Willing Hands Needlework Design

"She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
Proverbs 31:13

Welcome to my blog! I created this blog to keep you updated on my teaching schedule, designs, new designs, kit availability,
works in progress and other stitching related activities. From time to time I'll also be adding extra info about goings-on in my life.

To see my current teaching schedule, teaching pieces and retired designs, click on "older posts" at the bottom of each page.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

100 Days Project

Greetings fellow Needleworkers!

I'm just back from a month long teaching trip in New Zealand, where I taught 3 classes at the national conference for the Association of New Zealand Embroidery Guilds in Auckland and then did a five city teaching tour of the country.

At the conference, which was held at the club house of a thoroughbred race track in a suburb of Auckland, I was thrilled to be a member of the faculty which included Jane Nicholas, Owen Davies, Christine Bishop, Allison Cole and Allison Snepp among others.

The teaching tour took me to cities on both the north and south islands where I met lots of very talented and dedicated needleworkers and stayed in the homes of some lovely women.  I got to see sampler collections in the archives of a couple of museums and even woke up to snow one morning.

While at the conference I learned of an ongoing project out of New Zealand which caught my attention and fascinated me.  It's called The 100 Days Project and its purpose is to inspire creativity by having you commit to doing one creative thing each day for 100 days.  It can be anything that you want to do - draw a bird, photograph a tree, write a poem, sing a song, etc.  I decided to sign up and commit to stitching one blackwork motif every day.

The project kicked off this year on August 24 and will end on December 1.  It runs on New Zealand time which is 16 hours ahead of where I live so I'm actually working a day ahead and began the project on August 23.

I've cut a large piece of 36 count Ivory linen and have chosen 10 Gloriana silk flosses for the project. The only other planning I've done is to create a file with lots of blackwork motifs to work from.  Some of them are hundreds of years old, some were created by other current designers and some of them I designed myself.  I'm not doing any composition or planning any placement for the motifs except for leaving 6 threads between each one, both horizontally and vertically.  I'm simply getting up in the morning, choosing a motif and stitching it.  At the end, I'll have a very large spot motif sampler of sorts.

This is a major commitment of my time, given my travel schedule, which include teaching at Beating Around the Bush in Australia in October.  But I'm determined to stick with it.  If you'd like to follow the adventure with me...

Go to 100daysproject.co.nz.  Under "Current Projects" click on "sort by - name A to Z" and scroll down to my name in the "B" section.  You'll see a photo of me and my name.  Click on the photo and it will take you to my project page where you can view each day's effort.  I'd love to hear what you think of my project and the whole 100 Days Project in general!

                                                               Motif from Day One


  1. Love the idea of committing to 100 days of creativity and your blackwork motif-a-day project. And have to admit especial delight at your day one design - acorns in stitchery are an absolute favorite. Thanks for letting us watch your project!

  2. Glad you had a great trip Betsy!

  3. Hi Betsy, sounds like you had a wonderful trip to New Zealand and an equal coming up in October. 100 Days Project...you started with my favs...acorns and oak leaves. Regards, Diane Dotsko

  4. This is an ambitious project for you! I know it'll be gorgeous, even in its randomness.

  5. This is an ambitious project for you! I know it'll be gorgeous, even in its randomness.

  6. Enjoyed seeing your project so far. What a great challenge. Love the squirrels.

  7. Enjoyed seeing your project so far. What a great challenge. Love the squirrels.

  8. So glad you signed on for the 100 day project it's looking amazing, will make a fantastic reminder of your NZ trip! I am looking forward to watching it grow. It was great to meet you and take classes while you were in NZ.

  9. Betsy - what a wonderful trip you must have had! I've just checked your '100 Days' progress, which I will now follow closely - it's a fantastic project and having looked at the work thus far, it's going to look absolutely gorgeous!

  10. Hi Betsy. Good on you for taking on the NZ 100 Day Project. Not long to go now and you have done a fantastic job.
    Lots of Love

  11. Thanks, Catherine! I was back in Auckland for a couple of days in mid October but had my sister, daughter and niece with me so I didn't try to contact you. We stayed very busy and had a wonderful time. I'm about to post the photo of the finished project - it was SO much fun! Hugs to all of you!

  12. Looks wonderful... looking forward to seeing you at Salty Yarns in June 2017. Is there anyway I can get a copy of your 100 days project - I love it..


  13. very beautiful and so lovely work :) i like your good idea ,Thanks for the inspiration!


  14. The blog are the best that is extremely useful to keep.
    I can share the ideas of the future as this is really what I was looking for,
    I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much!