As most of you are surely aware off, we have a rather large influx of refugees in this part of the world. My alpine idyll is no exception. Since spring, a slowly growing group from Syria, Pakistan, Burma, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Kosovo and Ukraine is making our village street life more colourful.
I have long hesitated about becoming involved with refugees again. On the one hand, my time is limited due to me running my own company. On the other hand, I know from past experiences how it emotionally affects me to hear all the different stories of hope and suffering. That said, being a descendant of an economic refugee from Germany who came to the Netherlands in 1924, I feel obliged to offer my help.
So, what could I do? How about stitching and hand-sewing once a week. I know how to do that and I am sure, many of the women do too. Besides, it is an excellent way of learning the very complicated German language. On Thursday, we'll start with making the simple name badge you see above. A scrap of pretty cotton fabric, a disc of template plastic covered on one side with wadding, felt, sewing thread, a safety pin, a trick marker of some kind, needles, beads, perle and embroidery floss is all you need.
To keep it nice and simple, I'll forget most of the Royal School of Needlework golden rules of embroidery. Yes, we will have knots at the back and yes, we will work it all in the hand. That explains the dodginess of my stem stitching... I'll report back next week about how we fared.
Then on a completely different matter: Verena Schiegg offers a series of opportunities to learn the beautiful Appenzell embroidery technique in early 2016. You have a choice of attending two Saturdays (23rd of January and 20th of February 2016) or an intensive course of four consecutive days in February (15th-18th) or March (7th-10th). Every course day starts at 9:00, lunch break from 11:30 till 13:30 and ends at 17:00. Course fees for the Saturday option is CHF 110 per day and for the four day intensive courses it is CHF 390 for all four days. Materials are not included, but can be bought from Verena directely. Courses take place when a minimum of four people sign up. Register before the 10th of January for the Saturday option, before the 6th of February for the February intensive and before the 26th of February for the March intensive. All courses take place at the Gesellenhaus in Appenzell, Switzerland.
Want to know more about Appenzell embroidery? Click on Appenzell in the categories list to the right of this blog entry. For more information or to sign up, please contact Verena directly. As I will be attending any course taking place, people whose knowledge of the German language is only limited or completely absent, but who can either speak English or Dutch, will still be able to understand what is going on.
To my humble opinion, Verena's courses are worth every Swiss Franc. She has such an in-depth knowledge of the subject and so freely shares her tips and tricks that come from years and years of practice. Both in the field of embroidery, as well as in the field of teaching. Hope to meet some of you in Appenzell!
Jessica M. Grimm
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