The 100 day stitch book challenge starts today! Please be sure to read these two pages completely before you start:
1 – Before you do anything else please read this page carefully.
2 – Find the tutorial for how to cut your pages and make the book here. We don’t assemble the book until the pages are done but it’s good to know where we are headed.
And it’s not mandatory but helpful : check out this blog post.
That’s it! And you’ve already done the hardest part – showing up. I’m so glad you’re here and I’ve got some tips to help make this daily commitment easy and productive for you.
1. Keep your materials easily accessible. Maybe you don’t have a permanently designated stitching area or table. I like to do my sewing and painting in the same sunny spot so I put all my stitch book supplies on a big tray so it can be whisked away when it’s time to paint. And when it’s time to stitch (usually in the morning) there is no significant obstacle to starting, just grab the tray.
2. Speaking of time to stitch, doing your 15 minutes at the same time each day can have a magical effect. Even if it’s not always possible, doing it most of the time can help get your subconscious on board. For me this benefit kicks in after a few weeks.
3. Invite the universe in. Find inspiration for shapes and marks in your day. Take a walk and see what you can see through the lens of your stitch book project. Invite happenstance, grab a scrap without looking for a place to start or splatter some paint or dye or your page before you stitch and see where that leads you.
4. Have a plan for the bad days. They are inevitable. I have lots of them. Decide ahead of time on a minimally acceptable effort for yourself. And keep a collection of inspiring/favorite scraps in reserve so if you’re stuck or super stretched for time you have an easy win. Trust me, keeping the daily commitment helps create and build momentum. It is much easier to keep going than to start. It’s also helpful to have a simple to-go kit. Last year a lot of my stitching happened while traveling.
5. Get the benefit of community. It’s so helpful. There are lots of ways you can do that. Share your pages on instagram using #annwoodstitchbook , join the stitch club community (lots of day 1 pages are already posted!) or team up with friends for group stitching.
6. There are no mistakes, only information. Having a healthy (and productive) attitude towards mistakes, failures and bad days is key to creative growth. Since I was a kid my process has begun with this direction to myself “start making your mistakes”. Mistakes and missteps are full of information and signposts towards work you end up liking.
7. The blank page can be scary and paralyzing. The idea of starting without any structure can be daunting. So give yourself a little structure but still preserve the spontaneity of the process. For example, decide to use one color – maybe just shades of red. It gives you a refreshed perspective on your stash and a place to start. You can do this with shapes too – what if you were limited to just circles for one page? I promise, circles will begin to present new possibilities to you.
We won’t assemble the book until after the 100 days of stitching but I did want to offer a possibility for an alternative way of finishing the book so you can have it in the back of your mind while you’re making your pages. I taught a stitch book class in France last summer, a sort of travel journal. The edges of the pages are left raw and showing instead of turned in. I’m leaning towards finishing my 100 day book this way. We can talk more about how to do that when it’s time to assemble.
2023 day 1