September Newsletter: Stitching to Heal
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Stitch-At-Home Challenge : Talisman submission from Marsha Gaspar
Dear SNADers,
Welcome to Fall — or nearly Fall. For many of us, this is our favorite time of year full of new beginnings and opportunities to gather with friends and loved ones. This month, we have a few ways to bring you in to celebrate needlework with us, plus a new challenge to join in whether you’re near or far.
The exquisite Talisman Challenge is up at our Hanging Thread gallery with objects of all shapes, sizes, and textures. I’m especially drawn to the symbolism in Liza Taylor’s, Bring Me Flying Dreams, which includes a pigeon feather from the churchyard where she was married, and the intricate symbolism in Jackie Frost's, Journey. SNAD is feeling warm and safe surrounded by all of these spiritual objects made by our community. Please come by and see the exhibition…. Or, better yet, come for the exhibition and stay to help us to raise necessary funding for the school by celebrating with us at our annual fundraiser on September 13. Beyond the magic of our Talisman exhibition, we’ll have a silent auction with tickets to the ballet and museums, cosmetics from Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys, gifts from Hand & Lock, and so much more. We also have SNAD goodie bags for all attendees. You can purchase a ticket or make a donation here.
In this issue:
  • Our Fall/Winter Stitch-at-Home Challenge is all about healing and reflection. Join the Challenge and reflect on the healing benefits of stitching.
  • Seats sold out for our Comprehensive Studies in Hand Embroidery courses in 2019. Don’t be left out in 2020 — learn more about the program and register for your courses here.
  • Would you like to just work on a small project, but have it become a part of something BIG? Work a band for our World’s Longest Band Sampler project. Stitch something that literally connects to others and be a part of what is sure to become a 21st Century legacy artwork.
  • Take a look at the exciting programs coming up this Fall, including two beloved guest teachers from afar, Shahnaz Kahn’s Variations on Shisha, and Natalie Dupuis’, Glitter and Gogh.
Talisman: Be Charmed
A fundraiser for San Francisco School of Needlework and Design

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Talisman submission by Amy Jenkins

San Francisco School of Needlework and Design
360 Post Street, Suite 604
San Francisco, CA 94108
Friday, September 13, 2019, 4-9pm

Please join us in celebrating the artists of the Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Talisman!

Be mesmerized by our magical Talisman exhibition, charmed by our Challenge artists, bid on amazing prizes from our silent auction, craft your own Talisman, and get a SNAD goodie bag.
Be protected by Talisman, as together we protect the preservation of our heritage craft by supporting SNAD.

Online: $50
At door: $60

Featured Silent Auction Items:

2 tickets to The Nutcracker

Hand & Lock Luxury Embroidery Kit 
Creativity is a team effort.
Your support brings new people, techniques, materials, and ideas together at SNAD. When people come together to make, new creative inspirations come to life.

Please join our team by supporting SNAD's creative community.
SNAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
 Stitch-At-Home Challenge: Healing & Reflection

Healing /ˈhēliNG/ - the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again
Re·flec·tion /rəˈflekSH(ə)n/ - 1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it. 2. serious thought or consideration.

This Stitch-at-Home Challenge explores the concepts of healing as an art, art as a healer, and the artist as healer. With patience, reflection, love, courage, creativity, and wisdom, heal and heal others with your artistic statement. Because, what we all want is to be alive, to be awake, to embrace and to be embraced, and to live life fully. Reflect and heal.

See rules to get started. Visit our Inspiration Page for ideas.

Healing Threads

We'll be hosting some special events around the theme of our Healing & Reflection challenge.
 Join us for  the first Healing Threads on Saturday, September 21

Stitch a healing phrase and express yourself in needle and thread onto your own sweater or t-shirt.

Make one for yourself, or make one for someone you love.

No experience needed – we'll teach you some basic stitches and you'll leave with a healing sentiment to wear close to your heart.

Saturday, September 21
Snacks & drinks will be provided 
Sign up today!

Stitching and Healing 

Needlecraft therapy dates back to World War I, where soldiers used embroidery as a form of meditative rehabilitation while healing wounds. Hand sewing requires the simultaneous use of hands, eyes, and the brain, which improves fine motor skills. But for soldiers, the benefits were not just physical — they were psychological as well.  In 1919, the Australian General Hospital at Randwick began embroidery therapy as a way to entertain patients. Lieutenant Colonel CLS Mackintosh states in the Australian journal Remnants from Randwick that a large amount of entertainment for injured soldiers came from learning crafts like stitching and painting, and that these activities were a way for patients to forget about their new injuries.

Australian coat of arms, Alfred Briggs 1917

While psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conducted research for his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he discovered that handcrafts increase our creativity and ease anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Handcrafts also increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging. Csikszentmihalyi’s studies date back to the 1970s and 80s — now, we’ve progressed even further. The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) suggests that art therapy can "foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.” Psychotherapy can go hand-in-hand with hobbies, such as sewing or quilting. When the two are combined, patients are more likely to accomplish their recovery goals.

Another benefit is that handcrafts stimulate neural networks that can buffer against dementia and Alzheimer’s. But a large number of knitters and hand embroiderers practice handcrafts simply because they offer stress relief. Slow crafts have been linked to reducing blood pressure and lowering heart rate. They also trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter at times considered a "natural antidepressant."

For those of us practicing the art of hand embroidery, we instinctively have learned the healing benefits afforded to us. As Csikszentmihalyi stated: “It does not seem to be true that work necessarily needs to be unpleasant… There is ample evidence that work can be enjoyable, and that indeed, it is often the most enjoyable part of life.”
2020 Comprehensive Studies Program Dates! 

Comprehensive Studies in Hand Embroidery
Needlepainting 2020: Winter, Summer, Fall
Counted Embroidery 2020: Winter, Summer, Fall
Surface Embroidery:Fall 2019, 2020:Winter, Summer, Fall

Metalwork: Fall 2019, 2020: Winter, Summer, Fall
The Comprehensive Studies Program in Hand Embroidery offers students a chance to advance their needlework skills with a series of six in-depth courses in individual embroidery techniques or concentrations, culminating in a Master Skills Certificate. Each concentration is designed to encompass a broad yet deep dive into the technique being studied; while comprehensive in nature, they not exhaustive of any method, technique, style, or history, leaving room for continued study.

World's Longest Band Sampler

Thanks to everyone who has submitted their band for our World's Longest Band Sampler Project! Please remember that this is an ongoing project with no due date. Head over to our site for more details.
                                   Nina Burnsides, 2018                                                                                       Ellen Saines, 2019
Stitch Retreats

Come and spend a week stitching! Our Stitch Retreats focus on further developing and enhancing your skills and knowledge. The Retreats are individualized to allow you to select a particular technique or combination of techniques in which to experiment and further build upon your own creativity, knowledge and technical skills. You will be guided through the entire process by our Instructors. Design and work a new embroidery or bring an existing project that you need help with.

October, 2019
March, 2020

November, 2020
Lunch and Learn

Come spend Wednesday, September 18 at SFSNAD for our monthly Lunch and Learn. This month artist Julian Prince Dash will be sharing. 

Julian Prince Dash, 2018 

Julian Prince Dash is a social practice artist who utilizes education, cutting and sewing, embroidery, technology and art to empower youth. His goal is to own and operate a factory that provides training and employment that is fully independent and off the grid creating clothing from seed to retail. Think Willy Wonka but with clothing. His current factory: Holy Stitch! is located in San Francisco. His personal clothing brand can be found on local influencers and worldwide celebrities.
Upcoming Classes

Rug Hooking 
September 12

Come learn the method of the artisan craft of Rug Hooking. You will learn how to paint with fiber by pulling cut strips of wool through a woven substrate, and complete a 6.5" x 6.5" pattern and edging. 

Design for Embroidery 
September 14 

In this 
 class covers the basics in recognizing and recording inspiration, drawing exercises, composition, perspective, presentation, proportion, balance, harmony, creating a stitch plan and more.

Introduction to Embroidery : Geometric Design
September 19

Join us at SFSNAD September  for an introductory class! In this class you will  

 have the choice of stitching an Art Deco inspired design or contemporary triangle design. This class will cover : trellis, woven wheel, heavy chain stitch, herringbone stitch, Portuguese knotted stem, closed buttonhole stitch, backstitched chain stitch, and chevron filling. 

Studio Sessions
September 6 & September 20

Studio Sessions are designed to be a space for creating any embroidery you can dream of, big or small. Bring a project you have been working on that you need help with, or come with ideas and we can help you bring your creation to life from scratch! 


Shisha Variations 
September 28 

Come along to this workshop and be inspired to learn about embroidery, culture, and history! Four variations of the Shisha technique will be taught, covering traditional and contemporary versions.  Students will have the opportunity to practice these methods, before designing and creating their own Shisha sampler.

Technique Taster : Crewelwork
September 25

Learn the basics of crewelwork! Crewelwork is a great introductory technique to hand embroidery.
You’ll stitch with English crewel wool on a cotton twill. Stitches include : trellis with a decorative pattern, stem stitch and bullion knots.
Check out all our classes and events!
Class Schedule & Registration
August Highlights

The SJQTM curated some of the pieces of the Stitch-At-Home Challenge: Borders to extend the visibility of some of the Challenge artwork. Congratulations to: Marion Scoular, Sunrita Basu, Mary Spotswood, MaryJo Ignoffo, Peggy Ichinose, Tricia Sota, Karen Lipchik, Miyuki Hasegawa, Kate Godfrey, Mung Lar Lam, Lily Homer, Lucy Child, and Caroline Bareirra, Tricia Soto and Sunanda Bahal for having their work displayed at the museum through October 13.

18th Century Sparkling Gold Spray Class

 Intro to Embroidery : Animal 

Crewelwork Creatures 

Hotel Discounts for SNAD Students!

Wonderful news for our out-of-town students: A number of local hotels have opted to participate in a discount program with us. Some of the hotels include Kensington Park, The Marker Hotel, Hotel Triton, 32One Hotel, The Alise Hotel, Villa Florence, Galleria Park Hotel, Hotel Vitale, and Hotel Kabuki. If you'd like to know more about this program, please email us at
Give the Gift of Stitching!

Click here to purchase a SNAD class certificate. You can make a gift from $35 to $250.

SNAD Hours
SNAD is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30-4:30,
as well as for scheduled classes on Sundays.
Our building front door at 360 Post Street is locked on Saturdays and Sundays,
however a security guard should be in the lobby to help you enter. If not, please call us at
415-604-1104, and we will come down to get you.
Copyright © 2019 San Francisco School of Needlework & Design, All rights reserved.
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360 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
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