I dream of a world where love is the answer…

One of the beautiful and powerful aspects of blogging, and of following artists blogs, occur when opportunities are offered to join circles of stitchers from around the world. For me, Mo Crow is one strong articulate creative woman who I love to follow. She inspires me greatly.

So – when the opportunity came up to be involved in Mo’s work, I jumped in eagerly! This is the work and some detail about it – ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer‘ – Wander and browse if you haven’t already.. there are plenty of rich details and narratives to follow…

My piece, my pennant of the gifted wedding dress arrived in the post, and – as ever – I thought for a long time about it. Ideas in gestation – embryonic but growing, always with the same seed of beginning, lots of musing. It took me a season to think it over. Mo talks often of the moon, we link up talking about the moon – it is a strong common thread for us. I decided to steep the dress fragment in a solar bath and a moon bath from Beltane to Solstice. I wanted to send Mo something that had weathered, had absorbed our rays, was imbued with a sense of place different to where it will be, but deeply connected – from the northern hemisphere to southern..

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The dandelion – sun and moon together, from the flower to the seedhead.

The jar warmed outside in my garden in the sun, was cooled inside on my kitchen table by the moon. I carried it in and out, watching it carefully. When I finally opened it at Beltane it was warm in my hands from the sun and the lid whispered as I released it. Two bees came to look and we always have crows overhead. The cloth had taken on a subtle ‘barely there’ colour. I knew this would be the case as it is a ‘synthetic’,  for me that was part of my thinking about what Mo calls our ‘beautiful broken world’ – would it respond, could it change? It took colour, gentle but there…

And so, as Autumn colour develops outside, I laid out the piece on my table. I found the words ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer’ echoing and circling in my mind for months. On the bus, out walking, I repeated them in sequence, out of sequence, in a rhythm.. and the final piece reflects this.

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The backing cloth is silk organza dyed with woad. The magical moments of pulling the cloth from the dye never fail to excite me, the yellow is dandelion solar dye.

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The thread was a gift from my wonderful friend Kay Swancutt .

And the stitch that holds it all together? French knots are a vital and enduring part of  my stitch language. For me they are about thoughts, they are a tactile embodiment of these, they are like prayer beads..

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So, it wings its way to Mo to be part of the ‘gathering’, to join the circle. Go well little piece, play your part in mending our world. And a heartfelt thank you to Mo for your inspired work, your integrity and your creative spirit, hands and heart…

 

 

 

 

 

new year, new mend

Uh oh – where have I been?!

Balancing….

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Remember this… jeans mending piece

Well , it seems to be attracting alot of interest! I find this heartening.

It always feels natural and easy working on denims – patching, mending, stitching, embroidering, creating something with a deeper beauty whilst protecting it, saving it from falling apart. It has lead a full life, shows the signs, the places of strain as well as tears.

So – in looking, suddenly I notice the full subtle colours of the threads, the softness of the cloth through wear. I want to hold on to this.

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To back the tears with bursts of colour, to stitch the layers with rhythm and balance

and add something.

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I want to thank someone special too – for her inspiration, and a practical note about blanket stitch! Have a look at http://daintytime.net/2012/12/15/faq-mending-binding/

Thanks Sherri Lynn!

pieced and patched comfort…


Not originally a family quilt this one I hold close

So loved and pre-loved  …

It is threadbare – worn, faded, torn – the wadding showing through, so beautifully soft to touch – those are the qualities I treasure. The colours are delicate and subtle, mixed with strong indigo blues.. The piecing is balanced, soothing but always offering interest where the eye rests..

When I was a child and ill, I would lie on a sofa by the fire wrapped in a quilt or eiderdown

I used to gaze at the patterns and colours and stitching. I find I still do.

The quilting, in white cotton thread, is so rhythmic, so meditative. And then, on the borders, best seen from the back, the stitching flows – how it flows!

Mending..

Ever since going to The Big Mend last time (see here) I have dreamed of patching my beloved jeans!

I saw the Liberty Lawn patching ideas from Scrapiana and it was the perfect match of wanting to mend and revitalise my jeans; try a stitch technique, and use some precious  Liberty Lawn. 

There was a mend already along the tears – see the blue perle thread ladders! The patch now peeps through – the inside against my skin consists of Lawn and soft perle thread. Liberty Lawn was a favourite of my mother’s (see here and other posts on ‘a delicate rhythm’)

I like the stitch -a sachiko stitch – a kind of kantha almost with it’s added rippling texture. I started doing a running stitch and mixed it with a stepped stitch so the strands at the back are not so long – a process of learning as I went along as usual!

I realise whilst working on it that there are many links to my practice, many deeper layers – loose threads (can’t bear to tidy those around the tear), rhythmic stitch, texture, the hidden (in this case back of the work), extending connections … I also noticed the texture of Lawn and Denim, the changes to the Denim from wear (bleached, softly threadbare balanced with deeper blue and strong weave).

Mending these brought my attention back to pausing and really looking at this clothing – feeling it differently, valuing it deeply….

I found a wonderful post today which links to this – have a look at ‘the unpredictable geography of mending, Sherri Lynn Wood

the big mend

Remember this?! Well The Big Mend with Scrapiana was such fun! A monthly mending get-together – and last night some ingenious, inspiring jeans mending and patching – see here for the ‘Liberty knee repair sachiko style’, ‘square spiral jeans mend’ and ‘red scribble jeans mend’  and Scrapiana’s beauty here… got to try sometime with my 2 most precious, faded and ripped pairs!

So – what did I take?

I took a favourite blue merino jersey of my mother’s – she would buy just one new one every couple of years from the same maker to keep her warm (loved the soft feel and lightness) and was always excited to order a new colour or style – I have so many pictures in my head of her in these.. and, yes I do wear them!

This one has a few threadbare places and one hole…

So – I have always been a bit nervous of darning and this idea of needle-weaving a patch to sew on is just so clever – see Eirlys’ samples on the left there!

Alison was there too and she did some amazing darning in singing colours and stitches..

Will look forward to the next one.