Meditative Hand-stitched Portals

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Meditative Hand-stitched Portals

In this workshop you will learn how to develop a stitching practice using a simple running stitch and fabric scraps.

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Date and time


THIS Gallery 485 Main Street Vancouver, BC V6A 2T7 Canada

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About this event

  • 4 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

“A friend had been encouraging me to meditate, but I found it hard to just sit. Following a conversation we had about portals, and the work of going inwards and going deeper, I picked up some fabric and thread and began stitching…”

In this workshop you will learn how to develop a stitching practice using a simple running stitch and fabric scraps. Using a variety of threads and repurposed fabric, hand stitch a ‘portal’ in a process that is equal parts exploration and meditation. These textile pieces employ reverse appliqué, a technique where layers of fabric are stitched together and then cut open one layer at a time to reveal the layers below. While all the required materials are supplied, participants are invited to bring a scrap of fabric to include in their portal.

Materials supplied:

A variety of threads, including sashiko cotton, cotton perle, and silk embroidery threads

Needles and pins

Fabric scissors

Fabric scraps - mostly remnants, off-cuts, and repurposed used fabrics - in a wide range of colours

Materials/equipment to bring:

Small pair of sharp scissors (nail scissors or dollar store embroidery scissors will do!) 
Fabric scrap(s) 15x15cm minimum (optional)

Target Participants Age and Skill Level:

Adult - Beginner

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About the Facilitator

Rosemary Burd is a mixed media and textile artist who uses repurposed fabrics, threads, found objects, and original photographs in her artworks. Rosemary has always been a maker, and in the last four years has discovered her medium for making art: stitching.

Her curiosity about Japanese sashiko and boro traditions evolved into a practice of hand stitching that is equal parts exploration and meditation, from the rays of light and colour that she stitches on her own shaky photographs, to the calm concentric circles she stitches on repurposed fabrics. She is self taught as an embroiderer and a photographer.

Rosemary’s embroidered photographs have been exhibited at the Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver (NEXT, 2022 Culture Crawl preview exhibit, November 2022), Propeller Gallery, Toronto (‘and all of a sudden’, June 2022; Altered Photographs at Hand online exhibit, May 2021), Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl open studios (November, 2021 and 2022), Fibreworks Gallery, Madeira Park (Interplay, October 2022), and Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery (Current Threads, June 2022). Her textile triptych, ‘where can we find light in this never-ending shade’, was included in the Eastside Culture Crawl’s juried show at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver (November, 2021), and published in the Surface Design Association’s journal, Exhibitions in Print (Fall, 2021).