Angela Nowicki



March 2018

After several months of experimenting and working my way into the basics of embroidery, time has come for the official start of my apprenticeship. However, since I am both student and teacher, looks as if I have to work out the curriculum, search for appropriate projects, prepare all the materials all by myself. For an inveterate autodidact like me not really a problem. I decided to simply start from scratch, working my way upward to the more challenging techniques and styles, including, however, only those I'm really interested in. That's why my curriculum will be oriented towards the various styles of embroidery.

Basically, there are two main techniques of hand embroidery: Counted Thread Embroidery and Surface or "Free Style" Embroidery. The first one's the more basic one, that's why I'm going to start here in the following order:

I wasn't completely sure whether Blackwork belongs at least partially to the counted techniques, but in the end it uses mainly most of the surface stitches, so I think it makes no difference.

I didn't include in my plans such techniques as Chicken Scratch, Cut Work, White Work or Drawn Thread Work and the like, because I was of the mind that I don't like them. However, as things turned out, Drawn Thread and particularly Hardanger can be used to create wonderful art pieces - just have a browse through our Needle'n Thread Community on facebook! So I think I will include them later, too. First, still, let's deal with the already existing endeavour. I reckon, it' ambitious enough.

My plan is this: Every unit will consist of a "doodle cloth" of sorts, where I'll be practicing all the new stitches learnt in the respective technique, followed by a representative sampler in this style. At the end of every module, I'll design a simple motif myself, which will be stitched repeatedly in every one of the various styles - a recapitulating sampler of sorts. My final project after finishing the whole course shall be one self-designed work (scene) in every covered style of embroidery respectively. Ambitious, eh? We'll see... In any case, you're welcome to follow me through the ups and downs of my apprenticeship!