Sunday, January 29, 2017

1 Year in Stitches: 2017

I love changing my mind!! When you give up the old sorry feeling that it is not right to change your mind or that it implies you are weak and lack commitment, is when true freedom dawns! I started the journey because it looked like fun. I was indeed mesmerized by the beautiful thing brwnpaperbag posted on FB.
It looked wild and imaginative. I wanted to do that too! So I started. I worked and posted through my blog about the first two or three weeks. Even though I had the "freedom" of working without a pattern, the road became mired in second guessing myself and debilitating indecision. "It's just embroidery, for heaven sakes!" And the embroidery police are off at the quilting party.
However, as I worked and felt pressure to take out sub-par stitchery, poor color choices, and to post pictures as I am orchestrating painting classes, pet portraits, upcycling furniture and teaching K-12 art, I was not finding the joy I used to find in needle work. Sooooo, I have changed my mind and will still be a part of the group but I now have a project that eliminates thinking too much. Sometimes I just need mindless work that my hands know how to do.
Here is this week's accomplishment.

Image is the intellectual property of Amanda DeGraffenreid of

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 2--1 Year in Stitches

Week 2 and a little embroidery.
Cold temperatures, ice, and school called off on Friday. It turned out not to be as bad as the weather channel said it was going to be. We did not have to leave the homestead so I was content to stay in and work on some of my projects. One of them being this week's stitches. When I started I debated whether to do a pattern or draw a design, however I did not really want another obligation or set project. So I decided to do free style--just stitch a little when the mood struck me.
This is harder than it appears. It is like the abstract paintings I

Two of my abstract painting at the Gallery
love to paint but that frustrate me to no end!! When you do a representational work of art you communicate through concrete ideas that most everyone agree upon. But when you do abstracts you have no common ground--ideas are individual. The same with going freestyle with this embroidery--not sure where to start, where to go, or where to stop!! One thing that I understand now that I didn't before, is this, sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it!
Oh well, it is a journey with no pressure-- something I don't engage enough in.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

1 Year in Stitches:2017 My First Week

Winter's Coming
Tints of cold, of wind and ice, and colors of snow
Pale sunsets, late sunrises, brittle branches and crunching grasses
Between now and Spring my stitches will be of winter.
My preference for satin stitches takes over when my mind wanders. As it comes back to my hoop I remember a stitch from a long time ago.
When I started 1 Year of Stitches I thought I had been a voracious stitcher... in my youth and early adulthood. However, as I looked around I only found a very few pieces I had completed. Mostly small things like pillow cases. I could remember doing so much but most of it was gone. My Mother was an artist who left many works of art behind. Sifting through them to keep only what truly represented her creative self has been difficult. A piece of her needlework has made the cut. I want to add a piece of mine to the collection, as well as, my Grandmother's so someone, someday will know we were women of stitches. I am unsure as to whether this piece will be added or whether it will spark my passion to do another one more exemplary of my life. A collection of my Grandmother's pillow cases, my Mother's Christening dress she made for my daughter, and something from me will be tucked away in a muslin wrapping. Complete with a letter telling a little about the lives of 3 women.

Monday, January 2, 2017

1Year in Stitches 2017

Embroidery was a great love of mine in years passed--when I was younger and a bit more nostalgic. My Mother and Grandmother taught me some stitches and I learned a few on my own. I saw how beautiful their work was and how happy it made them to use their hands to make something lasting and individual.
I embroidered denim skirts and jackets. Tea towels and pillowcases. Doll clothes and aprons. I used patterns and I drew my own. Going to the Dime Store (Ben Franklins) to see new books and patterns, colors and hoops was a delight when I was 12. Even when my children were small I embroidered their names and small animals on their clothing. But as the children grew up and I began to teach art, my time for the pure selfish pleasure of sitting down to needle and thread was gone.
Half-heartily perusing Facebook in the wee hours of the morning I chance upon the 1 Year in Stitches Challenge.
It kind of stirred my memories of embroidery. I loved the visual on the page of the hoop filled with color and lines. Since I am on the verge of retirement I thought I might engage.
I liked the page and asked to join the group. My niece in Texas commented on the page as well. She mentioned that my Mother--her Grandmother had taught her a few stitches years ago. I offered to send her some of my Mother's embroidery paraphernalia.
And I decided to start to make some stitches for 2017. I rounded up the hoop, needles, floss, and a beautiful piece of white linen I have, admittedly been hoarding.
Sadly, I do not seem to have any pieces from my youth.
The only piece I could find was my granddaughter's Christening dress. My Mother made it for my daughter in 1977, embroidering her name on the slip. I am now embroidering my granddaughter's name above her mother's.
A name and a legacy.

 I will post on the blog my progress this year.