Christmas samplers teaching Upcoming classes

Upcoming Raised Embroidery Classes for Fall 2022

I’ve been really busy with work this week, but I wanted to leave a quick update about some upcoming classes that I am really excited about teaching this upcoming autumn. It’s hard to think about cooler weather projects (much less Christmas) with this heat wave, but it’ll be here before we all know it.

First up is this Fall Forest sampler that I’ll be teaching! This is going to be a slightly unconventional (but seriously fun) class format where I teach you three basic raised stitches and then you get to play with a pile of funky and high-end threads and fibers to make your own forest. It’s an easy and fun way to maybe try out some new threads that you’ve never explored before and make a pretty project for your wall just in time for cooler weather. It also makes a nice little framed project, but you could just as easily frame it in a hoop.

I know that absolutely no one wants to think about Christmas yet (including me) but I suspect this one will sell out fast so I’m putting it up here anyway. I don’t have final dates yet, but it will run in two sessions sometime around Halloween. You’ll learn how to make basic wired petals and leaves as well as lots of fun ways to decorate them! The second class will focus on simple ornament finishing, including learning to make your own twisted cord. This is a fun introduction to stumpwork Christmas ornaments and can be used to pretty much make any flower you want in the future.

Both of these classes will be run at Denise’s Needlework in St. Michaels, Maryland. Her shop has an amazing selection of threads and is a great shopping destination, and the adorable town of St. Michaels is worth a trip on it’s own. For more information about dates and pricing, check out the classes page.

I am considering running a Zoom version of some of these in the future as well if there’s enough interest, so if you’d like to take it but aren’t local make sure to let me know! If there’s a small group interested I will come up with some options.

samplers teaching

Raised Circle Cottage Embroidery Sampler

This small project was designed to focus on raised circles. My original inspiration was from this Kay Neilsen piece, but replicating the whole thing would have been way too advanced for a student size project.

Our amazing LNS (Denise’s Needlework in St. Michael’s) focuses on needlepoint, which means that I often find different brands and types of thread there than I might at a shop that focuses on surface embroidery. I had discovered Frosty Rays by Rainbow Gallery there and used it in my tree sampler earlier in the year, but I then realized that I could use the mesh ribbon with a metallic core for a whole new effect in this piece. I wrapped wooden beads in Au Ver a Soie silk and then wrapped them with contrasting Frosty Rays ribbons. Each cabbage was padded with a range of materials from toy stuffing to dryer lint to show the effect of different stuffing options. The background was quickly sponge painted and my leftover straw silk (my other new favorite fiber discovery this year) went into the cottage roof.

I carved the tiny fence out of balsawood sticks and made the windows out of mica, although I couldn’t find the sparkly real mica that I’ve used in luxury stumpwork kits out of the UK before. It felt plastic-like and not nice, but my internet search skills didn’t turn up much. If you know where to get real mica sheets in the US, please leave it in the comments!

I think this would be a great project for a class, but I also might take another stab a the full illustration someday. Her outfit and the showy chicken might be really fun to work on.

samplers teaching

Raised Line Forest Sample

Raised Line Sampler

I’m usually someone who maps everything out in detail ahead of time, so this simple sampler was a successful experiment in being spontaneous. I headed down to my local needlework shop and grabbed a bunch of autumnal threads that appealed to me and assumed I would make something work. The final mix was a blend of Silk Road Straw Silk, Planet Earth silk, and Vineyard silks in different thicknesses and tones. Extra texture was added with Frosty Rays ribbons, which I couched down using their own metallic thread core.

This piece is a great exercise in simplicity since it uses three basic stitches: couching, raised chain band and raised stem band. The base was made with overtwisting, which is easy but requires a really twisty silk like Soie Ovale. It’s in Alison Cole’s Stumpwork Masterclass book for those of you who want to look it up! I may use this as a fall class sampler this upcoming year, as it’s a great introduction to basic stitches and how they can transform themselves into real art.

As a bonus, Inspirations Studios liked it too! They featured it in their newsletter earlier this year.