“Success is not fame or money or the power to bewitch. It is to have created something valuable from your own individuality and skill: a garden, an embroidery, a painting, a cake, a life.”
– Charlotte Gray
Even nearly two years after attending my first In-depth Night back when I was on the verge of becoming a TALONS student, I have never forgotten the overwhelming feeling of inspiration that had washed over me as each learner shared their passion and learning. That first exposure to this project inspired a flame in me – to learn, listen, experience, share, and inspire.
This year, the topic I have chosen to base my project upon is embroidery, an ancient form of needlework that has been used worldwide to embellish textiles for decorative and communicative purposes. I hope to learn this skill because the technical hand-sewing skills I will practice are very versatile and can be applied to a variety of circumstances, including clothing, canvas, or tent repair. Learning embroidery will also develop my hand-eye coordination, colour theory, fine motor skills, manual dexterity, design and planning skills, and overall understanding of art, thereby helping me develop an approach that will render my work unique and effectively convey my ideas. Furthermore, I will practice and nurture essential skills such as time management, organization, endurance, patience, and creative thinking. Lastly, the process of learning this skill is easy to adapt to changing COVID-19 circumstances because it is inexpensive to learn and maintain, reuses materials like fabric scraps, and involves meditative, soothing movements that contribute to releasing stress, helping one connect with their inner self, and encouraging originality.
Although I have some experience in basic sewing already, I would not be able to achieve excellence in this field without the guidance of Ms. Mulder, my teacher facilitator, and Michelle Daniel, my mentor this year. Personally, I thrive when provided with some structure, so the encouragement and accountability brought by those around me will be very beneficial. With this support, I will learn the background of, understand the uses for, and become proficient at executing at least 10 different stitches. I will document my progress and relationship with my mentor through entries in my journal, bi-weekly blog posts, and four mini projects, each of which will focus on a few skills and techniques I will learn. I will also experiment with all five types of hand embroidery needles (crewel, tapestry, chenille, milliner, and specialty), and create my own designs that will be transferred to fabric. I will showcase all the skills and techniques I have learned on a large-scale final embroidery project.
In order to reach this goal, I have contacted my mentor, begun researching the origins and historical significance of embroidery, and organized, found, or purchased all necessary supplies. Over the next few months, I am planning to meet with my mentor, Michelle, every other week to assess my progress, gain new skills, and grow as an individual. To prepare for my first meeting on January 17, I still need to finish reading the first three chapters of How to Have a Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono, develop a deeper knowledge of embroidery, and brainstorm some basic stitches I would like to learn. Below is a plan that will assist me in achieving my vision for this project.
|Plan: An outline of methods, activities, strategies, people and resources you can use to meet your challenge||Timetable: The specific dates or times when you will accomplish the steps in your plan|
|Contact mentor||Before December 17|
|Ensure mentor has completed criminal record checks||Before January 12|
|Research the origins of embroidery||January 12|
|Meeting with mentor #1||January 17|
|Meetings with mentor continue every two weeks, precise dates to be determined|
|Research the uses of at least 15 commonly used stitches and communicate with my mentor to decide on 10 of them to learn||January 17|
|Complete the initial design of my first mini embroidery project||January 24|
|Transfer my design to a suitable type of fabric||January 31|
|Experiment with all five types of hand embroidery needles (crewel, tapestry, chenille, milliner, and specialty)||February 1|
|Complete first mini embroidery project and learn how to care for and store it||February 14|
|Complete second mini embroidery project||March 7|
|Complete third mini embroidery project||March 28|
|Complete fourth mini embroidery project||April 18|
|Complete detailed log of the process of learning the skills necessary for hand embroidery||May 20|
|Complete final embroidery project||May 30|
Having established my vision and a plan for my process, I am very excited for what the future might hold for me, my in-depth project, and my relationship with my mentor.