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Dear SNADers,
While every month is special, May is a month filled with celebrations from May Day to Memorial Day. (With Mother’s Day squeezed in between!) Warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, graduations and galas are also part of May’s charm. This May SNAD faces two important challenges as well. But before you get out your box of tissues, let me explain.

Challenge #1: Our current Stitch-at-Home Challenge, Out of this World, has closed! We are so excited about the work that has been mailed in or dropped off and we know you will be too. Thank you to all who participated - you have done an awesome job of getting us out of our heads and to the land of imagination and galaxies far, far away. The Challenge exhibition will open June 1 with a sonic boom so mark your calendars to pay us a visit to see the amazing work of your fellow artists, stitchers, creators and dreamers.

Challenge #2: Our NEXT Stitch-at-Home Challenge will open June 1. The prompt is Purple Reign. Here are some thoughts to get your creative juices flowing: A color, a verb, an identity; the theme of this Stitch-at-Home Challenge is Purple Reign. From the Byzantine Empire to the modern crown, purple has always carried the historical significance of royalty. Commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrating 70 years of service this summer; pay tribute to the sound waves of Prince and his funky influence on the 80s; stitch the crown jewel of your own life, something you feel deserves royal pomp and circumstance - or anything in between! What rules your world? We want to know!

Important dates and links related to Purple Reign: 
Email Photo due: August 15. Entry form here. Pinterest Board for inspo here.
Work due at SNAD: September 15. Submission form here.
Exhibit: October - December. Work Returned:: January, 2023

Here’s hoping the challenges you face in May have the opportunity to be solved with humor and creativity!

In this issue:

  • Visit our Galleries for our exhibitions, Outside-In and One Thing Leads to Another. These exhibits will close May 21.
  • There is still time to register for our May 25 Webinar talk with Chrissie Juno Mann who will discuss her work, the history of animals in textiles and their historical symbolism in embroidery.
  • Comprehensive Studies in Surface Embroidery Level 1 and Level 2 will both be taught the week of June 13-17. There are still seats available for both sessions!
  • Membership has its perks! May’s Membership perk is a class discount. Become a Member of SNAD and your perks begin immediately!
  • Join our very own Lucy Barter on May 10 at the SF Legion of Honor for a lecture titled: Guo Pei's Runway: Inspiration and Dreams in Chinese Embroidery!
As always, thanks for stitching with us!

Lisa Coscino
Executive Director (she/her)

By Lisa Coscino, SFSNAD Executive Director

When we think of mothers, a million images come to mind for each of us. Some of us may have had sporty moms, smart moms, resilient and determined moms, fancy or playful, sweet or acerbic moms. Contrary to American sitcom portrayals, there is no universal image or stereotype that describes being a mother. In fact, for most of us, our moms were a combination of all these traits and more. In this month devoted to celebrating motherhood - however you define it -  what came up for me is the good old fashioned apron and the idea of being tied to someone’s apron strings.

Idiomatically, being tied to apron strings means being too attached to one's mother (or another to whom your strings are tied). But it also has a literal origin. In the days before playpens and other devices, a mother would sometimes attach her child to her by her apron strings - this way, the child could play nearby safely. Thinking of this makes me laugh - not something we’d likely do in 2022 - but it also made me think of a sentimental song from Everything But the Girl titled Apron Strings. Then I wondered, what is the history of the apron and how did it become synonymous with motherhood?

Images:   R -
In ancient Crete, aprons were worn by the fertility goddess, and sacred aprons were worn by Assyrian priests. Egyptian pharaohs wore jewel encrusted aprons. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, aprons were worn by homemakers, working people, tradesmen, and artisans. Distinctive aprons could indicate a man's trade. English barbers wore checkered aprons. Stonemasons wore white aprons to protect their clothing from the white dust created by their tools on the stone. But the word 'apron' comes from the Medieval French word 'naperon', meaning small tablecloth. Often mispronounced, in the 17th Century, the garment eventually became known as an 'apron'. 

Aprons were first considered fashion items in the 16th century but in the years following they symbolized an array of ideas. Paintings often show subjects wearing aprons to signify a specific type of work. Women are shown wearing aprons to depict warmth, practicality, homeyness, sentiment, and hospitality. Fashions continued to change and by the late 1600s aprons had become very ornate with embroidery on both the body of the apron and on the ties.
Images:     R- Chocolate Girl by Jean-Etienn Liotard
Though aprons had long been popular and often included in a picture of a homemaker, the late 1940s saw the apron become the icon of the American housewife as a domestic goddess. After World War II, people who grew up with the privations of the Great Depression welcomed the simple aspects of home life and family. The 1950s mother made aprons out of remnants, extra kitchen curtains, dish towels, handkerchiefs, and flour sacks. When she made her aprons, she considered design as well as function. Many handmade aprons from the 1950s have one-of-a kind designs and details.

Images: Sewing patterns
In the late 1960s, the idealization of housework fell out of favor. Aprons were suddenly viewed as old fashioned garments worn by grandmothers and fuddie-duddies. The very idea of being a housewife seemed dull and ordinary as women reached outside the home for satisfaction and reward.  But while this trend away from the traditional may still be true, aprons are still often the first garment made by someone learning to sew. Many aprons are fine examples of textile craft and symbols within popular culture. But most importantly, aprons still reveal a lot about a woman's - and our mother’s - lives.


Heraldery Sampler San Francisco School of Needlework.

Our Comprehensive Studies Program will be taught in-person. Registration is open.
All classes will be taught at 850 Battery Street, San Francisco.

Registration for Summer Term CSP:
CSP Surface Embroidery Level 1: June 13-17
CSP Surface Embroidery Level 2: June 13-17

Registration for Fall Term CSP:
CSP Metalwork Level 1: October 24-28
CSP All Concentrations Level 2: October 31-November 4
and in the same realm, introducing:
Introduction to Tambour Work Level 2 with Bob Haven: October 24-28

May 4th, 10am-11:00am PST
Register here
May 25th, 10am-11:00am PST
Register here

In-person classes and workshops are taught at 850 Battery St, San Francisco.
In-Person Introduction to Embroidery:
Contemporary and Traditional 

Plant (May 7) and Insect (June 4), 
10am-4pm PST

Register here
Embroidered Card Making 
with Connie Chow

May 14, 10am-1pm PST

Register here
In-Person Technique Tasters
June 2 - June 30
Mornings: 10am-1pm PST
Afternoons: 2pm-5pm PST

Register here
Comprehensive Studies Program: Surface Embroidery
June 13 - 17, 9:30am-4:30pm PST

Level 1 and Level 2
Crewelwork Bud (Two-Session Class)
June 18 and 19, 10am-1pm PST

Register here
Goldwork Butterfly
July 14, 10am-4pm PST
Register here
Bite-Size for Beginners
July 31, 1:30pm-4pm PST

Register here
Introduction to Tambour Work
Level 2 with Bob Haven

October 24 - 28, 9:30am-4:30pm PST

Register here
Comprehensive Studies Program: Metalwork Level 1
October 24 - 28, 9:30am - 4:30pm PST

Register here
Comprehensive Studies Program:
All Concentrations Level 2

October 31 - November 4, 
9:30am - 4:30pm PDT

Register here

All Online classes are taught via Zoom in Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Online Introduction to Embroidery:
Contemporary and Traditional 

Building (May 19) and Geometric (June 16)10am-3pm PST

Register here
Rug Hook Cupcake with Victoria Rudolph
June 4th, 10am-1pm PST
Register here
Crewelwork Stag (Three-Session
June 3, June 10, June 17, 
10am-1pm PST

Register here
Bite-Size for Beginners
June 23rd, 5:30pm-8:30pm PST

Register here
Medieval Horse and Rider 
(Two-Session Class)

June 24 and July 1, 10am-1pm PST

Register here
Koinobori Fish
June 25, 10am-1pm PST

Register here
Lion Box (Four-Session Class)
June 30, July 7, July 14, July 21
10am-1pm PST

Register here
Tambour Moth (Three-Session Class)
July 9, July 16, July 23, 10am-1pm PST

Register here
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