Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Carol Sloan ~ Making Marks and Books

Carol Sloan



Today I want to introduce you all to Carol Sloan of Greenville SC. Carol is an amazing mixed media artist who is making quite a name for herself these days. I first met Carol about 5 years ago in an on-line workshop with Laura Cater-Woods. I immediately loved Carol's work and in the last few years she has really developed her unique fun, whimsical and playful style.

Carol is a popular host on the Sketchbook Challenge blog. If you haven't checked out this inspiring blog you are missing a world of fun. It is a chance to sketch along with incredible mixed media artists with a monthly theme and prizes! We love prizes!!! The bigger benefit though is to read the stories from each artist and how they use their sketchbooks and journals and how sketching impacts their art.

Bound by Heart



Made by Hand



I am thrilled to have Carol teaching two awesome classes at Textile Evolution this August: Bound by Heart, Made by Hand and Whimsical Mark Making. You can see more samples of Carol's work on her class pages as well as her blog. Carol's classes combine her love of sketching and drawing with her passion for textiles, stitch and collecting cool stuff to create totally unique expressions of self. Carol is a talented teacher willing to share everything she knows and a wonderful warm caring person. Like all the great teachers at Textile Evolution, Carol will show you how she approaches her work and lead you on a journey to make it your own.

Whimsical Mark Making





Some samples from Carol's class 2010 T-Evo

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Introducing Self Care Whenever

Dream Collage by Liz Kettle

One thing I want to do on my blog this year is talk about something that has become very important to me...self care and nurturing your heart. I thought about calling it Self Care Sunday and post every Sunday because Sunday is generally a great day to slow down a tiny bit and do a little self care..Right! BUT, all of you who know me well, know that doing something on a set schedule is just not part of my genetic make up! So we will call it Self Care Whenever! Which may actually be better because so many of us need to fit self care in whenever we possibly can.



papers waiting for an artist's hands

This last weekend I attended KC Willis' Collage Conference. I really waffled back and forth about should I go...could I justify spending the money on myself and my business...in January no less...right after Christmas spending! I would have to get a hotel, meals out, be away from my family...etc! All those reasons we can easily come up with when we aren't sure we 'deserve' to take care of ourselves. Now isn't that a stupid thought? Who else deserves our love and care more than ourselves?  So, after much dithering about I finally decided to go. KC has a lot to share about art marketing in addition to her unique style of collage. I thought maybe  starting the new year with a conference would be a good kick in the pants to get focused on my business and art goals. The weekend ended up being a great investment self care!



We were so in sync we even color coordinated!

I was delighted to find a classroom full of great artists and new friends. The speakers, Sarah Fishburn, Jenny Doh and KC were inspirational and heartfelt. There is something magical that happens in art workshops and retreats...magic beyond learning techniques and making art. That of course is why I started Textile Evolution, why Jacki Hefty started Whispering Woodlands, Jenny Doh is starting Crescendo workshops and why KC started her series of retreats.



Creating Collage Magic

This magic is hard to describe to someone who has never participated in an art retreat but produces knowing smiles from those who have and creates retreat addicts. I love retreats and wish I could attend one a month. I love teaching at retreats for that reason too. Connecting with others who share the same passions as you do, have the same fears as you do and have similar struggles and successes as you do...it creates a magical environment. An room full of creative swirling energy, love, sharing, support and fairy dust. There is so much joy! Retreats fill my creative well whether I am student or teacher.


I have heard discussions from those who don't like to work in class settings. I think this is because they may think they are supposed to be creating big...real...serious art in class. Classes are not for serious art creation. That has to happen in quiet...alone in the studio. Don't get me wrong...you can make meaningful art at a retreat but classes are to remind us that art is first and foremost a conversation...a connection between the artist and viewer. Oh, yes, classes are also to help us stretch, learn, try new things, see a different point of view and as KC so elequently said...get out of our tiny tent so we can count the stars. Connecting with others allows us to connect with our own hearts.



Sarah Fishburn and me...gads I need a hair cut!

Have you gifted yourself with a class, workshop or retreat lately...ever? There are so many retreat options from the energetic Art and Soul, the more intimate Textile Evolution, the focused Whispering Woodlands, KC's and many more. Workshops are taught in quilt and art stores as well as private studios. If money is tight...don't use that as an excuse for lack of self care! Create your own retreat. Invite some friends over and have everyone teach a technique or simply make spontaneous art out of a pile of the good stuff while you laugh and play.


I want to share some photos of our weekend...there were smiles and a few tears, laughter and joy, snorting water, chocolate adoration and an adorable dog named Fiona. I hope you will consider the self care loving gift of connecting with other artists sometime this year.



Diana shares her incredibly fun circus collage book


Jackie working on her Dream Big Collage



Rachel's beautiful book of Angels



Laura discussing her western book



Julia and Jenny working on Dream Big Collages



Jory and Sarah Fishburn during the daily art show



Betty and her awesome Western Girls book



Sarah Fishburn in a burning moment



Jenny Doh sharing her Dream Big Collage



Julia and Sarah exploring ideas



Our final day...lots of hugs as we parted...new friends

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More Quilt Market and Festival Fun.

Art Gallery Fabrics always has great displays


I apologize that I didn't get these photos up sooner...a nasty cold took hold and laid me out for a couple days. Working on these photos is good medicine becuase they are full of delightful things. Art Gallery fabrics always has great booth displays and this year was even better than last! Their fabrics are luscious as well as beautiful.




This Art Gallery display is so yummy!



Fresh looks from Kate Spain


More designers are branching out into housewares as well as showing their fabrics used in home dec, craft projects and clothing.




owls were a very popular motif



These little owls are just too cute.Of course I stopped at the thread vendors to see what is new. YLI's silk thread isn't new but who could resist such a yummy display of color? I am very excited about their new organic cotton line. Cotton production uses a large amount of pesticides. I have a spool to give away...stay tuned for that. Aren't these YLI silk threads delicious?



YLI organic cotton thread! Look at these great colors


If you are looking for unusual threads especially in metallic look for Kreinik. They even have iron on metallic braid.




Chatting with Doug and Dana from Kreinik Threads



Ruth and Deb checking out Havel's scissor line up.


I was first introduced to Havel's scissors at spring market. I am really impressed with their quality, weight and sharpness. These scissors give a beautiful cut. Some of the styles have a micro serration that makes cutting slippery fabrics so easy. Plus the handles are a little larger than most so they are more comfortable...not to mention that they are pink so they are fun and easy to find amid the sewing clutter. I am excited to announce that I will be creating a few projects for Havel's blog and they are a new sponsor for Textile Evolution Retreats.


I had a half a day to rest between Market and Festival so what to do...why go fabric and bead shopping of course! We stopped at Universal Fabrics...such a great store full of treasures.I found a beautiful silk and linen nubby fabric that will dye beautifully.  Two bead stores are located within a block of Universal Fabrics so of course we had to check them both out! Finally Ruth, Deb and I went to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. This small center always has an amazing show to inspire us.


Festival was a whirlwind and the Artist Artifacts booth was hopping...I completely forgot to take photos...I didn't even have time to shop!  Fortunately, a friend took photos of my MIU class. These classes sponsored by Cloth Paper Scissors are always a blast. I had students from Italy and Denmark as well as across the US. My project was called Silk in the Meadow: a mixed media necklace. We used silk cocoons, image transfer and sari ribbon to make these necklaces. I love seeing how every piece turns out different even when we start with the same supplies.




MIU students choosing silk cocoons and fibers



Me modeling the MIU project: Silk in the Meadow Necklace.



Internation Quilt Market and Festival are always fun and inspiring. I hope you liked my little tour. Maybe next year I will have more time to spend looking at the quilts. Now, I do have some give aways for you from Market but I have to finish unpacking first so I can find them. I will have the give away up in the next couple of days. It is a cold snowy day here in Colorado...a perfect day to make some chicken soup...might help with this pesky cold too!
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Threads: The Basics and Beyond!





Threads: The Basics and Beyond



Woo Hoo!!! Threads has arrived! I am just a little bit excited...OK so I am bouncing off the wall kind of excited!! I am so incredibly delighted with the entire design and layout of this book. It is hard bound with a SPIRAL binding so it lays flat! The design is clean and contemporary with hundreds of awesome step by step photos and clear directions...176 incredible pages!  Threads is the complete visual guide to thread techniques and creativity and if you do any sewing with thread you are going to treasure this go-to guide.




Tote bag front



tote bag reverse side
Tote bag reverse side


Gotta have a give-away of course!!  Leave a comment below between now and midnight on Sunday Sept 12, 2010 and I will pick one lucky winner. Oh, heck, I am so excited I am going to throw in a great tote bag that didn't make it into the final book because we ran out of room. I had a blast making this tote bag but I am just not a pink kind of girl so one lucky winner will get this bag and a copy of Threads: The Basics and Beyond! What, you want thread too??? Well of course I will throw in some of my favorite threads for you to play with!

Stitch Journeys passport


For any of you who have been hesitating about joining us at Textile Evolution Retreat next week...just think in one short weekend you can gain the confidence to tackle any specialty thread that tickles your fancy and become a certified fearless stitcher! In my Stitch Journeys class we will be working through Threads: The Basics and Beyond and playing with all sorts of luscious threads. Here are just a few of the techniques you will learn...




thread painting made easy



free motion sketched bird



Free Form Embroidery



Good luck on the give-away!   I'm going to go stitch something...



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To Market To Market

threads key fobs

I am headed to Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis. Wow, has it been a crazy busy month. Two weeks getting ready for market and final edits on Threads: The Basics and Beyond. At market my Fabric Embellishing co-author Ruth Chandler and I will be offering a great Take and Teach class for store owners.  Ruth and I made great little embellished pins as a present for those who take the class. We will be demoing in the Landauer Publishing booth so stop by to see us if you are there.

I am offering a class for Threads also but solo as my co-author Debbie Bates won’t be able to attend. We are really excited to be presenting our new book at market. This book covers everything about thread and is a whopping 176 pages. You all are going to love it! I made these winged heart key fobs for my students who will earn their ‘thread wings’ in the class.

Don’t feel sorry for me because I have been working so hard…after all that prep work we headed east for a real vacation! Of course we hit some great homeschool history sites such as Old Bent’s Fort CO, part of the Santa Fe Trail in OK, Fort Smith AR, Hot Springs AR and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in TN. Our final destination was Charleston SC to see my oldest son graduate with distinction from Nuclear Power School at the Navel Weapons Station. We also got a chance to welcome in the newest Kettle family member in person. We are so proud of him and his family!

We spent 5 days exploring Charleston and hanging out with the family. We saw enough forts and cannons, battleships, airplanes and traffic to fill us up for a while. One of our favorite sites was the Fire Museum. K-Man who is 3 loved their virtual ride in a fire truck. He got to be the driver numerous times. Baby Z is a delight and perfect.

We met up with my friend Carol Sloan and her husband for a kayak adventure in Charleston Harbor. We had never been kayaking and it was so much fun. We will definitely do that again. Carol will be teaching two great classes at Textile Evolution. We will have to find a Colorado style adventure for her when she is there for the retreat.

I will post photos from market this weekend so check back to see what great stuff I find.
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Celebrations!

passport cover small

I have a lot to celebrate as the end of January closes in. I am crossing the t's and dotting the i's on my next book: Threads: The Basics and Beyond.  I am so excited that it is coming togther so well.  When you are in the midst of writing a book you get really focused on what you are doing right here and now.It is easy to forget what you did or wrote 3 months ago. Heck, even on a good week I forget what I wrote yesterday...that is one reason my e-mail file is so stuffed. I constantly have to go back and see what I wrote! I am getting of track here...back to the book...as I go back through my text to polish and edit and put my technique samples together for the final photography I am seeing it all for the first time as a whole rather than unrelated parts. I am very happy with the look and feel of this book as well as the great information it has within its covers.It should be available in stores in April. I can't wait to share it with all of you so I will be posting some sneak preview photos over the next week. I will throw in some photos from Fabric Embellishing for extra fun.

passport top view small

What else is on the celebration list??? More sunshine every day. A printmaking class this weekend just for fun, my college kid asked for a hair cut, a drawing from my grandson,  the web site hackers didn't win, more time to make art, new classes to teach and looking forward to sharing art and creativity with an awesome group at the Spring Textile Evolution Retreat!
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