perle cotton

Stitch Meditation – Day 15 and 16

Searching for: What is the 100 Day Challenge returned a hit list of : 1,500,000,000 results 0.60 seconds! This is a wildly popular search. So I imagine that there are thousands, hundreds of thousands of people wanting to know about and then participating in 100 day challenges.

Day 15 stitch meditation of white linen with blue thread in shape of cross stitched in white thread
White linen and white thread

Searching for: 100 Day Challenges returned a hit list of: 522,000,000 results in 0.30 seconds. The list of examples are endless. It seems that we love participating in setting goals for ourselves. Groups that have set challenges include those that are: losing weight, overcoming gambling addictions, being happy, ending youth homelessness, and creating code.

Reasons to participate:

  • improve productivity
  • achieve business goals faster
  • fast track a goal
  • build positive habits
  • achieve a personal goal
  • create positive reinforcement
  • achieve consistent progress
  • create accountability
  • hone a skill
5 inch stitch meditation using Oakshott cotton fabric and hand dyed perle cotton, running and cross stitches
Oakshott cotton, hand dyed perle cotton

So many options in how you can participate in these challenges – listen to a podcast, post your progress on Facebook or Instagram, sign up and pay for a membership, download an app, join an online group, join an in person group! We have never had so many options to make a change in our lives.

Stitch Resources

  • Podcasts: Best 100 Day Challenge podcasts we could find (Updated March 2019)
  • Website: #The100DayProject is a *free*, global art project. The idea is simple: commit to 100 days of making and sharing your progress on Instagram.
  • Essay: Five Years of 100 Days by Michael Bierut
  • Website: Gary Ryan Blair creator of the 100 Day Challenge

Create a positive habit that is reinforced through repetition – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 13 and 14

Day 13 stitch meditation of the 100 day stitch meditation challenge by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee canada
Indigo wool and perle cotton

Roberta Wagner: Artist

Roberta Wagner is a mixed media artist who uses thread and fabrics in her art practice. I first saw Roberta’s work on Pinterest. Her artwork is calming, ethereal and beautiful. Not surprising since her work is inspired by gardens and a Japanese aesthetic.

Photo Courtesy of Roberta Wagner from Horizon Lines series

Roberta originally began her art career in ceramics and paint. By 2012, tired of the chemicals and dust, Roberta turned to cloth, paint and stitch as her medium. Her blog post: Changing Mediums explains her decision to use textiles in her art practice.

grey square of fabric with hand stitching by Roberta Wagner
Photo Courtesy of Roberta Wagner from Fields series

Roberta is not a full time artist, preferring the freedom of not having to make money from her art. She says: “I have a right left brain thing and I have found over the years I like doing both.”

Not wanting to be a “technique junkie”, Roberta has a limited number of stitches she uses in her work. They are: French knot, simple stitch, occasionally seed stitch and a few that she has made up. She is going to learn to free motion stitch and incorporate that into her work. Roberta has also talked about making her own beads to use in her work. While she has made some colored porcelain beads, she doesn’t know if she will incorporate these.

pair of hands hand stitching on cream fabric
Photo Courtesy of Roberta Wagner

Roberta works daily on her artwork, although that does not necessarily mean she is stitching. Roberta is painting more and will likely incorporate this into her stitched pieces. She is currently experimenting with painting on Washi paper. She loves texture and is “doing more intuitive, wild stitch lately”. I first linked to Roberta’s blog in my post: Stitch Meditation Day 7 and 8.

5 inch stitch meditation with indiog cotton, white linen, indigo silk velvet with perle cotton
Hand dyed indigo cotton, silk velvet, linen rayon and white linen, hand dyed indigo perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Website: Roberta Wagner
  • Instagram: Roberta Wagner on Instagram
  • Article: McKay, Sarah. Why Crafting is Great For Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains.

Scroll through and read Roberta’s beautifully illustrated blog posts. Be inspired and try something new this week – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 11 and 12

Rummaging through the container I prepared filled with scraps of my hand dyed fabrics, I pull out pieces I have forgotten about. These snippets of cloth are intriguing. Separate from the larger piece, where they once belonged. They tell a story unto themselves.

Hand dyed cotton, indigo dyed silk, indigo dyed perle cotton

Layering stitches and ribbon to accentuate the beautiful colors and textures, small pictures develop.

Day 12 stitch meditation of the 100 day stitch meditation journey by doris lovadina-lee quilter toronto canada
Repurposed silk, hand dyed ribbon, metallic thread

Stitch Resources

  • Article: The Intimacy of Hand stitching by Amanda J. Clayton
  • Website: Textile artist Amanda Clayton
  • Blog: Dreaming in Stitches a tangled yarn by Ann Pawley

I hope you are enjoying the process – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – 1st Month Review

I have been hand stitching and completed six squares in the first month of 2019. So far I have been able to keep up with the schedule I made for myself. Sometimes I have time and the will to begin a second square after finishing one. I have also selected fabrics I think will look good together, so when I sit down to do the actual stitching, I am ready to go!

6 five inch squares with hand stitching from first month of project by doris lovadina-lee toronto artist
First month review of 100 Day Stitch Meditations

You will notice a difference in the bottom right square. It was stitched for Day 6 and when it was first posted, there were no stitches on the white linen. But, I didn’t feel as if the piece was complete, so I added more hand stitches in purple perle cotton.

Looking back at the first month:

Where are you on your journey? It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started, just pick up some fabric and thread and make some marks on your cloth – one stitch at a time.

Stitch Meditation – Day 7 and 8

Stitch meditation for day 7, a five inch square with charcol gray, small pink square, rectangular light grey piece stitched to sliver of pink cotton
Hand dyed cotton, rayon thread, hand dyed perle cotton

These are stitch meditations for the 100 Day Stitch Meditation challenge I have set for myself. I am quietly sitting down twice a week in 2019 to hand stitch a five inch square of fabric.

Day 8 stitch meditation of the 100 day stitch meditation journey by doris lovadina-lee quilter toronto canada
Linen, silk, hand dyed perle cotton, cotton thread

Stitch Resources

  • Blog: post by Roberta Wagner
  • ebook: The Power of Five Basic Stitches by Sue Stone

What have you been working on? Keep practicing – one stitch at a time.

Stitch Meditation – Day 9 and 10

Day 9 stitch meditation of the 100 day stitch meditation challenge by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee canada
Hand dyed cotton, hand dyed perle cotton and cotton thread

Stitching meditatively has been the focus of the last few post, but you could also unstitch meditatively! Read Patricia Belyea post: Unstitched where she talks about the experience of taking apart a kimono. Any repetitive project can be a meditative experience, as long as there is intention and focus.

Day 10 stitch meditation of the 100 day stitch meditation journey by doris lovadina-lee quilter toronto canada
Hand dyed cotton, Indigo dyed cotton, hand printed silk and cotton, hand dyed perle cotton and cotton thread

I am a scrap keeper! My quilting friends and I have discussed: what is a scrap, how large is a scrap, how small can a scrap be? The answer differs greatly between us. I am one that keeps pieces of fabric of about 2 inches and larger. The 100 day stitch meditation project is a great place to use these small pieces. For example, the indigo scrap above was used to tie up a scarf before dyeing and the colour on this strip was pretty so I kept it. Below is a book on indigo that I have on my bookshelf to read and another on natural dyeing. There are so many books on and websites on these topics. Which are your favorites?

Stitch Resources

Have you been able to set time away to work on something you love? Keep practicing – one stitch at a time.

Stitch Meditation – Day 5 and 6

So far, I have been able to keep up with stitching quietly twice a week. It is difficult to quickly select the fabrics and thread for each square. I am spending more time in the selection process than I would like.

Doris lovadina-Lee`s stitch meditation day 5 green cotton, hand dyed metallic linen, sari silk, perle cotton thread
Hand dyed cotton and metallic linen, recycled sari silk, hand dyed perle cotton

Doris' stitch meditation day 6 white linen, purple and blue silk cotton and rayon thread
Linen, silk, rayon and cotton thread

Stitching french knots on the meditation square for day 6 took longer than I thought it would. I chose to do running stitches on the other side because it suited the piece and also because it was faster. Now that I look at this piece, I don’t think it is complete and I may go back and add more stitches to the linen. Also of note, I’ve used both sides of the beautiful silk scrap above. Don’t overlook the other side!

Stitch Resources

  • blog: Stitch + Meditation = Inner Peace post by Pamela Penney of A Stitch In Time Saves
  • Pinterest: Follow and contribute your stitch meditations to 100 Day Stitch Meditation Challenge
  • Instagram: follow the #stitchmeditation2019 tag to see what others are posting, don’t forget to add this tag to your posts

Have you to tried a new pattern, technique, hand sewing needle? Take this opportunity to keep practicing – one stitch at a time.

Slow stitching – book and sample

I’ve been spending a little time doing some hand work. I was inspired to go back to a project I started 2 years ago after reading: Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.

Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.
Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art. London: Batsford, c2015.

This book is beautifully illustrated with projects by Claire Wellesley-Smith, a textile artist working in Yorkshire, England. She blogs about her work at:

Running stitch with perle cotton on wool
Running stitch with perle cotton on wool

Slow Stitch discusses how the Slow Movement, originally the Slow Food Movement started by Carlo Petrini in Italy, relates to textiles. Examples of Claire’s work and those of :

are included in this beautifully photographed book. There is a lot of inspiration and also a few ideas for starting your own slow stitching projects.

Slow stitch art quilt
Slow stitch art quilt

The piece I am working on shown above started with an embroidery I began when I was a member of the Canadian  Embroiderers’ Guild Guelph. I made a few small pieces incorporating all the fun techniques we were taught. But, the samples languished in a cupboard until my mother suggested that I incorporate them into my quilting.

This embroidered and beaded quilt really is a slow project! I see that I blogged about this project first in December 2014 and then in 2015!

Island Sands
Island Sands

The piece I am currently working is a companion piece to Island Sands which was completed a few years ago.

Island Sands detail
Island Sands detail

I especially like the texture created on the silk noile – ripples left behind in the sand when the tide goes out.

Slow stitch supplies
Slow stitch supplies

I’ve collected up the threads, fabrics, and beads I may use and placed them all together in a plastic box. Hopefully this will keep me organized and on track to finally finish this very slow but satisfying stitching.


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