The Work of My Hands

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My love of teaching comes from a love of sharing. Once I learn something and find joy in it, I want everyone else in the world to know that joy. And so I became a needlework teacher. Of course, sharing is a two-way street. I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

I also learn from the needlework teachers I have met along my journey. And when I get to teach at a retreat with others, there’s just a whole lot of sharing going on!

I’m looking forward to the Work of My Hands Retreat, a weekend of being immersed in whitework. I get to share. I get to teach. I get to learn from my students and I get to learn from Terri Bay.

Terri Bay is an extraordinary teacher of Hardanger and other forms of whitework. I am fortunate to be teaching with her at the Work of My Hands Retreat. Terri will be teaching Ukrainian whitework embroidery. She designed “St Paul Snowflake” as an introduction to this beautifully elegant form of needlework. Satin stitches, several types of eyelets, hemstitching and a unique little stitch roughly translated as “Topwinder” are featured in this project.

St Paul Snowflake is an introduction to Ukrainian whitework embroidery, designed and taught by Terri Bay.

St Paul Snowflake is an introduction to Ukrainian whitework embroidery, designed and taught by Terri Bay.

My project is a whitework sampler in that it features a sampling of stitches typical to whitework. There are filling stitches, pulled stitches, satin stitch variations and is generally a collection of stitches that I think are pretty.

"The Work of My Hands" includes a dozen traditional whitework stitches.

“The Work of My Hands” includes a dozen traditional whitework stitches.

When Terri and I got our heads together to plan this weekend we decided that our goal would be to simply pamper the 24 attendees. We chose the historic Brookstown Inn, a lovely small hotel located in a refurbished 1837 mill as our host site. We decided that we would limit class size to 12 so that everyone could learn in a relaxed atmosphere. We decided that each class would be an all-day class with relaxation breaks.  We decided to include all meals in the package so that we could continue to enjoy the classroom camaraderie into the evening.

We love the elegant simplicity and focus on comfort you will find at The Brookstown Inn.

We love the elegant simplicity and focus on comfort you will find at The Brookstown Inn.

We also decided to add a day before the retreat so that everyone will have settled in on Thursday evening and be ready for class on Friday morning. On Thursday afternoon, we’ll tour The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (we call it MESDA) and have dinner at Salem Tavern, located in the heart of the restored town of Salem. (MESDA and Salem Tavern are included in the three-day package price.)

We'll "sup" at Salem Tavern located on the quaint Main Street of Salem, a restored Moravian settlement.

We’ll “sup” at Salem Tavern located on the quaint Main Street of Salem, a restored Moravian settlement.

This is not to be a hustle-and-bustle, try-to-fit-everything-in type of weekend that requires a vacation day when you get back home. This is to be a very deep breath, a very satisfying sigh type of retreat.

We hope you will join us. We want to share with you!

Details are available by writing to me at jeanfarish@gmail.com or you can find the event on the Stitchers’ Escapes Facebook page.

The Work of My Hands Retreat
July 7-10
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Three-Day Retreat Including Hotel Accommodations:
$625 per person, double occupancy*

Three-Day Retreat Without Hotel Accommodations
$440

Two-Day Retreat Including Hotel Accommodations
$495 per person, double occupancy*

Two-Day Retreat Without Hotel Accommodations
$375

*All rooms in our block at The Brookstown Inn feature two double beds. If you plan to attend alone, as a couple or with a non-stitching companion, please contact me for pricing.

 

 

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Getting Organized

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It all started with a sale at AC Moore on boxes.

Who can resist bright colorful empty boxes??

Who can resist bright colorful empty boxes??

Organizing my Works In Progress has been on my to-do list. For a year. Maybe two. Maybe forever. But when I had extra time, I wanted to stitch not organize things.

Besides, it’s only recently that I have had several WIPs at any one time. I’d focus on one project until it was done. If a special occasion came up I might set it aside to meet a deadline but that didn’t happen very often.

Don’t read this as any kind of comment about how many projects anyone should have at any one time. You don’t need my approval and I’m sure not handing out any disapproval. If I had my way, Needlework would be called Needle Pleasure. But then it would sound like an illegal drug problem. I digress.

Those ziploc bags are so darn convenient. It’s what most of us use. They’re cheap. They’re clear. They keep our projects safe from wayward spills. BUT. But I have heard one too many sad, sad stories about needlework projects being thrown out with the trash because to someone it looked like trash. So I have decided not to use them anymore.

Besides, I want something pretty!

And then I saw that AC Moore had a sale. Five boxes for $10. Whoowhee. And they’re the shoe-box size ones.

Five boxes. Five bright colors. Heaven!

Five boxes. Five bright colors. Heaven!

I was inspired by spring’s arrival. In the range of bright colors, they had five that I liked. A very nice, very tall young man got them off the top shelf for me since the lower shelves had been ravished earlier.

Each project gets a box for the chart, fabric, fibers, and embellishments.

Each project gets a box for the chart, fabric, fibers, and embellishments.

Let the organizing begin. I cut a whole bunch of blank cards to fit in the slot thingy. I made more than I needed so I could tuck extras into each box. See, I know myself. And I know when I finished a project and started a new one I would not be bothered to cut a new card. That little slot thingy is what makes this whole system work for me. A clear plastic bag was only needed so I could identify what was in each one. Now the boxes are labeled. No plastic needed.

Currently, I’m preparing for a few teaching gigs so I really need to stay on top of deadlines. My almost finished sampler for the first Stitcher’s Escapes cruise went into one box. Another box holds just the floss and some sketches. No matter what stage a project is in, it’s better off in a labeled box than anywhere else!

Onto a shelf they go. Now I just take one with me to my favorite stitching spot and when I have finished for the day, everything is packed back into it’s own pretty box. When I want to take a project with me, I have another system but that’s for another post!

I welcome comments but find it’s easiest and safest to read them on my Facebook page, Jean Farish Needleworks.

When you’re not stitching or reading blogs, come shop at my Etsy shop!

 

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