Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smock'in on a Saturday

On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) all day class with Cindy Foose. This workshop was hosted by the Sew Many Thing's SAGA Chapter in Franklin, TN. It was a 2-day workshop, and I could only attend on Saturday, due to the fact that I keep this precious 'lil guy several days a week.

Isn't he a cutie-patootie? He just happens to be my grandson and I love him very much! :)

Anyway, back to my workshop, there was another student that could only attend Friday's class, so it worked perfect that we split the tuition of the 2-day workshop, and both of us got to participate in the classes of our choice! I have attended workshops with Cindy Foose before and I love her teaching style and the unique techniques of embellishments she has!
Saturday's workshop consisted of two classes; Advanced Smocking & Technique Enhancement, and Enchanting Embellishments. Both classes were great and I learned some wonderful techniques! This post would be a mile long if I showed you all we learned in just one posting, so I will split this into two separate journal entries so that you can see what I learned! 
The morning workshop was Advanced Smocking & Technique. I cracked up when Cindy bought out her HUGE smocked panel that she used to demonstrate all the stitches she was teaching us.
This has got to be the biggest smocked panel I have ever seen! I thot it was quite brilliant of her to come up with this tool to teach smocking stitches so that a whole class could easily see what she was doing!
We started our class working on the Surface Honeycomb Stitch.
Here is my stitch sampler I worked on. The far left stitches are Mirror Surface Honeycomb stitches worked over 1 row. The middle portion is the same stitch worked over 2 rows, and the last set of stitches are worked diagonally down as many rows as you want.
This honeycomb stitch is worked with taking the thread behind the fabric, rather than on the surface. If you look closely, you can see that the thread causes a shadow effect on every other row.
This stitch is called the Van Dyke stitch and you work in the opposite direction than the basic smocking stitches, which are worked left to right if you are a right-handed person. The far right is worked over 1 row and the last set on the left is worked over 2 rows, but you can continue down as many rows as you want before you begin to travel back up.
The next stitch we worked on was the Feather Stitch and it is also worked in the opposite direction than the basic smocking stitches. As you can see, this stitch creates a chain-like stitch on the surface of your pleats. I chose to do a tight and small feather-stitch, but you can adjust the size of your feather stitch by adjusting the distance above or below the gathering row by the point of entry with your needle.
This stitch is called The Herringbone Stitch and the variation we stitched was by using two different colors of thread in two different needles, alternating the stitches. It created a very cool weave-type stitch!
The last stitches we worked on before lunch break, was Vertical Smocking Stitches. The big difference on Vertical stitching is that you must back smock all rows before working any surface stitches. This stitch is the Ladder Stitch and it is worked over the same four pleats horizontally and vertically for any distance desired. 
The last stitch here is the Chain Stitch. It is worked horizontally over eight pleats and vertically as far down the piece as you want to stitch. All rows must be back smocked before working this stitch.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the advanced smocking stitches we worked on! Even tho I did have some experience in all of these stitches before attending this class, I learned a few new tricks for improving my smocking skills.
Next Journal entry will be about the Enchanting Embellishments class and since I have finally reached 100 (+) followers, I will be having a giveaway to celebrate!


ShirleyC said...

That's interesting! How in the world did she pleat a panel that long?

LAnderson (SewNso @ Southern Stitches) said...

haha! It was all obviously hand pleated - she used what appeared to be a thick piece of craft felt and the pleats were quite deep. She used yarn for the smocking thread - I thot it was a great idea and it showed off the stitches sooo well and it was easy for her to just pull it out for the next stitches she was teaching!

Jan said...

Cindy is a wonderful teacher! So glad you had the chance to experience her class and time with fellow smockers!

Barbara said...

Loved reading your latest post. I so hope I can get back to sewing soon. The stitches were beautiful. My handwork needs work :( [or practice!]

Martha said...

Cindy Foose is an awesome teacher. I don't think there is a bad Cindy Foose class out there. She always has so much wisdom and tips to share.

Auntie Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Auntie Pam said...

Looks like it was a great class. Congrats on raeching 100 viewers. Well deserved my friend!!
Love your work!


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