Two weekends ago, I hosted a fantastic group of students for an Advanced Crewel Embroidery Retreat at our Leyden Glen Farm. It was a gorgeous weekend - we lucked out once again. Clear, sunny days with no humidity. What a treat. The group spent two days learning about Crewel Embroidery in my naturally lit, sunny studio. We sat around the giant table which was covered in small skeins of wool thread and linen fabrics. A whole big pile of creative chaos.
On Day One, I taught a whole bunch of new stitches - many of them were even new to me. That is what I truly love about embroidery - there are so many stitches to learn. Most of them are easy to grab onto and have success with. Unlike knitting, a stitch can be mastered in 15 to 30 minutes and then you move onto the next one. I guess it is a bit of instant gratification.
Here are some of the students samplers as they were building upon each little bit of knowledge they gained.
I love a good sampler. They are little bits of knowledge that everyone takes away. Hopefully each student will continue to stitch on their own.
On Day Two, I helped everyone work on what they wanted to. I like to combine embroidery with fabric printing. I gave a quick demo of how to print on the linen fabric I like to stitch on. Each student then decided upon what they wanted to spend Day Two on.
Here are Cheryl's hand-printed pillow tops drying on my line in the studio window. She plans to stitch these this winter and turn them into pillows for her home.
Lee began my Circles Sampler. She worked so hard on it all day Sunday and left with a nice chunk begun and confidence to stitch on her own. Lee is one of the owners of Yarnspot in Silver Spring, Maryland and has been to the farm before for a knitting class. Her mom was one of the founders of Yarns International - one of the first importers of Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wools to the US. It was fun to spend time with Lee again.
Nancy was beginning a long car trip and needed something to stitch on the way home. Everyone was crazy over the Caspari fish napkins I used at teatime. Nancy has a beach house and wanted to use the fish design on a Crewel Pillow. I helped her sketch it out and plan it. After she began stitching, I suggested she apply some paint to mimic the spots on the fish so she would not have to stitch them all. Here are the handpainted spots on the blue linen. Cannot wait to see this project done.
Cynthia brought some black and white ticking fabric to print on. I love how it turned out. I wonder what she will use the fabric for.
Once again, I didn't do a great job with the photos - no group shot after Day One. Bummer. It is hard for me to remember to take photos while I am teaching as I am trying to do a good job teaching - not documenting. I did snap this photo of Lee and Cheryl before they left on Day Two.
Cheryl is holding the bag she has made out of her Circles Sampler Project. The cool thing about this bag is that when she isn't carrying it, it is designed to cover up her Kitchen Aid Mixer in her kitchen. How clever is that? A KitchenAid Cozy! You can see Lee's progress on her Circles Sampler. She chose to keep the circles in a grid. It will be fun to see how it turns out.
Thanks everyone for coming to the farm. It was a great weekend full of fun, new friendships, food, stitching and creativity. And thank you to my good friends Cathy and Cynthia who came and helped out with the cooking and food.
If you couldn't get to the farm, you can purchase the Circles Sampler Kit on my website here. And don't forget about my Craftsy Crewel Embroidery Class. Copy and use this code to receive $20 off the price of the class: