Story cloth...


...a bit of a departure for me, this kind of stitching, this kind of story telling.  Actually, it's more than a departure - I think this is a new path.  

There's a marvelous phenomenon happening within the cyber world...online workshops.  Artists are generously sharing their knowledge & experience through the computer these days.  If not for opportunities like this, I probably would never have the chance to learn about telling stories with cloth from a textile artist like Jude Hill.  Spirit Cloth is her blog, an inspiring place to visit and learn.

The 'Spirit Cloth' workshop is over now, but I am still (along with several others) finishing my piece.

Oh my, what I am learning!  I started out wanting to teach my hands to stitch.  And this is indeed happening.  What is also happening is learning the language of cloth...how different fabrics *sit* with each other, how edges speak...or shout, how moods can be created with piecing techniques and how texture lends personality.

My story cloth is also a sampler of sorts, as I've never before done any kind of quilting and I wanted to experiment with all that Jude had on offer.  I am even going to add words, something I mentioned in class that I have always avoided.  Just because I want to break some of my own rules - try on a new dress of a different color  :>]

All the cloth I'm using has been repurposed from something else.  Old shirts, blouses, stained linens, a torn skirt, and a discarded pillow case are included in this making.  Also, precious bits & pieces from blog friends in other parts of the world...Teresa's natural dye fragments from Australia...pink avocado-dyed sheers from Heike at Gerdiary, in Germany...Diane's amazing embroidery thread, all the way from France.

Working style for our class was completely improvisational.  There was/is no plan.  I didn't even have a story to begin with, just a jumble of cloth pieces waiting to tell me where they wanted to go.  And then the story did begin and the cloth went through several permutations.  This way of working is exactly like improvisational bead embroidery (my first love) and the entire reason I wanted to learn how to make story cloth bases.  Because for me, its all about creating landscapes where beads will live...


Now, a bit more stitching to do, words to collage into place, and then on to the beadwork...

Here are a few other stories that came from our workshop, each unique and WONDERFUL.
Susan C.
Linda S.

Till next time friends,


  1. this is gorgeous... especially the idea of the sewing circle that reaches around the whirled
    and i would have signed up myself but for being caught up by an other whirlwind at the time.

    Jude has worked out a brilliant way of sharing and teaching without having to rack up the airmiles. the miracle is that her joyful spirit seems to be able to navigate through the interpixies and emerge intact on the other side
    just wonderful.

  2. Wonderful Cloth!! You are right about all the classes there are. I am drooling over some by Susan Sorrell. But, winter is my stay in and play time.

    Glad you enjoyed this new venture. Ain't life grand!!

  3. I love what you are creating here. Wish I had taken that class, maybe next time. I am sure you will continue to have fun with this new endeavor and I'm going to be watching to see what you show us next.

  4. This cloth is coming along so beautifully...I love the title...looking forward to watching its evolution...also..thanks for the mention:)

  5. It was indeed an excellent class, allowing our cloths to grow from tiny seeds into this glorious blossoming cloth.

  6. I love your story cloth. It is beautiful and a real pleasure to find as I browsed the blogs with my early cup of tea.

  7. Concept, colors, stitches, textures... all fabulous!!! I use that word too much... it's not sufficient for this story cloth. I'm soooooooooooo curioius about the words... where and what they'll be. Isn't stitching the most healing thing??? Beads or thread... I love it!

    Robin A.

  8. I love your piece! It's soft, welcoming and just waiting for a few beads to nestle gently in the folds.

  9. christi, i just love everything about this! the colors are so calming and peaceful. each piece of fabric has fit into just the perfect place. each of the patterns compliments all the others so well. i look at work like this and get so envious of the talents i see, wishing i could create something as unique and beautiful. outstanding!

  10. beautiful Christi, and yes "landscapes where beads will live" is just right, i can really see that...k.

  11. Christi, this turned out to be lovely! I feel the intangibles we
    learned wove inbetween the techniques and have made me see
    more possibilities. Jude's a born

  12. Oh, I so love the colors you've used, the way you've put the fabrics together - everything about this is just scrumptious!

  13. Oh my! I love this, your gentle colours,grateful words and your enthusiastic talent. It's such a treat to read and to look at!

  14. this is interesting, I like the different textures here - and the combination of the colors and the movement of the pieces.

  15. wow what a departure ! Lovely - I am on Jude's Beasts workshop but haven't started yet because of a holiday - I hope there's time to begin tomorrow...

  16. Hello Christi,
    I just love your story cloth, and the way that all of the textures and the designs have come together. I had never thought of using my batik spirals in such a creative way. And thanks so much for the mention.

    Have just returned home after a month away with family, and hope that things here are back to normal soon


  17. Hey, I´m glad I discovered this (late, but not too late... ;) - it´s wonderful... thank you for bringing my pink scraps to such an inspired, beautiful use... (+ I´m very much looking forward now to see what you do with the Mottled Mauve...)

  18. I love this new path, and the work is gorgeous. My friend Joei of Art That's Felt took the class too and I just love all the pieces I have seen from it. I really like the colors and shapes in your piece.

  19. Many thanks for all the wonderful comments...they mean the world. It's always a bit unnerving to veer over to an unknown path...your words bolster me. Thank you so, so much.

    India ~ yes, exactly! This sewing circle round the whirled has taken on great meaning and I'm quite captivated by what is happening...

    Robin ~ it was you that first I learned from, the healing power of stitching tiny beads onto fabric. For this I will be eternally grateful, my friend.

  20. i am working on a small chenille blanket and your piece has developed the wonderful look of chenille. beautiful colors, design and stitching.

  21. christine
    i really like this piece.. i also love those spirals. they are the heart of everything.
    also thanks for including me on your blog. it feels like our community is so special. i love being here.

    1. You are more than welcome, Linda and you are sooooo right....very very special indeed.