Friday, April 13, 2012

::Handstitched::

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.

Handstitched class... projects in progress!

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...

Dogwood Blossom for Handstitched Class

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.

Turned under Reverse Applique

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.

beginnings...

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?

67 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued. And trying to decide whether handwork with a newborn sounds fabulous (I'll be sitting on the couch anyways, right), or silly (why add to the crazy??)

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    1. Haha, well that's a question only you can answer, for sure!

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  2. Can't wait! So glad it is happening!

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  3. Intriugued? I'm sold. Super psyched.

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  4. I can't wait! I love the idea of a quilt that demonstrates the skills we have learned. Any chance curves class attendees get a shot at early registration? :)

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    1. Hmm.... I've thought about it. I would definitely let Curves Class attendeeds get the first shot it if I were teaching something like Curves Class Level 2. But being that Handstitched is such a very different subject, I hate to make it impossible for those who didn't take Curves Class to get a chance at Handstitched Camp. So... I guess I'm just going to open registration to everyone on the same day. But I will tell you all the day in advance so that you can be ready!

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  5. It looks fun, but going outside? Days by the pool? You sooooo don't live in the same kind of climate as me lol

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    1. I never know how to handle that climate difference thingy. So strange when so many of us live on opposite sides of the globe. Oh, well, you can imagine summer and I'll imagine you in winter. =)

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  6. Where can I sign up? This sounds fabulous!

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  7. This sounds terrific! I am new to quilting and really enjoying hand work! Thanks, looking forward to more information!
    ~ Lynda

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  8. I'm so glad you're doing this! As an avid hand piecer/quilter/appliqueist (?) I am thrilled to see a course like this out there! I've recently written tutorials on hexies, applique and hand piecing, in an attempt to pursuade my blog friends to give it a try. Thank you for bringing handwork to the masses!

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  9. I am downright giddy over this!

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  10. Hurray! I can't wait. After the awesomeness of Curves Class, I know that this will be wonderful!

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  11. it is so hard for me to do hand sewing with a baby in arms nearly always, but i definitely want to take this class! i have been wishing for ways to improve/advance my hand sewing skills. this sounds perfect! i'm so excited!

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  12. I missed out on your Curves class, but I'm so excited that you're offering something else. Looking forward to it!

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  13. Hmm...I'm intrigued, but the only skill I'm lacking with regards to handstiching is paper-piecing. I've been hand-quilting and embroidering for over a decade (man, that makes me seem old), so honestly I want to take the class if only for the actual projects you are doing (because you make the dang cutest things), but does that justify the cost? I dunno. Does it?? I can't wait to see samples of the projects (that scallop quilt is what won me over for the Curves Class, which was fabulously fun)!!

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    1. Take it from me, it justifies the cost! The projects are functional and adorable!

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  14. Me,me, me! Praying extra hard that we get rain here on the ranch so I'll have some stitching time and not have to spend every waking minute helping DH feed bovines. I cannot sit down without picking up a needle and thread so I'm super excited to expand my beginning skills.

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  15. I can not wait to join, I loved Curves! This time I am enrolling in the premium class!
    Maria

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  16. Hi! I love hand work and look forward to hearing more.

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  17. There are a few new techniques in which I'm interested - so I think you can count on me once again. You do such a great job with instructions and projects. I still love all the Curves Class things I have around here. I guess I best hustle up on the Retro Flowers quilt, huh?

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  18. This just may be my first online class to take. I've sewn forever, but I'm terrible with my hand sewing so I'd love to take a class.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Debbie

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  19. I love hand sewing. Looking forward to seeing your classes.

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  20. Will there be class size limits for the basic and premium version?

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    1. There is a technical limit on how many participants Google can support in a private blog, but it's unlikely I'll hit that limit on both basic and premium classes. Thanks for asking =)

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  21. Yay! I've been wanting to try some of the hand sewing stuff. I need projects to put Miss Needlebook to use. : )

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  22. Super excited about this class! Timing wasn't right for the curves class, but this should work -especially with the extra in between. Looking forward to the sneak peeks:)

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  23. I love handwork and yes, summer would be perfect for that. Can't wait to hear more!

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  24. Count me in. I missed the Curves class, so really want to do this one.

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  25. Oh my! I hadn't visited yet today and I saw the beutiful block on flikr. I clicked and then scared my husband with my squee over a hand stitched class! I am so very in. I am not so savvy with the handsewing and I am liking the idea of relaxed summer time pace you have planned. I think I may have forgotten to do the exit survery. I apologize if I did.

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  26. I'll have to pass on this one, hy hands are no use to me in the summer. I'm still hoping for a rerun on the curves class though!

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  27. Count me in! I am just getting into hand piecing a small quilt and am hooked on the process. The timing will be perfect for me too.

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  28. What a great idea...This might be the perfect thing for me this summer!

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  29. Wonderful idea, Rachel! I hope this is just as successful as your Curves Class!! I can't wait to see the projects you have planned. :)

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  30. SOunds fun. Too sad that I found you after the curves class started. Is it possible "take" this class - i.e. is everything saved on video with instructions, etc.? If not, I sure hope you'll offer it again!

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    1. I will offer Curves Class again! I'm currently planning to offer it February/March of 2013. Thanks for asking!

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    2. That is great news. I was hoping that you would offer this again as I missed out on the first one and this should be awesome timing for me!

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  31. So excited! Missed Curves but won't miss this one!

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  32. Great idea, looking forward to the class. I was going to ask the same thing about the curves class, but you gave the answer already, thank you!

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  33. So Wonderful! I am really looking forward to it!

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  34. Any chance you might at least do a quickie lesson on traditional hand quilting? Like with hand-quilting thread and itty bitty stitches, as opposed to the pearle cotton kind? I only do hand quilting, and I love it, and I think there are lots of other people out there who would too! The pearle-type is so loud and big, which is just beautiful as a type of embellishment or in addition to machine quilting, but regular-type hand quilting is beautiful and durable and a really great option for an entire quilt! :)

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    1. I gave this some thought, but I'm going to have to decline on the traditional "regular" thread hand quilting. It's just not something I'm personally interested, and it's important to me to only present projects that I 100% love and enjoy and want to share. I hope you understand!

      However, I didn't mention in the description that there will be Sashiko. There will! By popular demand =)

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  35. Could you let us know in advance what the prices will be so that us Dave Ramsey die-hards can start saving our money in a "handstitched camp" money envelope?

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    1. I am planning for the pricing to be the same as it was for Curves Class - $45 for Basic, $65 for Premium and $85 for Camp. Just as before, there will be a $10 savings if you register for class the first week of registration. Only, this time the savings will not apply to Camp, due to the high demand for this limited offering. So, the first week of registration, prices are $35 for Basic, $55 for Premium and $85 for Camp.

      P.S. Good for you on the Dave Ramsey!

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  36. This sounds like a great idea for summer sewing, Rachel! I love your various lesson plans and would particularly like to enhance my embroidery skills. Have fun planning!

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  37. Never would have thought I'd be saying this about handstitiching... I am more than intrigued. I want in on this one. At the same time I key that, I'm scared and want to retract. But I am committing. Want to learn this and pass it on to my daughters. Thanks Rachel!

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  38. Oh, I am excited!! Yes it will be winter here but how perfect cosied up by the fire handstitching!! No sweaty hands!! (My Alabama book arrived and now I can't sleep!!!)

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  39. This is awesome! Just the thing I am looking for! I hope I get a spot.

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  40. Again, I think you've come up with a wonderful class structure! I just know this will be as successful as your curves class! The reverse applique block is lovely, too. That is such a perfect shade to use with the orange FMF print! Yay, Rachel!

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  41. Hi Rachel - this looks so fun, I am so excited! When we register for the class, will we get a general supplies list? I only started sewing a couple of months ago (I'm already addicted!) so I don't have much of a fabric stash or lots of notions, thread, etc. - I'd love to have an idea in advance so I can look for sales and make sure I set aside enough of my "fun money" for supplies!

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    1. Yes, I want to do better this time about getting you all a complete supplies list. It's tricky to do, but it's high on my priority list. I'm hoping to actually be able to offer a "student kit" that has samples of some of my favorite notions to help you all track down the misc. things. Will talk more about that as soon as it's settled!

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  42. I have never taken an online course so I can't quite picture how it works but I know I love handstiching and am really interested in taking this.

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  43. Hi Rachel, be prepared because I'm going to write a book! :) I so loved your Curves Premium class. It was so perfect for me because I travel for work, but could just read the blogs traveling or when I'm back home and get started. As you saw from my posts in the Flickr group, I didn't have a problem keeping up! And even though I am a long-time seamstress and garment maker, I am new to quilting and I learned so much from your class - from new ways to pin, new piecing techniques and how not to be freaked out by improv! I so looked forward to your blogs each day, and there was definitely a let down when the class ended. I have to say (and you can verify with my husband) that I was so SAD when you said you may not teach again until next January, so when I got this blog post from you and my great updated class PDF, I was completely elated! I SO NEED training on hand-quilting (my Loulouthi tiles quilt is STILL a quilt top), and there seems to be so much more in this new class that will fit right in with my learning curve. Thanks so much for continuing to show us techniques and for providing some weekly inspiration that keeps me moving to the next project! Can't wait to start seeing sneak peeks of the new projects. Sign me up!!! Lily.

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  44. Oh my goodness, I so wish I could take this course. Unfortunately, I will be having a shoulder replacement and won't be able to use my arm for 6 weeks :-(. Not very good for someone who loves to quilt and sew. Oh well, maybe I'll catch up with you on another class you give later in the year!

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  45. I really hope I remember to sign up on time this time so I can be in the camp!

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  46. I will be doing this from across the sea... and through the wonder of technology will feel like I'm sitting in lounge - does that sound weird. Anyway here is the question.... the concept of a camp is a bit hard for me ... does it mean I have to be prepared to actually sit in your lounge or is it just a fancy way for saying - access all areas??? Is it practical for me to sign up for the camp or better for the other options. The student kit - will I have to purchase it - which is no problem but by the time it arrives we will be one week 2/3 already. I am sure I will think of more questions but that is a start

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    1. The student kit will be shipping on May 17th and class begins June 4th, so it should arrive before or just after class begins. There will be a shipping/handling charge only for the kit! Yay!

      The Camp does have 1 real-time element - the chats. We try to schedule the chat at a time that is possible for all participants and were successful (so far as I could tell) last time. Last time the chats were at 9 PM EST on Thursday nights. That night/time is flexible. It will be decided based on feedback from the campers themselves. There will be 5 chats total throughout the course for campers. And, since there are only 20 members in each camp, it's not too large of a group to really enjoy our time.

      All other elements of Camp are not in "real time" and can be enjoyed anytime. Besides the chat element, campers have the opportunity to earn handmade gifts. I love that part!

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  47. Sounds like I'll be CAMPING then. Can't wait. Thanks

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  48. Would love to join. Sounds like a lot of great stuff gets covered.

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  49. sounds like fun. i am still hoping you will do curves again. i missed that one and it's a skill i sorely lack.

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  50. You mentioned that you will open registration in early May, do you have a specific date yet?

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    1. Yes! Registration opens Thursday May 10th at 9 am EST. There's more info in the update post here: http://www.stitchedincolor.com/2012/05/handstitched-student-kits.html?showComment=1336248786391

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  51. How much of a time commitment are the projects?

    I love the idea of the class, but I worry that I won't be able to devote enough time to it and will end up frustrated with myself rather than enjoying the process. : /

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    1. Since all of the projects involve handstitching, none of them are quick little numbers, which is why there is the week "off" between lessons to allow you time. How long the projects take is so personal as everyone stitches at a different pace. I believe the average person will be able to do about 2 projects from each week of lessons in the 2 week period allotted. I think the trick is not to push yourself to meet some preconceived quota of projects. I hope your goals are to enjoy and learn. Both can be accomplished so well by choosing the projects that call out to you and not trying to do them all.

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  52. I was never so excited to be at camp again. This would be my first on-line class. Do we all make the same project? If I am signed up I am sure you have worked out the logistics to have send the kit in time to Canada. Can't wait. I love your hand-stitched sample.

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    1. Each week of lessons there are 3 projects to choose from (one of which is an installment on the cumulative Handstitched quilt). I recommend you choose 1-2 projects from each week of lessons to tackle, so we will not all be doing the same projects. Yes, you should receive the kit in time in Canada! Thanks for joining in!

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