as the year draws to a close....

Hello Fellow Stitchers…

How were your Holidays? Perhaps you are still rolling around in your festive garb, admiring the twinkling lights, playing with your new toys, and eating up all that sweet, sweet seasonal love..... I promise I am not going to go all Grinch on you.  However I cannot claim to embrace the festivities this time of year as much as many, many others do. I am a complicated Modern woman. I am Momma only to a dog, a pair of cats and a huge stash of fabric and yarn. So these rituals around Santa Claus, reindeer, holiday shopping (!?!?!), and Christmas parties hold less weight for me. My joy, my gifts, my presents, happen throughout the year. At least when I do it right. The joy, the expansive experience of making, and giving can happen throughout the year if you make it a priority.

Don’t get me wrong, I still engage in the practice of Christmas giving. (because I was raised in a lapsed Christian household, it does take that form, I am an atheist however, so this is all ritual) We have a tree, (mostly because my husband buys and decorates it) we exchange gifts with various family & friends, and generally acknowledge the season. As a former pastry cook, and my inclination to make over buying, I do some sweet-making, and give away many cookies and candies during this time of year. Who can fault a little extra sugar? Giving is much more what this season is to me, than receiving. Connecting with those who are important to me.  So I traipse around with small bags of sweets in waxed bags, a mini-Santa if you will, giving treats to all the good girls and boys…. Of course there is sewing. I use the Holidays as an excuse to make things I wouldn’t normally make for myself, to give to others. This year it was many bags, all from the mind of Anna Graham, also known as Noodlehead. Her patterns, and her instructions, go together so smoothly, it makes what for me is not my favorite process, happen easily. There were a few Open Wide Zippered Pouches that went out into the world from my hands this year. It was also the year of the Grainline Studio Linden. I made two for my Mother and another two for my nieces. So, well, yeah, there might have also been one, or two that ended up in my closet as well. Finally figured out the fit of that incredible wardrobe staple, designed by one of my all-time favorite Indie pattern makers. I needed to go down a couple of sizes to get the fit I wanted. Just goes to show you that there is nothing (NOTHING) like repetition, practice and many do-overs to get a pattern to fully sit in your psyche.

But generally I get annoyed with all this import placed on this one damn day. What about all the other days in the year? Don’t they need some sugar too? How about the third Thursday in March? Or the 12th of July? November 2nd? Perhaps this is why my work has evolved into these retreats and workshops spread out over the year. I want to spread some joy throughout the year. I want to feel that pleasure, that happiness, that expansiveness in many other months. December cannot claim all the joy!  It needs to share! 

I have been working away for the past three months (at least) on the in’s and out’s, the why’s and wherefore’s, the how’s and why’s of the 2016 line-up of A Gathering of Stitches offerings. I am this close to announcing it all. And this year there is some all. Last year I dipped my toe into the intensive workshop waters. I like the temperature in that pool, so this year I am diving in! I have nine on- and off-site retreats planned with teachers from afar. Nine!  Holy Crap!  I also have a couple of smaller commitment offerings from local teachers, and I sincerely hope that you will all look at those outings with the same enthusiasm and interest as the others. My hand is quietly in the background of all this planning, but you can bet that the people you don’t know about are just as good as the ones that you do. Trust me, and my choices, I promise not to disappoint. These images here represent most of what I've got up my sleeve. But, there might be another surprise or two in reserve...

I am not trying to be a tease, really.... This is all coming, promise, in full technicolor with details and specifics enough to cause your making fingers to itch.  If you want to be on the cutting edge of all this creativity you should sign up for my email list. That way you will know as soon as all this goes live. My current target is to put it all out there on the 4th, or 5th, of January, so......soon! 

 

I apologise for the radio silence here for the past two months. AGOS has been going through some transitions, and some of it hasn’t been quite as smooth as I would have liked. We are not yet fully through to the other side, but things are moving in the right direction. Out of this transformation should come some more writing in this forum, I hope….
— Samantha

 

 

 

In the beginning of December I had T shirts printed up with a design I commissioned from Eliza Jane Curtis from Morris & Essex, celebrating the essence of what I'm all about here at AGOS. Eliza did a beautiful job, I am so happy with the shirts!  They read Stitch More, Buy Less and it is my new Mantra.  If you want to wear this philosophy on your sleeve (as it were) you can get your very own copy by clicking through on the link here....