Ruth Chandler – stitch goddess

31 Mar

Ruth Chandler is a stitch goddess. She creates the most amazing stitch work and she inspires me!

She teaches at my shop Blue Twig Studio as well as at other national venues. She has a new book out called Modern Hand Stitching. And I am happy and proud to call her friend. I wanted to share an interview with her to help you get to know her better too.

Ruth Chandler

Ruth Chandler


When did you start creating art?  I started stitching at age 4. I learned hand stitching from our Japanese landlady – we would sit on the porch and stitch and eat mandarin oranges and Japanese crackers. I started by learning Sashiko and then added more stitches. It was a special time sitting and stitching together.

What other types of art or creativity have you done?  Mostly I have worked with fabrics. I learned to sew my own clothes and also to do quilting when I was very young. My first quilt was a hand appliqued, hand quilted, queensize Hawaiian style quilt – probably not the best choice for a first quilt! 🙂  But I have also done indigo dyeing and fiber arts. I have designed my own line of bags and created patterns and written books (she is also the co-author of Fabric Embellishing: the basics and beyond). While I have tried a few other art things, including a recent class on using PanPastels, I much prefer working with fabrics, textiles, fibers, and threads.

Who has inspired you the most?  Since I grew up in Japan, I am most inspired by the Japanese style of art. One of my favorite artists is Hiroshige, a Japanese artist from the 1800’s. I think the Japanese influence shows up in most of my art.

What are you doing now?  Japanese  Boro – an art form from the early 1600’s  (very wabi-sabi). It is kind of like recycling – never throwing anything away – using what you have – repairing instead of replacing.  (I am excited to tell you that we will be adding a class on this technique in the near future.)

Where have you taught classes?  Well of course here at Blue Twig Studio, but also at other  local quilt shops and guilds, Art & Soul mixed media art retreats, Houston IQF,  Textile Evolution retreat and on-line book study, and other shops across the country.

What are your favorite classes to teach?  The Stitch Play class because it opens people’s eyes to possibilities, and the dyeing class because you don’t know what the results are going to be and there are always happy surprises.

What would you like to learn?  My word for the year is EXPAND, so I am trying to expand my creativity by learning new techniques and styles and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Any other comments? I love to see what students do with what they learn in my classes. The students inspire me and that is why I love to teach.

You can find Ruth at Textile Evolution and at Ruth Chandler Designs Blog.

Ruth has several classes at Blue Twig Studio, including the Stitch Play class that goes along with the new book.  Not only do you learn a lot about hand stitching, but you make this really cute reference book (similar to the one Ruth is holding in the photo above).

You can buy her book here. And since I know her personally I can have her autograph the book for you.  We are also hosting a book signing party at Blue Twig Studio on April 12th, so if you are in the area stop by.


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918 – USA


3 Responses to “Ruth Chandler – stitch goddess”

  1. Josie April 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Thanks for an absorbing interview, great reading! I’m now off to research Japanese Boro x



  1. Modern Hand Stitching book review and a giveaway | Blue Twig Studio - April 7, 2014

    […] friend Ruth Chandler has a new book out called Modern Hand Stitching. I know I have mentioned that Ruth is a stitch goddess, and I truly mean that.  She does amazing hand stitch work and she makes it look so effortless and […]


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