Last year in November, my daughter, Andrea, and I attended a relaxing retreat in Blowing Rock, NC, in the mountains near Asheville. The retreat, focusing on fabric designs and stitching, was led by Susan Brubaker Knapp and Lyric Kinard. In an introductory session meant for us to get acquainted and just relax, Susan taught us about sashiko stitching, providing us with a tie-dyed denim apron. We traced designs onto the fabric, sitting, stitching and visiting for an afternoon while enjoying the beautiful scenery in the gardens surrounding the mountain retreat. Sashiko is a Japanese stitch which literally means “little stabs”. The simple black stitches that outline the scissor shape in the photo above are sashiko. In Japan, it was a utilitarian stitch used to reinforce worn areas on clothing. Here it is done mostly for decorative purposes. Now that I am laid up recovering from a full knee replacement, this studio apron is “just the ticket” to keep me occupied while watching endless hours of TV. I could also read one of the novels piled on my reading table, but trying to read only puts me to sleep. When the apron is finished, it will be my “studio” apron with a pocket to hold supplies I want close at hand. Meanwhile, it is a cheery project to keep me sane. When I pick it up, I remember the peace, quiet and revery enjoyed on our retreat weekend last year. Andrea, we have to plan another one of those retreats as soon as possible!