Hanging Thread Gallery

Hanging Thread is a rotating exhibition space at San Francisco School of Needlework & Design.
Current gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm

Current Exhibition

Ad-Libbed Sampler Quilts: A Series of Improvisations 2007-2019
by Judith Epstein-Williams
March 7 – April 18, 2020

Inspired by Gee’s Bend and Japanese Boro, Judith’s casual approach to quilt-making is demonstrated in this series of quilts and applique designs from 2007 to the present. By exploring individual ideas of color, texture and shape, and then combining them into larger pieces, this exhibit shows a progression of theme and variation through textiles over the course of more than a decade.

Previous Exhibitions

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Healing and Reflection
February 1 – February 29, 2020

This Stitch-at-Home Challenge explores the concepts of healing as an art, art as a healer, and the artist as healer. With patience, reflection, love, courage, creativity, and wisdom, heal and heal others with your artistic statement. Because, what we all want is to be alive, to be awake, to embrace and to embraced, and to live life fully. Reflect and heal.

Azita Farshin
November 16 – December 23, 2019
Azita Farshin takes her inspiration from contemplating nature, animals, plants and especially birds. She is motivated by the colors of nature, and enjoys creating art that complements and enlivens the home environment.

Margaret Timbrell
October 12 – November 15, 2019
“In 2019 I am running 1000 miles for the Running Stitches series. I’m doing this because a decade ago I was run over by a cement truck. I should have died but, very luckily, didn’t. I run these miles to create maps. I then stitch these into monthly composite maps, and my stitch. I incorporate bibs on the back of the work as signature, while embroidering my sponsor logos along the bottom of the maps. Generally, the color of the floss coordinates with the date on which I ran the route with the exception of May. I wore the May fabric during my runs then grew crystals on the finished piece.”

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Talisman
August 31-October 5, 2019

For our tenth Stitch-at-Home Challenge, please consider the world of Talismans. What items in your experience possess power, bring you luck, or hold innate value? Symbols carved into surfaces of a wall, glittering amulets worn against the skin, or regal sculptures of watchful animals.

Leah Silverwood, 2019

Javiera Campos, 2019

Hanging Thread: Katie Strachan’s This Lovely Green
July 8–August 24, 2019

This exhibition features stumpwork and goldwork by Katie Strachan. Katie’s work involves literary themes; she is inspired by Marvell’s poem The Garden,most particularly his “green thought in a green shade,” and incorporates this inspiration into her embroideries. This exhibition will display casket panel embroideries, a casket interior with accessories, stumpwork mirror and jewelry box, and some smaller pieces including casket toys and needlework accessories.

Social Justice Sewing Academy
June 8–July 5, 2019

Founded in 2017, the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) is a youth-driven education program that bridges artistic expression and activism to advocate for social justice. SJSA empowers young people to become agents of social change by using textile art as a vehicle for personal transformation and community cohesion. Through a series of hands-on workshops in schools, prisons, and community centers across the country, many of our artists create art that explores issues of gender discrimination, mass incarceration, gentrification and more. The powerful imagery youth create in cloth tells their stories, and these quilt blocks are then sent to volunteers around the world to embellish and embroider before being sewn together into quilts. This visual dialogue bridges differences in race, age and socioeconomics and sparks conversations and action in households across the country. This visual dialogue bridges differences in race, age, and socioeconomics, igniting a social revolution for change.

Audrey Bernier, Exit Wound, 2018

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Borders
May 4 – June 5

These needlework pieces explore the idea of ‘borders.’ Borders are both metaphorical and literal, fixed and fluid. Internal boundaries delineate our moods and protect us from threat; external borders serve to define lands, politics, cultures and linguistic variations. They can take the form of whitework edging on a handkerchief, change in thread color from one square of cross-stitch to the next, integrate meeting points, the corners of an embroidered vertical and horizontal border, or the blending of languages, customs, and cuisines in border towns. Hanging Thread is a rotating exhibition space at San Francisco School of Needlework & Design. Admission is free. Selected works will travel to the San Jose Museum of Quilt & Textiles from July 31 – October 13, 2019

Anda Saylor
March 20 – April 27, 2019
These pieces by Anda Saylor explore the intersection of the expansive and the particular through portrait drawings, installation, embroidery and fiber sculpture. She seeks to inspire people to be creative and to cultivate the energy of connection around us, within us and between us.

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Make Do & Mend
February 1 – March 15, 2019
For this Stitch-at-Home Challenge, we asked our participants to consider their relationship with use and reuse. We asked them to mend, reclaim, repurpose, assemble, thrift, and blend.
Challengers addressed various themes: fast fashion, our relationship to clothes, and textile pollution and waste, the handworker economy. Like the informational pamphlet, Make Do and Mend, released by the British Ministry of Information during the resource scarcity of World War II, participants considered how to salvage, darn, and make new.

Goldwork and Surface Embroidery Display
December 15, 2018 – January 26, 2019
This exhibit featured examples of traditional and contemporary needlework from SNAD’s private textile collection. Serving as inspiration for our upcoming Comprehensive Studies in Hand Embroidery program, this spread displayed examples of both metalwork and surface embroidery, ranging in technique.

Quiet Island: A Hand-Embroidered Travelog
October 6 – November 7, 2018
Lucy Childs’ embroidered series “Quiet Island,” which includes artist’s books and wall pieces, began in 2015.  Quiet Island is an imaginary location meant for escapes, musings, or meditations. Find Quiet Island within the sweep of the North Atlantic Drift of the Gulf Stream and inside that arm of land which provides shelter from hurricanes and seasonal storms that hit most everywhere else nearby.  And, during a daydream, explore its meadows or beaches, lunch or gossip at the cafe (the menu is yours), breathe island air, feel its temperatures, listen to sounds; it’s all up to you. In this show, “Quiet Island: A Hand-Embroidered Travelog,” one finds island maps, residential and animal-track maps, island scenes, written narratives, and found pages from a book published in 1905.

Stitch-at-Home Challenge: Burlesque
September 1 – September 29, 2018
For our seventh Stitch-at-Home Challenge, 120 artists from 20 countries responded to the theme ‘Burlesque,’ pushed themselves to create something new, and produced unique, wacky, and fantastic artwork. The idea of ‘Burlesque’ has a long and varied history, and is defined, ‘an absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody.’

This Challenge is intended to pull out the whimsical, the subversive, and the exaggerated parts of ourselves and our world. Throughout time, people have been responding to experiences that bump up against their sensibilities, that provoke a feeling of ridiculousness, frustration, or celebration. How do we reframe, exaggerate, or explode these feelings? Where do we find outrageous joy? Just like the Kreinik threads included in every submission, we create contrast and we react boldly.

Laura Tandeske
Based in San Leandro, California, Laura Tandeske worked as the artist-in-residence at the Paschal-Hunter Gallery in Oakland. Her colorful and intricate work, which she encourages viewers to interact with, includes embroidery, mosaic, crochet, glass, and painting. Laura made the various embroidered garments in this exhibition between 1980 and 2017, the jackets being the more recent undertakings.


Gillian Creelman
June 1 – August 31, 2018
Gillian attended the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in Kensington, London in the early 1950s. Her nearly complete portfolio documenting three years of intense coursework, including needlework samplers, paintings, sketches, and journals are an historic testament to a centuries old tradition of needlework education.
The RSN syllabus was wide-ranging. Students learned the traditions of heraldry and ecclesiastic embroidery, studied from nature and art history, and underwent examinations. Needlework techniques like fine whitework, goldwork, opus anglicanum, laid work, and long and short stitches were taught with precision and intricacy.
Gillian now lives in Maine. She has generously donated her RSN portfolio to SNAD, sharing with us important teaching aids and examples of remarkable artwork and embroidery.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Coming soon.