It has been about a year since the idea for A Gathering of Stitches began to galvanize in my head as an actual workable concept. I had been playing around with the various expressions of my love for hand crafts for a couple of months. Tossing ideas and methods in the air and seeing where they might fall, and in what shape. Then suddenly it took shape. I could visually see it in my mind's eye. It was a hair different from what has actually come to be, but it's not too far from my original vision. The ways in which it differs are, to my mind, only improvements. Studio artists were not an integral part of that first vision, but I am so glad that they are in the space. My original picture was quite a bit smaller in both size and scope. There are moments when I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew, but then I figure anything worth doing, is worth doing right, and the size is right. I cannot imagine it smaller. The past couple of days I have actually set myself to creating in the space, and there was one comical moment when I went to layout fabric for a project on the small table I have set up in my studio. The fabric was hanging off the edges the same way it has in my home studio and I was figuring out how to work around it when I had a V-8 moment. There are three huge tables in the middle of the room that I can use! What am I doing working on this little one....! Yup, that was a comical moment.
In these last days of August when the weather here in Maine is outstanding, it has been, understandably, quiet at AGOS. It has been mostly myself and a couple of studio artists. We have greatly enjoyed spreading out and using all the space. But when September rolls around, and others show up, we will be happy to share it. This quiet moment has allowed me to get accustomed to the space and its facilities. I am still adding to the equipment and moving items around. We got a shipment of books last week that helped to flesh out our offerings. I will say, however, that if anyone has books that they are no longer using, are downsizing out of, or would just like to pass on, A Gathering is happily accepting any donations! You can call or email me and, depending on the size, I can come pick them up, or you can make an arrangement to drop them off. I think a reference library for both instruction and inspiration is key. I use my books all the time, they have taught me, or reminded me, so many useful tips and tricks, I cannot imagine being without them.
We have also been the willing recipients of fabric donated by some generous, and space strapped, souls. Much of it will be available for use by workshop participants, I love to have materials on hand for folks to work with. A couple of months ago I bought a collection of fabrics from a woman with fabulous taste, who was down-sizing her sewing. These luscious fabrics are being sorted and some of them will also be turned over to students. But some of them are just too beautiful and will most likely be offered up for sale in the near future. I do intend to have a small but well curated collection of wares for sale, including fabrics, in addition to the threads/notions/needles/pins etc that will be stocked. That is coming, but maybe not until October...
There are various tools that I am researching for the space. A Bias Tape Maker. A Die Cutter. Different size irons. If there is some particular tool that you have been lusting after, but don't have the means to possess, please let me know what it is. I will endeavor to fulfill all the community's varied needs. Speaking of community, we will be having our first Stitch-In this Wednesday from 6-9. Come out to Cove Street, bring some hand craft (knitting, embroidery, hand sewing etc) and hang with us. Melinda Titus, Jerusha Robinson and Beatrice Perron Dahlen will be here with me, along with some tasty nibbles and a beverage or two. Come hang out in the space and discover what I have most recently- it is a very creative and inspirational location! In a day or so I will post some pictures of the things I have made already. Something about this room.... Come check it out!