitches – decisions – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 51 and 52

Hand dyed cotton, perle cotton

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.

Coarse white linen, hand dyed pink, green, indigo shibori linen

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?

Stitch Resources

  • 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

Listening for focus – One stitch at a time!

SAQA pop-up: online!

I posted earlier that I was preparing for the SAQA pop-up and registration for MoSAiQA. That has now become a virtual conference and so has the pop-up! I will be posting newly washed snow dyed scarves and fabrics on Instagram. Everything is available for purchase.


* SOLD* DUSK. 100% Cotton scarf snow dyed. 18×90″; 45x230cm
Coral. 100% Wool scarf snow dyed. 26×72″; 66x182cm $120.00CAD
Désirée. Wool/Silk snow dyed. 33×72″; 84x182cm $150.00 CAD
Cerise III. 100% Linen snow dyed. 24×95″; 65x240cm $70.00 CAD

Scarves and fabrics are featured on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Descriptions and prices are listed too. I will continue to post regularly here. Unless, of course, this social distancing continues longer. My long term goal is to post all my handmade items on my online shop. Currently listed are linen/rayon crinkle scarves from late 2019.

Sign up for my newsletter where I’ll keep you posted on my studio news. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy viewing these. They make me happy!

Doris

Stitch Meditation – Day 49 and 50

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.

Repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton, sari silk, silk ribbon, perle cotton
embroidered for the 100 day stitch meditation project repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton
Repurposed sari silk, cotton and silk batik, hand dyed cotton, cotton thread

Stitch Resources

  • Article: Wax, Melinda. Meditation on a Simple Stitch. (2013)

Creating with the light on – One stitch at a time!

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