Friday, April 19, 2013

Workt By Hand . . .

You might find it odd that for me, a vacation from stitching is stitching.
But, if you are a stitcher you will understand.
Stitching is a part of me, I am relaxed and at peace with a needle in my hand.
But when you stitch for a living you sometimes need a "break", for me that
break is to do a different kind of stitching and near and dear to my heart is wool appliqué.
(One day when "maybe" I enter into semi-retirement my plan is to design wool appliqué patterns, what do you think?)
We were to make our own name tags this year  (remembered the night before at the hotel!)
Colors are just by coincidence . . .  I guess I definitely have a "palette".
I always gravitate to these colors, they make me feel safe.  Funny, true to early sign writing form I ran out of room for 2 n's on my name, so I turned them sideways . . .  kind of looks like Lori A-EEEE ?  It's ok tho, I like it!
Each year my sister and I load up the car with various wools, threads, buttons, snacks and maybe a bottle of wine :-)  We head to Tipp City, Ohio for the annual "Workt By Hand" retreat.
This year was the 10th. anniversary and we have attended 7 of those.
How can I remember you ask?  Well . . .  I have 7 unfinished projects that's how!
Each one a labor of love and each I plan to finish to one day display in our home, but time is a factor
as after those few days away, reality and bunnies beckon and the work stitching begins again.
A mid year resolution?
Finish just ONE of my projects!
A few of my unfinished WBH projects!
So on to the workshop . . .  "Workt By Hand" is taught by 4 wonderful teachers who each bring their own style and techniques to share with us.  Ali Strebel of Ali Strebel Designs is the Whimsy and Wooly Technique girl . .  she can teach everything from rug hooking, needle punch, rolled wool circles, needle felting, pin keepers and more, she also dyes some amazing wools, velvets and yarns! 
Sally Korte (who was partnered with Alice as "Kindered Spirits" for many many years) has the most beautiful design work & color ways, her stitches and unusual techniques executed with precision.
Melissa Becker of Melissa Becker Designs brings careful design planning and beautiful construction techniques to the mix, Melissa had a line of "art" clothing and patterns in the past so what ever you want to make out of your stitchery, she's your girl!
And Sue Spargo, Sue is the mistress of "Creative Stitching" and embellishment. Her teaching style is as gentle as her soul.  Sue has taught all over the world, written books, designed patterns, fabrics, trims and has compiled on her website the best of the best in supplies for appliqué, including her sister's gorgeous dyed wools.
The women who attend travel from all across the US, New Zealand and England included this year. We share stitches, laughs, life stories, renew old friendships and make new ones.
Linda learns stitches from Sue Spargo, left.   Sue's creative stitching (upper right).
Terri's gentle colors bottom.
This year our project and assignment was to design with the humble circle.
I took so many photos, yet still not enough but I hope you enjoy this sampling.
(My apologies for not having everyone's names to go with their works.)
It is amazing to see how many different designs and color palettes 40+ women can come up with!
Ladies hard at work!  That's my sister, Lanna in the pink turtleneck!
Bottom left, Jan's beautiful piecing  technique, learned from Sally K.
Each different yet beautiful!  My sister's piece on left . . . she will top an antique red stool she found
antiquing in Tipp City!
More colors & techniques.
Pretty, pretty, pretty
Oh yes , there is a workshop "store" where you can purchase hand dyed wool, velvet, thread, trims, yarn and more!
I do tend to get into a little trouble there!
Well . . .  above is my project as it stands now. 
I have more layering and embellishment to add, but the garden, work & bunnies beckon.
I do hope to make a bit of evening stitching a priority, we will see!

To all . . . . happy stitches!
Lori Ann


Margaret said...

I think it would be wonderful if you offered wool applique designs in future. That retreat looks wonderful -- I hear about it every year and am envious every year. Have fun! Thanks for sharing your projects too.

Prairie Primitives Folk Art said...

Don't think I've heard of this retreat before, but I know of Tipp City, Ohio! It used to be a regular stop for me when I was traipsing around Eastern Ohio (Lebanon/Waynesville/Springfield area) before I moved to California 16 years ago.

tj said...

...Oh dear! [swoons] [swoons] and more [swoons] :o)

...You & your sister's love of stitching and fab' blending of colors must be in your DNA. You two have got it goin' on! ;o)

...This retreat sounds like a stitcher's dream! I must make it a point to attend one but I have a feeling that once is all it would take and then it would become an annual trip. [giggle]

...It just seems that there is eye candy no matter where you turn. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! Love it all!

...Oh, and you designing wool applique patterns is a fantastic idea!

...Have a lovely weekend Lori A-EEEE! [ahem] Sorry, I couldn't resist! [giggle] :o)

...Peace & blessings.

Laurie in Iowa said...

Sounds like a wonderful retreat and I enjoyed seeing all your wool project photos.

Lori from Notforgotten Farm said...

oh boy.
what a fun time you must have had...the inspiration you came home with must be intoxicating!
I would LOVE LOVE to attend this workshop one day...who knows? maybe next year! Thank you for showing the photos and sharing your time with us Lori :)
~ L

Doreen said...

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!! I am just in awe of this talent!! I would LOVE to attend this workshop. I am just beginning my dive into the wool applique world (I have a pattern in the works right now that I hope to offer soon) although after seeing this amazing talent...I feel uncomfortable with what will surely be a very humble and simple offering on my part.

YOUR colors are absolutely amazing..those are the colors I gravitate towards as well..they are so cozy and relaxing.


Shelly said...

I think you'll do a fine job at designing. I love wool-felt and am reminded that I need to get started on some of the patterns I've got. Great pics too, especially of the wool!

Jillayne said...

looks wonderful, and I get it... I stitch for work, and for pay and I know that a break is when I get to stitch what I want - a true gift!
And I completely understand about teh wool... I feel most at home with muslin and neutral threads - throw in a button or two and I am in heaven...

Jo Ann said...


I think if you would work 24/7 you could start now with your wool applique business. They are awesome. Great job.

Jo Ann- an old friend from Massillon, Ohio

Nan ~ Threadwork Primitives said...

Wonderful wool work. I do love your color palette. Looks like my kind of vacation :)

Anonymous said...

Loved seeing photos of the workshop and your "hooking" project. Your applique work is just charming!! So fun to be able to read aobut your adventures and thoughts about future work!!

Lana said...

This is SO inspiring! Some day I hope to go to that retreat. It looks wonderful! Although I don't have much time for it, I LOVE wool applique.