Take A Stitch Tuesdays

Sharon Boggon 2006

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Have you ever said I would love to be able to embroider like that?

Stop and think about that desire for a moment. Just imagine if you set aside a small block of time each week to develop your skill. How would your skills develop in three months, or six months, or a year? How much would you learn? How much more would you enjoy what you achieve? Can you imagine that? How much could your skills evolve? Each week with a little time and commitment, week in and week out, getting a little better, bit by bit.

What might happen if you committed yourself to a period of time that was invested solely to furthering your artistic growth? Could you? Should you? Do you dare to imagine that?

As an art teacher of course I am in the game of encouraging people to explore and extend their skills. I am also interested in giving people a personal set of tools that enables them to foster their own creativity. There are processes, mind sets and environments that encourage creativity and those that don't.

One of the processes that fosters creativity is establishing the habit of exploring self expression regularly. Art schools work on this principal. Students are exposed to new techniques and ideas and are actively encouraged to explore them constantly, consistently day in and day out, week in and week out, semester by semester until they complete their degree. Art schools work because students are committed to their artistic development they have after all enrolled in the course. They work because there is an environment of like minded souls which encourages exploration and experimentation. They see other students work and are stimulated and inspired by it constantly. In order to pass in an enrolled course, students have to work at it consistently and regularly.

In other words, in order to be successful art students do four things they commit to their own creative development, they put themselves in a situation where they are exposed to new ideas and techniques, they expose themselves to a group of like minded people and they work at the activity regularly.

This year I ran series of posts in my blog, inaminuteago under the title, "100 details in 100 days". Each day I featured a detail on one of my crazy quilt blocks. Towards the end of the series a discussion formed about what could come after the series was finished. This is when the "Take a Stitch Tuesdays" took root.

"Take a Stitch Tuesdays" will be a weekly challenge. This challenge encourages people to take a stitch and push it in various ways. What does it look like worked in different threads? What happens when you change the size? How does it behave on a curve or can it be stacked to create patterns? What happens if you work it in a free form manner? What are the inherent design possibilities of this stitch?

Exploration and interpretation of stitches and how they might be used is the aim of this challenge. People can stitch on anything they choose, anyway they choose. Any form of sampler is OK. A sampler can be in any format, it can be square, long and thin, in any size or in any shape, a diamond, even a heart. A sampler can be in the form of crazy quilt blocks, a fabric postcard, a fabric book or samples for a folder of stitches. Colour, format, how much exploration is done is up to each individual.

Although the challenge is weekly, commitment is flexible and anyone can join at any time. People can join in and stitch as their life dictates so there are no hard and fast rules as to what gets done when. The idea is to join in and share what you can as you are able.

Each week I am going to work a stitch and experiment with it and write about the results on my blog. Anyone who wants to join in can do the same interpreting the stitch as they choose. Each week I will link to who has done what so that people can follow the links and see what everyone else has done. The start date is January 2nd 2007 and it will run for the whole year.

How might this challenge help your creative skills? Remember what I said about how successful art students do four things?

  • First they commit to their own creative development. A challenge such as this gives you the opportunity to do that.
  • Second they put themselves in a situation where they are exposed to new ideas and techniques. A challenge such as "Take a Stitch Tuesdays" does that too.
  • Third art students expose themselves to a group of like minded people. Anyone who has browsed away the afternoon reading the crazy quilting blogs knows already there is a community of bloggers out there. By linking to who has done what each week you have a virtual group of people to stimulate and inspire you.
  • Finally art students explore and develop their skills regularly over a long period of time. Which is why this challenge is weekly and will run for the whole year.

Won't you join me? The URL for my blog is http://inaminuteago.com/blog/

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