Exactly a month ago I decided to create a new online class for the summer. I quickly fell in love with the concept of "handstitched." The class would be highly portable and designed to flourish alongside all the traveling and baseball games and days by the pool that bring us out of our homes so many summer days.
We are modern sewists, and we do so love that sewing machine. But, actually, there are still beautiful effects that are best realized needle in hand. There's also something simply delicious and inexplicably relaxing about the slow, steady pace of handwork. I hope you'll consider joining me for some slow stitching this summer, making something beautiful stitch by stitch, and developing new skills piece by beautiful piece.
Curves Class this February/March was a wonderful experience. By and large those who participated were thrilled with the way the different class offerings were organized, with the way the projects rolled out encouraging you to dive in and try new things, and with the tutorials, video and eBook which are now all complete. I did gather feedback via an exit survey that has inspired a few changes to the structure of this class, changes that I'm confident will make your experience even more enjoyable! So, without further ado...
Handstitched Class will commence on June 4th running through August 3rd. I'll be presenting 5 weeks of lessons, just as with Curves Class, but each week of lessons will alternate with a week of "space" to give you time to digest the projects and enjoy the comfortable, relaxing pace of handstitching. The total class is spread over a period of 9 weeks - 5 weeks of lessons, 4 weeks of space. Just as before, Handstitched will be delivered via password-protected blogs. Lessons are published via blog posts, which allows you to access them at your convenience anywhere in the world. This is the class you can take with you on vacation - both the instructor and the projects! This is the class that doesn't mind if you take a break. This is a class that wants to fit into the nooks and crannies of your life to inspire you to pick up that needle and create.
So, what will we be learning?
Week 1: Reverse Applique - Think of applique as a simple way to achieve any shape you desire. With reverse applique, the shape emerges by layering two fabrics and cutting away the top fabric to reveal what's underneath. Much easier to master than patchwork piecing, applique also allows for unbroken backgrounds and unbroken prints with no distracting seams. I love that! This week we'll be using felt, knit jersey and quilting cottons for reverse applique. Projects will cover raw edge and turned-under edge reverse applique. And, no, it's not needle-turn applique. I'll show you an easier way!
Week 3: Advanced Embroidery - Throughout the entire class you'll be learning basicskills essential to handstitching such as which needle to use, what threads to consider, and basic stitches including the back stitch, running stitch, French knot, blanket stitch and whipstitch. In this week we'll focus on techniques unique to embroidery such as options for transferring patterns, as well as experiment with alternative embroidery materials. You'll also be taught a bunch of special embroidery stitches such as satin stitch, chain stitch, split stitch, herringbone and Pekinese stitch. I have some fun ideas for "stitch sampler" projects that are designed to be used, rather than hung on the wall. Plus, Sashiko happens this week!
Week 5: English Paper Piecing - Patchwork addicts, like myself, are always charmed by the perfect points and difficult seams made simple by English Paper Piecing. This method of patchwork is entirely handstitched with the use of paper printouts that establish perfect geometric shapes. I have designed an original English Paper Piecing motif for our class that I can't wait to show you! There's also one project that combines this technique with embroidery and applique! Fun, fun.
Week 7: Applique - In "regular" applique, as opposed to reverse applique, the desired shape is layered over a background fabric. I'll showyou how to use fusibles to simplify applique and make it more durable. In addition to applique with fabrics, one project will involve ribbon applique. I promise it's very Anthropologie. And it's something you can wear! You'll love it!
Week 9: Hand quilting - Learn all the ropes to hand quilting, from hiding those knots to using a thimble. I'll be demonstrating all hand quilting with pearl cotton, that chunky luminous thread that we modern quilters love. One project is designed to hone neat, even stitches. Otherwise we'll be experimenting with how to use hand quilting to add beauty to your quilts and patchwork.
For examples of these techniques, here are links to some works I've done in the past. Note that these are not projects for Handstitched, just examples of each technique genre: reverse applique, embroidery, embroidery + applique, English paper piecing, applique, applique for quilts and hand quilting.
Eee! I can't wait to show you all my ideas! Right now I am in the early processes of making, designing, testing and remaking. I'm starting with my favorite project (naturally) which will unify the whole class - a quilt that will combine all of these techniques into one fantastic, personal masterpiece of achievement. That's right - each week one project is intended to become part of a quilt I've designed! This Dogwood Blossom is the center of my medallion-style master quilt. It features the Orange Bouquet print from Flea Market Fancy surrounded by Kona Everglade worked in reverse applique.
Handstitched Class registration will open early May with offerings for the Basic version, the Premium version (with video tutorials and the eBook included) and 2 Camp versions (with the addition of 5 live chats and merit badge handmade rewards). The Camps are a smaller, more exclusive class for folks that want it all, plus
lots of interaction, more of a community feeling and the give and take
encouragement you'd experience in a real in-person class. Each Handstitched Camp, will be capped at 20 students (er, campers), with chats happening on alternate weeks so that there's plenty of me to go around. Since we are spreading this class over 9 weeks instead of the 5 we did for Curves Class, I know I'll be able to dedicate enough time and attention to run two camps and make more of you would-be campers happy!
Phew! I think that's enough info for now! I'll be popping back in with more tidbit previews of Handstitched Class between now and early May, with a more substantial project preview planned to occur with registration. Until then, I'll be working, working, working on this class in the background. Are you intrigued?