7 ideas for your 100 day stitchbook (#4 is my favorite)

sewing supplies on my messy work table for day 1 - scraps and cut pages

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.

a textile book with a vintage floral page and an applique chandelier

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

stitch collage in blue

Good luck with your 100 days of stitching! Are you ready to get started? Let us know in the comments.

onward!

ann


support the stitchbook project

Support the 100 day stitch project and the always growing free pattern and tutorial library! The response to the stitch book project in particular has been astounding and resulted in significant additional server costs (it’s all about gigabytes and bandwidth…)  Thanks so much to everybody who has already made a contribution! This would not be happening without you.

23 Comments

  1. Having done the 100 Day Project 7 times, I can attest to the value of “just starting”, and also that a daily practice will eventually tap into another layer of consciousness. Nike is right, Just Do It!

  2. I’m just putting my first book together. I plan on doing another one..it’s very therapeutic! This one I will try to be a little more spontaneous and free up my need to “have a theme.” I loved every minute of this stitching adventure, and thank you so much, Ann, for your generosity and inspiration.

  3. Kitty Luna

    Already to begin! I even made up a whole blank book just to check I knew what to do to assemble my pages after we finish! Happy to be part of this 🙂

  4. Claudia Benson

    I’m in! Just found the email, so will head upstairs to my workroom to get things in order! Thank you, as always, for your generosity in sharing your ideas and techniques x

  5. So excited to start this. I’ll be gathering my materials today and visiting a local materials thrift shop for a few more bits and bobs. Let the stitching begin1

  6. This is my first time taking part and I am so excited! I just cut up all my pages and am looking forward to day #1 of stiching!

  7. At the moment I’m a bit low on fabric and saving every scrap for dollmaking projects, but I’m going to try and do the 15 mins a day along with you, working on my dolls instead! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. I am ready to go. I like the idea of raw edges. This will be my second book. The first one was a great delight in the making and having a keepsake.

  9. Excited to start. I had all intentions of making my stitch book last year but life got in the way. Hoping to make the effort to succeed this year. Good luck everyone x

  10. Margot Perez Vanscoy

    Yay! I had already decided on rough edges because I’m a novice slow stitcher. I may stitch around the edges just to keep the fraying contained. Thanks for the inspo and tips. I’m winging it and loving it!

  11. altardirector

    I’m starting today. Just got a post of Kantha Quilt scraps and they are delightful and invigorating. Excited!

  12. This is my first time with this challenge. Thanks Ann for the inspiration! I’ve pulled out some natural dyed fabrics that I haven’t had the opportunity to use yet and the first page is started!

  13. Sandy Hinrichs

    I am so excited to be part of this. First time doing hard stitching. Started today.

  14. MichelleinScotland

    Ready to go. Well enthusiastic. I have natural dyed fabric, hand dyed fabric and gelliplate printed fabric – will I mix them all together or make, glup, three books? Three might be too many. I think I will start with the gelliplate printed fabric as that will give me a starting point. Thanks Ann.

  15. Brenda Simoneau

    I am loving the 100 day stitch book!! I love how the pages go together. I am using four colors of linen for the background pages. I even figured out how to make the colors all match up front and back. I’m using abstract designs and stitching them down along with other stitching around them. I made my book smaller 5″ x 5 1/2″ keeping the slot and tab look. I can’t wait to put it together and get started on another!
    Thank you Ann!!

  16. Lynne Allard

    I’m really looking forward to the process! I’ve cut calico pages A4 size and I think I’ll use the letters of the alphabet as prompts begin creating.

  17. This is my second attempt at a 100 day project. So far so good. I believe in the process. I like your #4 idea also

  18. I am not sure if it’s already been mentioned? The easiest way to acquire scraps is to find a large quilt show in your area, that has a “Country store”. This is where the quilters sell their scraps-very cheap. At least here in California-I have done so-too many times!
    Looking forward to my first stitch book!

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