Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jenny Hart @ Home Ec.

I took a class tonight. It was at Reform School, through their Home Ec. department. I can't remember the last time I took a class. (Note to self: Take some classes.) It was nice driving there and knowing I didn't have to get materials prepared or spend the night running around and showing people things, I could just sit and listen and sew and learn.

It was an embroidery class taught by Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching. She has needle-handedly resurrected the art of embroidery with her embroidery kits and their fun patterns and easy-to-follow instructions. Anyone who's anyone in the craft world has heard of her.

Class started promptly at 7:00. Jenny Ryan, I mean Mrs. Jenny Ryan, even took roll (I love the whole school theme they have going there.)

Jenny (Hart, that is. Man, there are a lot of Jennys in our generation) started out showing us some stitches:

We worked on our Sublime Stitching patterns and she walked around and helped people.

Her mom came along, which I thought was great. She was the one who taught Jenny how to sew when she was little, just like my mom taught me. Thanks be to moms for keeping the love of sewing alive.

I stitched this cupcake, then tried out some stitches:

. . . and created possibly the world's ugliest sampler, but that's okay because it was just practice. I haven't embroidered in years, not since the skirt I made in college when I was working at the Dragonfly (you can see it here). I spent a few months behind the desk stitching pictures onto scraps of fabric left over from clothes we altered. At the end of the semester I turned it in as my final sculpture project and got an A. I also nearly gave myself arthritis working on it and haven't embroidered much since. I realized tonight that I miss it. I wish I would have known back then some of the stitches I learned this evening. It's never too late too learn, though. French knots are nothing to fear, they're fun!

Jenny talked about how she started her business and how it's grown over the last 8 years. It was interesting to learn that as well-known as she is in the craft community, she hasn't become rich off it. I'm not surprised though. It's the price you pay for not selling out. She's been able to maintain complete control of her work - from the sourcing of materials to the design of the packaging to the shops that carry her kits. Best of all, she's created a catalog of images that have been stitched onto surfaces by people all over the world. That spells success in my book - knowing that people love what you create and that they appreciate you helping them create their own. Who needs mansions and fancy cars when you've got that?


Jenny said...

looks like a lot of fun!! i wish i could sew - i have never sewn in my life!!!!! isn't that crazy! i need to learn for sure - i still got time! haha!!

looks like an awesome class and i'm sure you met some really cool people too!


KB said...

Look! Another Jenny! See? They're everywhere.

I think you'd like Sublime Stitching patterns Jenny. They're easy to follow and you rock out Keira's clothes with some hip embroidery.


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