March 27, 2008

Jenny Hart and the Secret Tea Towel Tour

I can remember exactly how I felt the first time I saw Jenny Hart's work- amazed, touched, moved, and inspired. I've never, ever seen anyone do what she does with embroidery, and I've also never encountered anyone with such a cool, funny, smart, and amazing presence online. I created the Flickr Embroidery group 3 years ago hoping it could be another cool venue for the amazing stuff I'd been seeing on the Craftster Needlework and Sublime Stitching boards. I never thought I'd meet Jenny, online or anywhere else. So, imagine how floored I am to announce that Jenny Hart, who so many of you love and admire too, is an admin in our group now.

If you don't know about Jenny, let me tell you a tiny bit about her... what makes Jenny's work truly unique is its power to inspire - she's not only an artist, she's the brains behind Sublime Stitching, and she's happy to share her knowledge and passion for what she does with everyone. Her crafty business tips are a weekly column on Venus Zine: Crafting a Business and she's involved in many online forums like Craftster and Supernaturale.

As luck would have it, a few days ago Jenny received the Secret Tea Towel begun 6 months ago by (the awesome) Kittykill on Craftster. This tour replaced the towel that went lost under mysterious circumstances, sincerely bumming everyone out...

The towel traveled to 14 different places in the US (as illustrated beautifully by Rachel, above), braving forest fires, the Christmas crafting crunch, and family losses. Every stitcher on this towel is an accomplished crafter and I'd like to introduce you to all of them:

  1. Kittykill - Portland, OR



    from Kittykill: A big "Thank You!" to everyone who participated. It took some time but Jenny finally got it. There is something to be said about people from all over the country, all different backgrounds, coming together to do a project. It makes me so happy to be a part of that community.

  2. Brill (GatsbyGirl) - North Hollywood, CA



  3. Laura (Southern5footer) - San Diego CA



  4. Gina (Ginamonster) - Reno, NV



  5. Susie (IamSusie) - Grayslake, IL



  6. Tab (Ezri_B) - Brandon, WI



  7. Sarah (Sarahland) - Brighton, MA



  8. Carol (Ilovepaper) - New Haven, CT



  9. Floresita (me!)- New York, NY



  10. Jennifer (Fenifer) - Decatur, GA

  11. Joolz – Tampa, FL

  12. Amy (sewwabisabi) - Oklahoma City, OK



  13. Liz (RubyPurl) - Fort Worth, TX

  14. Rachel - radwriter - Austin, Tx



    from Rachel: Working on this tea towel has been such a privilege, and such a BLAST! I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have been included, and to have had the chance to stitch with fellow embroidery enthusiasts! It was especially great fun to see - in person - the work of so many people whom I've followed online. Seeing everyone's work in the Flickr Embroidery Group is a blast, but getting to hold one piece with so many of their great works on it ... well that was just fan-freaking-tastic.

    Jenny inspires us every day, not only with her great designs, but with her fun, creative spirit, her independent business savvy and her dedication to keeping Sublime Stitching feeling like your best pal instead of some sterile chain store crap. It's what makes Sublime Stitching so special - the personality, the connections, the fun - and that she's been able to so beautifully maintain all that and keep everything so strongly steeped in her spirit speaks volumes to Jenny that our simple stitches can only meagerly attempt to reflect.

    And I *really* *really* mean it when I say that I wish everyone could have been there to hand off the towel. I felt a little guilty that I got that opportunity! (actually, a lot guilty.) I send a sincere thanks to all who participated and made it so much fun and so special. :) more from Rachel's blog


Thanks again to everyone who was a part of the Secret Tea Towel Tour (including the crafters who graciously passed on the towel when their schedules got too tricky). And thank you Jenny, for inspiring all of us!



Giveaway! To share a little bit of Jenny love with all of you, I'm giving away one each of Jenny's "greatest hits": a brand new Stitch-It Kit, Sublime Stitching book, and a Craft Pad. (So you have 3 chances to win!) Just leave a comment on this post to enter!

Edit 4/1/08: I just closed the comments on this post and will announce a winner very soon!

52 comments:

  1. What a cool thing to do!!! Her embroidery is so much fun - I just might have get out a few of her patterns this weekend and make a pillow or something. YAY!

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  2. Wow, that is so incredibly neat. What love and talent went into that towel! Amazing.

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  3. Love the tea towel. The stitching is just wonderful!

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  4. So cool. And I think there might be a variation of the "put me in your belly" in my kitchen very soon. ha.

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  5. Thanks for the great links and the introduction to Jenny!

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  6. She reason that I picked my embroidery needle back up again.

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  7. I love that little sandwich! And what a cool idea.

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  8. I've just started stitching and need all the help I can get so would love to win a book

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  9. I think that's an awesome project. I would totally have loved to participate in something like that. Maybe there should be a communal Flickr embroidery swap and/or communal thingie?

    Maybe then I'd actually start using all the floss I've got... (and yes, I'd like to win something too) :P

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  10. I love that towel! Everyone's stitching is gorgeous. Jenny definitely deserves such a great gift.

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  11. the towel turned out amazing! what a fabulous job everyone did. i have no doubt that something that involved the efforts of multiple crafters across the country means a lot to Jenny.
    funnily enough i now have the urge to finish off all my embroidery projects... :0)

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  12. This was a really great write up, Flor! <3

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  13. love the location map embroidery! Such an awesome tea towel that you all put together! I'm a big fan of SS to this was so fun to read :)

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  14. The tea towel looks wonderful, I love it.

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  15. Hi, I'd love any of the books.

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  16. this is such an inspiring take on the idea of a travelling journal! i have to say, reading your blog (and realizing that real people are behind these lovely stitches) makes me really want to learn how to do so myself.

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  17. Cool idea and great stitching!
    Is there international shipping? - if yes, count me in.

    Regards,
    Deepa

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  18. That tea towel is such a great idea. I LOVE the sublime stitching patterns and blame the book for getting me back into hand stitching (and forcing me to buy embroidery flosses again -- eeek!). Thanks for sharing the love!

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  19. Wow, talk about beautiful embroidery! So inspiring...and I just love this blog!

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  20. great tea towel, you all did an awesome job :)

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  21. I love how she brings new life into a timeless craft. Bravo!

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  22. What a special treasure for Jenny. The work is beautiful.

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  23. The tea towel is a great idea - and it's turning out so cool! Now, to re-learn how to do embroidery!

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  24. The Tea Towel project is wonderful,I learned about Jenny from Crafters as well.Her work was so amazing to me that I decided to learn to do embroidery.

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  25. Great idea to stich different ,often unusual motives in different colours.
    Tough or sweet -what e great creativity.
    Ulla

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  26. I´d LOVE to win one of these books!!! I love Jenny works!!! I hope it can be for foreigners as well...
    Once again: this blog is wonderful!!!

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  27. Loved this post. I bought some designs from Jenny a year or so ago - the chihauhas (sp?). The transfers are so neat and crisp, which made for easy marking and then embroidery. I think she started a hand embroidery revolution with all her quick and easy designs.

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  28. What a wonderful idea and what a great way for stitchers to make a connection! Hope to hear from Jenny in the future, maybe she could do a post ;)

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  29. woo!@ tjat so great! such a lovly project!
    i always wanted to take part is such project...

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  30. I started embroidering because I bought Jenny's kit. Super tea towel!

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  31. I had no idea the "secret" tea towel was for her. What a great idea for my embroidery idol!

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  32. Things like this make me think maybe not everyone is all bad. Y'all are awesome.

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  33. Jenny's awesome... a real kick in the pants to a 'quiet' craft :)

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  34. Very inspiring work ladies!

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  35. The tea towel is fab!! How wonderful to of been involved in something like that, its so inspiring!

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  36. I have her Sublime Stitching book and I love it! I learned how to embroidery after seeing her site. I never realized that embroidery is so easy, fun and cheap. I am shocked that anyone does machine embroidery after doing the hand stuff.

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  37. I love the traveling tea towel idea. What a great project. I have discovered embroidery again. Jennys books look so awasome. I would love to win it. lol.

    Keep up the great work and great inspriation.

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  38. Am i too late for the giveaway!!!!! I'm working on a pattern by Jenny right now. she is my hero.

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  39. What a sweet gift! Thanks for sharing the details of it with us. Sublime Stitching is part of the reason I took up embroidery 4 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. Jenny is such an inspiration!

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  40. How cool! What a great project! I'm definitely a fan of Jenny's amazing patterns. Please put me in for the drawing. I need some inspiration to finish up a cotton crazy quilt.

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  41. Yay! As an avid knitter, dyer and spinner, I never considered embroidery, despite having a large collection of embroidery floss saved from childhood (I made friendship bracelets obsessively!)
    Until I picked up Jenny's book at the library I thought embroidery was ducks and teddy bears and "decorative" and just not my pragmatic style. I'm no embroidery queen now, but I finally pulled out my old collection of floss, some tea towels and now have another craft on my list of things to do!
    Thanks Jenny and thanks to "Feeling Stitchy" for the constant inspiration!

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  42. Love the tea towel!!! Great giveaway!

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  43. Cute stuff! Please enter me in the running ;) HUGS!

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  44. Jenny's fun patterns were what got me interested in embroidery. Now I love it!

    Jessica
    http://www.funkyfinds.blogspot.com

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  45. So excited to be learning from the master herself on this blog! She has inspired so many of us to pick up needle and thread!

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  46. What a lovely idea (and giveaway)! It must have been difficult to keep such a neat project a secret! I love the variety of designs. :)

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  47. This was so much fun. I was so honored to be part of the towel making crew. I really think that these towel tours are going to take off. I'm so glad Jenny likes hers too!

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  48. That is an amazing idea! What a great way to bring crafters together. hmmm makes me want to start a colaborative crafting project...
    I love jenny's work and her go get it business sense.

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