Alaska woman rolls out 'Round-A-Day' project

KODIAK — If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a stitch a day yields a whole basket full of work.


On Wednesday, Bells Flats resident Natalie Trenery unveiled the product of almost two years as she showed off her Round-A-Day project. Each day for 365 consecutive days, Trenery embroidered a small pattern with her two hands.

Many Kodiak residents enjoy working with their hands, but few have the consistent dedication on display in the Kodiak College library.

“This is the last two years of my embroidery life,” Trenery said.

Her yearlong effort, documented daily on the blog, began in April 2011 and wrapped up last year. Until now, her intricate patterns have been seen in person only by friends and family.

Trenery, who took up embroidery about the time she moved to Kodiak three years ago with her husband and three children, said she was inspired to begin the daily project after seeing similar efforts on the Internet.

Each day, she stitched designs she sketched herself, saw in old books or copied from others. “I was inspired by old books and other people’s art,” she said.

Getting to the finish is the toughest part of a marathon, and Trenery said finding the motivation to keep up wasn’t always easy. “The last two months were a struggle,” she said.

Some of her designs are simple: Script text letters commemorate the birthdays of her children or husband. In others, she uses different colors to showcase the varying shades of a flower.

Her subjects varied from the things she saw every day — her sewing machine, for one — to the reproduction of a drawing by her young daughter. One of the rounds on display featured an anatomically correct heart ripped from the pages of an anatomy textbook. “I did so many regular hearts, I thought, ‘Why not a real one?’” Trenery said.

After the project wrapped up, Trenery took an eight-month break from embroidery. Now, she’s back to work with her latest project, embroidering the scenes from photographs she takes around Kodiak.

For a year, she took photographs of her daily patterns. Now, she’s doing it in reverse; embroidering what she sees in her photographs.

“I’m back to having something in my lap every day,” she said.


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