Waiting for calm...


Had a lot of words about this once, but I am feeling more quiet at this moment.  I first spoke about this story cloth in a July post when I was working on a raggedy fabric collage for a workshop that Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth was teaching...now it is September and like the season, "Waiting for calm..."  has come to fruition.  Finished for now...words in place, beading done. 

I am grateful for teachers that encourage by their own doing/making/marking.  While I stepped out of anything comfortable for me on this one...pastels, PINKS!, newly learned stitches and soft combinations...it is exactly where I needed to be.  Calm was there.  So I followed it.

Started here...

journeyed this (other continent) direction...

ended here...

Hesitation can be an enemy.  It certainly is for me (let me count the ways).  I'm thinking we shouldn't underestimate the POWER of teachers to inspire!  At the risk of sounding trite, follow those pure notes (they give) that can make your heart sing.  Those notes have stories yet to be told...

Tell them.


Running with stitches...


Scraps.  Lots and lots of them.  Fabrics piled according to color are starting to commandeer an entire corner of my workroom.  Recycled, discarded, second-hands and third-hands, the entire lot has come from being something else.  This idea sits well with me and I think I could spend the rest of my life and never touch new cloth again.

Stitching a few bits & pieces together now, making "components" for use in the upcoming Cloth to Cloth workshop, taught by Jude Hill.  Still working with raw, torn edges...admitting here that I am completely smitten with all things frayed.  

Also smitten with the simple running stitch.  What a restful enterprise coming from a stitch named for so much movement!  Nosed around, trying to learn more about it & came upon this magnificent book:

Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal
from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz and the Stella Kramrisch Collections

It's the catalog from an exhibition I wish I hadn't missed, on display earlier in the year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  This is the first book-length study on kanthas published outside of South Asia - 304 pages of gloriously illustrated splendor.  More examples from the exhibition can be found on the museum site here

Some potent words from Darielle Mason, the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalyan Art, who organized the exhibition,

"Like American patchwork quilts, kanthas are about memory.
They connect families and generations and they connect
the present with the past.
The everyday lives of Bengali women were seldom recorded
prior to the late 20th century, so kanthas are often
the only surviving physical traces of women's presence,
and the only way their personal voices may be heard."


You're not in Kansas anymore...


Ventured off the usual blog path today and wrote a little story to go along with this photo...India is up to a bit of fun over on her blog and has set up quite the irresistible challenge to answer this question:  how in the world did that pile of wet AND burned laundry end up on the pavement?  Pop on over to read the stories ~ if you're in the mood for some chuckles, that's the place you wanna be!  

Here's my tale...

You're Not in Kansas Anymore

The Wicked Witch of the West was cruising around looking for trouble, a favored pastime. But the Fitzroy streets were quiet and her disgruntlement was brewing. Where was everyone? Safely ensconced in their tidy little houses, she suspected. With great disgust she fumed and grumbled obscenities to herself, all the while keeping close watch on the streets, itching for mayhem.

The she spied the open door. The launderette was deserted.

Ah ha! This could be the perfect opportunity to wash her colorful undergarments without anyone knowing. After all, she had a reputation to uphold. Having flown half way around the world, she hadn't realized how cold the winter would be in this Land of Oz so she had been forced to don several layers of girlie apparel under her voluminous black cape. Peach colored leggings, an aqua chamise, lavender knee socks, all worn by the meanest, baddest witch of them all?! This was a secret that must never be known.

Dashing quickly inside, the Wicked Witch chuckled to herself (in the evil way that only witches can do), propped her broom against the washer and felt secure in the knowledge that if spotted by any passerby she would surely be taken for the cleaning woman. She went about her task with feverish intensity.

Anxiety rose while the dryer spinned - it was now growing light outside. I must make haste, she thought, and without further ado, swung open the dryer door, removed all her pretties before they were completely dry, put them on and got as far as the doorway...and melted right there on the sidewalk.

Morale of the story: when you are the Wicked Witch of the West, lost in the Land of Oz, remember to dry clean only.


Mending with the blues


The other day over at her placeSpirit ClothJude was playing with gaps.  This got me to thinking about a few gaps of my own...

...ever thought about whether you are left-kneed or right-kneed?  Neither had I until I realized that ALL of my favorite jeans eventually look just like this -- a big hole in the left knee.  Never the right -- just the left.  Good to have things in ones life one can always count on, I suppose  ;>}

Pawing through the mending pile, the choice for the *sacrificial lamb* jeans was not the least bit difficult.  You should see the derriere on this pair...beyond hope I decided.  Off with its leg!

Thought it would be fun to just play with stitches, no particular goal in mind except to stop the drafts and add some reinforcement so out came a menagerie of embroidery thread recently gleaned from the local thrift store.  Ended up using every blue in the bag.

Kept the raggedy edges all 'round (I'm prone to that lately) although future laundering should fray them up nicely.  In the meantime, my favorite gardening jeans have a new lease on their days in the dirt.  Thanks to Jude for inspiring with her own particular style of "knee keepers."  

I love my new knee.  But look at that perfect RIGHT knee...what's up with that?!  One of life's mysteries.