3TT / 16
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In a Bubble / 17

I know that Thanksgiving is less than a week away.


And Christmas fast approaching.


I've watched since the trimmings of the season began edging out school supplies.


And yet, I'm constantly doing a double-take when I see actual lights, decorations & full-on displays. I'm not ready for all the holiday hubbub.


I feel as though I'm in a bit of a bubble... an Alabama bubble!


Happy much? (Thanks for the photo, Kym!)

There's so much other stuff going on, even besides the holidays... but all I really want to do is clear off my work table and start sewing!

I would begin with an intense poring-over of Natalie Chanin's new book, The Geometry of Hand-Sewing, which I haven't had time to do yet, though I have been using it with great success to practice my "feather stitch" technique on my sampler.


I'd pre-ordered my copy and picked it up at the workshop. We met with Natalie on Saturday, and she signed it for me... with a little laugh!

It's an incredible book with detailed instructions for working the stitches from either left-to-right or right-to-left, photos & diagrams --  including photos of the back of the work! -- and two die-cut plastic stitching cards/templates with various grids. Genius.

Though my Grandma Koenig had passed long before I picked up a needle, my mother would channel her, always asking to see the back of my project, intoning, "The back should be as neat as the front!"


They practice what they preach over there at Alabama Chanin! Those are shots of the back & front of approximately the same area of a piece from a sample book.

If you're interested in learning more about this type of work, Natalie & The School of Making have a new class on Craftsy (with, I'm told, more to come!) -- The Swing Skirt: Techniques & Construction.



Life isn't half bad in a bubble, and I'd like to spend more time there! That books looks quite amazing - a combination of art and science. I don't envision myself as an AC stitcher, but I'm tempted to get the book anyway and practice a bit. Hope you get some time to sew in the bubble!


As a teacher of needlework I completely agree with your mother. One only creates trouble when the back is a mess. Natalie's book IS amazing and I love what she wrote to you. I can see why you and Kym are so inspired. That one swatch has a dozen great ideas! I haven't had anything to distract me from Holiday happening, but I still want to know how time can go so quickly and the end of the year be so near!


When I was learning to embroider as a young girl (think stamped embroidery), my Mom always wanted to look at the back of my work and emphasized always that the back should be just as neat as the front. Lesson learned,...I still embroider that way, sew that way, etc. It really does make a difference.

Love seeing all the shots from AL. That Craftsy class is very, very tempting.....


I am struggling in that bubble, too. So much to DO . . . but visions of sugarplum-stitches keep playing through my head. . .


You are a bad, bad person. I do not want to take that class. I do not want to take that class. Do you think as an absolute beginner that would be a good class? :-)


Okay, my favorite photo is the one of you two lovely ladies! The joy just radiates! Stay in the bubble! Truly! STAY!

Robby H.

I agree with AsKatKnits that the photo of you two is wonderful. It manages to convey a couple of stylish women about to embark on an adventure, and the chance there might be a little mischief along the way! I am pretty much self-taught in almost all my needle arts (save knitting) but I was so very Type A when I was learning them that the back of my projects are very tidy.


I am envious of all the sewers whose mother's taught them how to embroider.
Such beautiful stitches Vicki.

Robin F

I love this post of your bubble life! I asked my library to order the book and they said yes! It is also on my list for Chanukah! I did embroider as a child and did a tablecloth back in the 70's and blocks of purple work in the 90's. Enjoy the bubble, the holidays will proceed while you stitch.


Oh dear Vicki. You sound a little obsessed! And yes, the back should ALWAYS be as neat as the front. When I did a lot of counted cross stitch I was a stickler for that.


I don't think that's a bad bubble at all! and Natalie's inscription is a wonderful reminder that making is indeed "light"!

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