What does it mean to slow down and Make in a thoughtful manner....?

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Saturday...

This weekend we begin our Holidays by Hand series on Saturday with Betsy Scheintaub showing off ways to make a unique T shirt for someone special to you. I must say that I apologise for bringing up the Holidays this early in the season. I am one of those curmudgeons who yells at the TV when I see a flash of tinsel or hears the slightest ringing of the bells before Thanksgiving.  Having been in retail for a spell I understand how important the Holiday season is the some merchants bottom line, and I certainly do not begrudge them their marketing opportunities. But that said, I think as a culture we spend entirely too much time and money on the Winter holidays. To my mind Christmas is just one of many opportunities during the year to show your friends and family how much they mean to you with gifts.  I am a professed atheist so don't hold much to the religious parts of the holiday, but I love the Winter Solstice and its time of reflection, introspection and comfort. So it is in that spirit that I offer up Holidays by Hand.

 I can selfishly say that making gifts for people gives me as much pleasure as I hope the actual gift gives them. I love to knit, to sew, to quilt, to embroider. When I craft something for a gift, I get to spend some extra time thinking about the person I am making it for. I imbue the gift with that spirit, that sentiment, that love, thereby adding a special something and creating good karma for the universe. And I do all this while taking great pleasure from using my skills to fashion a new object, to make something that makes me feel whole, gives me purpose.  

Not to sound too touchy feely, but I prefer all these warm feelings to going to a store and picking up something that may or may not be well received, and that just perpetuates this consumerist culture we Americans seem to have adopted.  Black Friday... Really? Standing in line to buy stuff from corporations that care nothing about their workmanship, their customers, the environment?  No, thank you.  I'll take sitting around with sticks and string, perhaps months in advance of December 25th, over walking through sterile buildings choosing from scores of mass-produced stuff with hundreds of stressed-out folks. Even when the recipient of my hand made object doesn't get it, doesn't appreciate them, I know what went into it, and how much I enjoyed making them. And that's a better way to spend your time than going to the mall...

Who wants to come hang out on Saturday from Noon to 5 and make some cool T-shirts?  Bring some basic T's in sizes and colors right for your giftees and let Betsy show you how to make them super special! We've got lots of appliqué worthy fabric, all sorts of cutting implements and the die cutter which will help you make perfect circles or hexagons. Learn how to soup up those T's!  Perfect for the cranky teenage brother/son/nephew, or the uncle you can never figure what to give, or the in-law who buys himself everything he wants... Spend an afternoon at A Gathering of Stitches with other like-minded crafters. I promise I won't play any holiday music, we have no tinsel in sight, no strange old men in red. We can be industrious and crafty like elves, but there will be no reindeer, real or imagined.  That is unless you want to put one on a T....

Deep Water

Meet our Teachers: Alyssa Stoisolovich