Stitching Locally with Aaron Sanders Head

Led By: Aaron Sanders Head
Suggested Donation: $410

Tuesday, 14 May – Friday, 17 May 2019

This four day workshop will explore the capabilities that textiles have to connect us with our environment. Using local materials as dyestuff, participants will dye thread and fabric for use in stitching Sashiko-inspired patterns that reflect the surroundings at Holy Cross Monastery. Participants will leave with stitched swatches, as well as the skills to apply these techniques at home to further connect with their surroundings.


May 14 – Arrivals, get to know each other that evening

May 15 – We will walk the grounds and gather dye materials, as well as use kitchen scraps for dyeing. Participants will learn how to use these dyes on thread and fabric, and learn to identify potential dye plants in their home landscapes. We’ll spend the afternoon dyeing plenty of thread and fabric for stitching.

May 16 – Participants will learn the basics of hand stitching. We will begin by introducing the techniques and history of Sashiko. Then, participants will learn to bend those rules to find their own stitching voice. We’ll spend the afternoon stitching geometric, stylized patterns inspired by features of the Hudson Valley landscape, and the architecture of the monastery, using the thread and fabric dyed from the day before.

May 17 – Participants will learn to take features of the landscape around them, and design their own stylized geometric patterns. By using their surroundings as the physical materials for dye, as well as the inspiration for their patterns, participants will learn a new way to forge a bond with nature and their surroundings.

Aaron Sanders Head is a curator, writer, and traveling, teaching artist based in Nashville, TN. His work personal work investigates, restores, and reinterprets historical textile practices, with a focus on natural dyes, handiwork, hand-mending and hand-stitching. Aaron explores the intersections of practices of the past with contemporary craft, and the ways that sewing and textile arts can aid in increasing diversity and representation in the creative class. You can find him online at