Monday, July 30, 2012

A Bird in the Hand

Yesterday I went back to Gather for a second day, to take the workshop I won in their giveaway, Sublime Stitching with Leanne Prain. (Leanne is the one in the center of the photo, standing.) 

I've began my artistic life with quilting and needlework, but I haven't picked up a needle in over 5 years, since I lost all the feeling in my hands because of the damage to my spinal cord from MS. It's really difficult to perform fine motor skills, but I really wanted to meet Leanne and I really had nothing to lose.

Leanne is an accomplished author. She's just released Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery. I've read her first book, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit & Crochet Graffiti. It's a great book. Leanne is responsible for the yarn bombing movement here in Vancouver. I love yarn bombing-like traditional graffiti, it brings so much fun and texture to our city. I've even got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it!

Penn joined me for an afternoon of stitching. She chose a couple patterns that reminded us both of Teesha Moore. As we were stitching and chatting, I was reminded how relaxing it is. (This is something you forget when you get busy doing other things.) Time was I never sat down to watch TV without having some handwork at the ready. I think I need to get back to that-I really do hate wasting time!

I chose this bird pattern to work on. Penn immediately commented on all the tiny lines I'd have to stitch, but I don't mind doing the nickety-pickety bits. Everyone was having so much fun, no one wanted to leave and they actually had to kick us out when it was time to set up for the next class! I think people really feel an affinity for the gentle arts-it's a chance to slow down and relax a bit.

I finished my bird last night while watching the Olympics. Not bad considering I cannot feel the needle in my hands! (Imagine trying to do something like this wearing a pair of oven mitts and you'll have some idea of the degree of difficulty.) I still need to press it and then decide how I'm going to finish it. In the meantime, I'm going to start another piece. I have days of Olympics viewing left yet and I might as well get something done while I watch!

All the patterns provided came from Sublime Stitching Embroidery, which has delightful and unexpected designs. They also have some great embroidery tutorials on their blog.

Thanks Leanne for a lovely afternoon! 
I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all!


Carol Browne said...

So dreamy! Now that looks like fun. Also, your bird turned out great. Love him!

Anonymous said...

Your bird is fabulous! What a wonderful experience!

pengrafyx said...

Thanks for inviting me to share in your adventure. Been ages since I stitched and it was fun sharing the time with you. Love the bird!

pilarisa321 said...

What a delightful afternoon of fun and friends! I love Sublime Stitching and I love the pattern you choose.

Amy Huff said...

This is gorgeous, I love it! I'm trying to learn embroidery and mine is a mess with absolutely nothing wrong with my hands. As always, you're amazing and truly talented.