A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Daily stitching

Linda McLaughlin here, todays guest blogger. If someone had told me a decade ago that I would be hand stitching on a daily basis, I would have laughed and said, "Not me!" I still love my sewing machine and use it regularly, but hand stitching has really become a big part of my routine.

I'm very comfortable with daily projects, I'm on year five of a daily photo blog, but had never done stitching daily. In early 2012 I became intrigued with daily stitching projects so started a short term project,  Sixty five days to 65. It was started and done to celebrate a milestone birthday. I found that I loved doing hand stitching, but also learned a lot about doing a daily stitching project. I had given myself too many options so there was way too much stuff accumulated to accomplish my stitching. I had 35 different coordinating hand dyed fabrics, three different block sizes, floss for stitching and beads.

"Sixty five days to 65"
My next daily stitching project "365 days of being 65" started on my birthday with a much slimmer fabric and thread selection. Whenever I make a new stamp or screen, I do a sample print in black on either white or muslin fabric. I had a pile of these samples, so I cut them into 4" squares and had them ready to go. All the stitching was done with black pearl cotton thread. Everything fit into a container, so it was all in one place. Each block is different and my stitching was in response to whatever was printed on the square.

"365 days of being 65"
3/14/2012 to 3/13/2013
Daily stitching has become a very important part of my life, currently I have two different projects going at the same time. I start one on my birthday and the other at the beginning of the year.

"365 Red Circles"
1/1/13 to 12/31/13
Here's what I do to make each one a project I enjoy and look forward to working on.
- I plan ahead and keep everything I need in one container
- Fabric squares are cut ahead, the flannel I use to back each block is also cut and ready
- I have my threads, usually pearl cotton, also in the container. Each thread has the correct size needle with it, threaded and ready to go.
- It's become a part of my routine
- It's easy to travel with, everything I need for the duration of my trip goes into a zip lock bag
- I photograph and sew the blocks together as I go
- Post pictures to my blog weekly to keep myself accountable

Container for " 365 Red Circles"

Container for "Indigo and Rust"

Daily stitching has brought some definite benefits.
- When I do something creative everyday, I'm happier
- It gets me into the studio and once there I'm more likely to continue on other projects
- I'm using up materials I have on hand
- I get to try things on a small scale, finding out what works and what doesn't
- When traveling its great way to center myself before or after a busy day
- Each individual piece may not be much, but the sum of all parts is pretty impressive
- A sense of accomplishment
- A way of marking time, I remember where I was or what was happening when I look at certain ones

Line Dance
The first 3 rows of this years daily stitching

Today is my birthday!! So here is the one that was finished yesterday.

"Indigo and Rust"
3/14/13 to 3/13/14

I get to start a new project today.

I'll be back in two weeks to tell you about my weekly stitching projects.


  1. Your projects are amazing. It proves what you say, that a little bit each day can add up to something wonderful. I have also grown to love handstitching, although I originally was purely a machine sewer. I have a large sewing basket, but like you, I like to have a few handstitch projects in a small container to just pick up and take with me, even if it is just to go into the other room to watch something. It is very freeing.

  2. Very inspiring... I keep thinking I will start a hand project but the ones I have started in the past seem to daunting. This would be a great way to start! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I may have to come up with a daily project to get back to hand stitching! I love handwork, but just haven't had any bright ideas to use the techniques lately. I love your projects... thanks so much for sharing them!

  4. Wow! How inspiring! What a great project. I'm looking forward to your next post and I'm off to check out your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I am really liking this months posts. Last night I grabbed a piece of fabric, a needle and some thread. I LIKE this! THANKS!!!

  6. Your pieces are just wonderful. I am intrigued by your process and think it is something that would be very helpful in organizing. laura

  7. your daily stitching project is very inspired and it is really a great idea. there is so much in it: planning and letting chance work. great idea, thanks for sharing!

  8. Linda, I love your work! Thanks for inspiring us all.

  9. great post...very inspiring!

  10. Thank you all I'm so happy you find it inspiring .


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