Right now, as best we can, we are looking for ways to ease anxiety. Scientific research shows the positive and calming effects that sewing, cooking, and hands-on making has on the brain. The meditative action of sewing reduces stress. It increases dopamine, the happiness hormone; it requires creativity—which improves the brain’s ability to grow new brain cells and ultimately promotes mental growth. It is therapeutic. Back in 2011, friend Amy Dufault, penned a series titled “Using Your Hands to Soothe the Brain” and shared a series of stories inspired by this blog post from Natalie. Let us use our hands.

We wrote yesterday about the devastation taking place in the food and beverage industry as restaurants shut their doors. Our storefront is currently closed (though our online store is open), and we know all too well of a slew other small business owners, including sewing studios and workshops, who are doing the same to protect against the spread of COVID-19. We look to find comfort in making and are exploring ways to connect digitally. Natalie teaches three sewing classes on Craftsy, which has a wealth of online classes. The School of Making is also host to a Stitch-along group on Facebook where makers share their projects, ideas, and inspiration.

Pick up a needle, crochet hook—whatever your preferred craft—and find time to sew with us #togetherapart. 

We continue with our regularly scheduled programing this week for The School of Making, which introduces a new color palette bundle—and endless project opportunities—for The Year of Color.

The Year of Color moves forward this year, as we challenge ourselves to explore color and look at color combinations from new points of view. Be sure to read back on Natalie’s original post for an in-depth look at the program.

Our year-long study continues with artist inspiration from Josef Albers and the introduction of a new color palette bundle. The second bundle reintroduces a retired color, Carmine, alongside Peacock, Plum, Dove, and Natural. We’re offering 2-yard cuts of these colors bundled together for deep design explorations. (Carmine is also available by the yard for a limited time.) Thread and Embroidery Floss bundles can be added to your color tool kit. You can utilize our 10” x 16” precut and stenciled Sample Swatches and our 5” x 5” Organic Cotton Swatches for embroidery, treatment, and color explorations. The swatches offer many new ways of looking at those colors and how they interact with one another.

The color palette is influenced by the paintings of Josef Albers from his series ‘Homage to the Square’ from the 1950s. Natalie has always found inspiration in his color theory dating back to her years in design school. Albers promoted the idea that color was important for interaction and exploration of human emotion. Putting colors in different contexts results in different perspectives. We are using our study to see how color can inspire us to create different things in new, experimental ways. Let us spend our days making, exploring, and resting.

Follow along and post your updates on social media using the hashtag #TSOM20in20 and #togetherapart. As we share our inspirations with you, we hope you will use those as you create your own pieces. And keep a lookout for more, as we introduce new inspirations and new colors.

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