Stitch Therapy


Has it been that kind of day for you too? With the increasingly disturbing COVID-19 news and today’s dreary weather, I really needed a pick-me-up and some stitch therapy.




I created these little stitching kits and have been mailing out to my students. It is my hope that they will enjoy this snail mail surprise and lean into their stitching practice as a way to get through these challenging times. Today, I gifted myself one.


Sitting in my studio watching and listening to the heavy wind and rain, I chose a lemony yellow embroidery floss, stripped it down from 6 to 3 strands, and used both seed and running stitches to bring in some sunshine and texture!


Shall we take it one stitch at a time? Wishing everyone light, love and creative energy to get through these difficult dark days.

Last Post #MMM-Me Made May 2017! Slow Stitching…


Wow this month of making sure did fly by! I thought I’d end my participation in the annual, global Me-Made-May sewing challenge with a post on a hand stitching project. Last month hubs and I took a road trip down to Philadelphia. Whenever we have extended drives, I love to have a lap-sized sewing project to work on. I had purchased this cotton/linen blend poets style night shirt and have been looking for just the right motif to do a little appliqué stitching on it. My inspiration came from the well known book, Alabama Stitch Book written by Natalie Chanin. Included in this beautiful book, is a lovely leafy stencil that I slightly modified and used for the appliqué pieces. From my stash, I used a white-on-white subtly, patterned cotton quilt weight fabric. Since I wanted to use both sides of the white fabric, I made a sandwich of the two different sides of the fabric with Heat N Bond Lite in between and fused them together. For the layout, I used both the patterned and plain sides of the fabric interchangeably. I placed the leaves down in somewhat of a symmetrical design around the front buttoned placket, over the shoulder and around the back neckline and then heat set them into place.



Then the fun began! I hand “slow stitched” all around each leaf with perle cotton. This was a perfect traveling project that didn’t really require any deep concentration:  as hubs drove, we chatted, listened to music, and I stitched! The drive down was some three hours, give or take. The project was completed on the return trip.


I love the clean simplicity of this design and embellishment! This shirt will be great to wear with jeans, leggings, a cami underneath or a sweater thrown over it on a cool summer night!

It’s always a challenge for me to participate in challenges while school is in session, but I’m always glad I do in the end! It’s that little extra nudge I need to work on something new or a long overdue project that’s been waiting in the queue.

For more on #MMM17, click here!


Day 12 of My 25 Days of Make & Give-Stitch Journals


Today’s M & G goes out to my creative friends who enjoy and inspire me with their embroidery and stitching. Pictured above are just a few of the goodie bags I sent to them.



Inside my Shibori dyed canvas bags, I packed embroidery floss, I dyed in indigo and marigold and a handmade canvas journal for each to embellish.  I bundled up these treats with: pieces of dyed hemp used for binding in my Shibori dye baths, silver and gold spray painted wooden beads and thread spools and marigold dyed canvas tags I lettered with their initials. I can’t wait to see how they stitch up the journals! All these gals are so creative and inspiring!

Enjoy ladies and please send along pics of your stitched journals!!


Sugar Stitching

Fall sewing is in full swing in the studio! To get my students warmed up, I decided we needed a quick project to incorporate machine and hand stitching as well as some embroidery and beading. We used some of that sweet Sugar Skull fabric left over from my tote, see previous post, and appliquéd it on a white, cotton long sleeve waffle tees. To do this,  first we fused Wonder Under onto the woven sugar skull fabric cut out.  Then ironed the sugar skull appliqué onto the knit shirt fabric. This fusing step stabilizes the knit fabric and makes all stitching and embellishing a breeze.  Using machine appliqué we stitched all around it a few times. Now, we were was ready to go to town with some hand embroidery and beading.  Below is my version..IMG_4763.JPGI used both DMC 6-stranded embroidery floss as well as size 8 Perle cotton for the hand embroidery. French knots. backstitch, statin stitch, couching and chain stitch were some of the stitches I used. Japanese glass seed beads in different sizes and some teeny tiny Delicas  added some pop and sparkle. When I finished all the hand work, I put the embellished shirt in a tea dye bath for about 45 minutes. The result was a warm, light tan color. Just the vintage look I was hoping for!

For the last year, I have enjoyed learning all about and trying some styles of “Slow Stitching”. I have worked Sashiko, Kantha and Boro stitching combinations on jeans, jackets and journal covers. Here’s a pair of boyfriend jeans that I recently distressed and stitched.



On knee areas, I used patches of cotton Ikat fabric under the denim to add interest and to stabilize the  area. Then I cut several lines across the knees, sand papered and carefully picked out rows of thread to get the distressed look I wanted.  I used white Sashiko thread and stitched neat little rows of running stitches through the denim and the Ikat patches underneath.

IMG_4784.jpgUp by the front left pocket, I continued with the same treatment of adding an Ikat patch of fabric, distressing the denim and then stitching tiny running stitches.

Today was a beautiful, quiet, Fall Sunday. Daughter T and I went up to Easton, CT to pick up apples, pumpkins, cider and cider doughnuts from one of the local orchards. Driving around we found some cool old red barns, sheds and lovely stone walls. T is to be credited with these fun and autumnal photos! Well done and thanks girl!


IMG_4798.jpgHave you seen these Sugar Skull Cookies at Starbucks…note they taste as good as they look! I couldn’t resist! Happy Fall ya’ll.


BoJaGi is a Korean needle art form where small pieces of cloth are finely stitched together to create a larger cloth that can be used to wrap something. This month in my Slow Stitching class at The City Quilter we tried out this very delicate stitching technique.

Our teacher gifted us with exquisite pieces of silk organza that she purchased from a store in the NYC Garment District,  NY Elegant Fabrics. She used spray starch to make the pieces nice and crisp; this really helps with this teeny, tiny stitching! I used regular all purpose sewing thread and basic embroidery needle, no hoop.


Here’s my first attempt at BoJaGi. When the stitching is done, all the seams are completely enclosed on both sides, no raw edges are exposed.


Now when I tell you that these are teeny, tiny stitches, I am not kidding…probably 1/32″.  My sewing gauge doesn’t go down that small! What an incredible labor of love to make someone a cloth using this ancient art of stitching!

IMG_4676.jpgA special shout out to my zinnia garden for their gorgeous, colorful contribution to this post!

For those sewists and quilters who don’t already know, The City Quilter, NYC is closing its doors in October. I will so miss going to my monthly stitching class! The instruction, camaraderie and atmosphere has been a constant and incredible source of inspiration for me! Thank you CQ for the many years of great sewing, stitching and quilting experiences you have shared with me!

For more information on BoJaGi, click here.