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A Little Bit In Between

December 28, 2012

I’m sitting here in between Christmas and New Years Day contemplating. It’s one of the most interesting weeks of the year for me; coming down from the Christmas frenzy I swear I’ll never create again, and full of anticipation for the fresh page of a new year. I am quietly enjoying my last few days of Christmas lights outlining my home in the night, and spending time in my studio being very self-indulgent with my time. I truly think this week of the year is my favorite. It’s almost like hibernation. Or perhaps rejuvenation. Maybe a bit of both.

I enjoyed some too brief time hand stitching with my Mom while she was here to be consumed in the Christmas moment. She introduced me to a newly favored textile artist who creates stunning wearables from cotton knits assembled by hand with textures created with layered, appliqued, and beaded fabrics – Alabama Chanin. Scrumptuous, actually. I prefer muted tones, and tone on tone combinations. She has lots of those presented in one of the books Mom brought to guide us in a sample project. The books contain sample templates for stencils and stitching.

We layered some old tee shirts cut in the shape of those short scarves meant to be overlapped and fastened under your chin. Next we stenciled a simple design from the book onto the fabric. Alabama Chanin then directs us to use short running stitches all around the designs with the intent to cut out the design about 1/8″ inside the stitched lines. We do both steps to each little portion of our whole design because we cannot wait to see how it looks. We are very pleased and full of oohs and aahs as we proceed and show each other how cool this works.

As we slowly create our works of textile art, we have comfortable conversations and the world just melts around us for the morning. I find that hand stitching does this for me, and it’s so nice to have my Mom at the table enjoying the same thing with me. I think this was my favorite part of Christmas this year.

We interrupted our work to throw together an amazing traditional Swedish Christmas dinner for everyone, and now I am back at work, but I cannot get this little project off my mind. It’s an amazing way to wind down at the end of a busy day. I’m pretty excited about having a real project that can travel with me too. I’ve been daydreaming about all of the pieces I can create in this manner: camisoles, tops, skirts, jackets, hats, finger-less gloves, little girls’ frocks, and on the list goes. I’ll post a picture of the first and unfinished piece here. I’m actually pretty certain this is one of those project categories that exemplifies enjoying the journey rather than the destination.

Here is a link to the page representing the pieces I like best. See what you think.

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