– The Turquoise Trail revisited

Don and I have both been working on new assemblages, although his always seem to come together faster than mine …


In any case, I decided to go back to Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth 101 class, thinking that I now have a context for the various techniques.
Since I’ve wanted to create a series in Southwest colors for our dining room table, I gathered up some cloth, tore it into strips, and wove a base …


which I didn’t really like, but I wasn’t going to waste the strips, so I rearranged them a bit and decided to dye a blue blouse with Prairie Tea to make some turquoise for contrast.
But slipping the turquoise strips into the weave didn’t get me where I wanted to go, so I started making some pre-basted square patches. One and a half inches to a side seemed too big … one inch to a side seemed too small … one and two tenths ended up being just right.
Looking at my little stack of patches I thought, “The Turquoise Trail … of course!” And promptly went online to find a map to our first magical day in New Mexico …


Then arranged my patches …


and stitched them together with a rusty sun …
Which I didn’t like. Really …
So I unpinned everything and tried again …


Okay, better. For sure the snaking bits of cloth recalled the harrowing (for me) drive through twisting narrow roads. And the smaller bit of rust cloth had potential for a sun symbol.
So I stitched it all down …


and will think about how to finish it …


whilst helping my daughter pack for the move to their new home later this month.

22 thoughts on “– The Turquoise Trail revisited

  1. Wow Liz, I love this weaving. This cloth has captured the earthy, elemental drama that is New Mexico and it speaks so stunningly of the land, the feel of what happens when you come upon the land formations here, how your senses get overloaded and yet at the same time, connect to a serene,sacred, inner space. Both you and Don have such an eye for translating landscape into your assemblages.I so love that you put in the turquoise strips of cloth because, here, as well as in Texas, but more so in New Mexico and I can be a bit prejudiced in saying this because we did live in Texas for 3 yrs, the SKY has such a huge impact in living here. Obviously, the stone turquoise is also huge in the history and mythology of this place but I want to focus on the sky. How will you use this? Will it perhaps be centered on your dining room table anchored by some of Don's assemblages, candles, etc. or will you place it on your dining room wall, perhaps to signify a sense of place that truly enchants…


  2. Liz, I love your sensitivity to places and the cartography that shows movement through them. I'm also excited that this assemblage is aimed at the table, where it will create a place that draws your talents and memories into communal experience. Thank you also for showing your decision-making process….it is always fascinating.


  3. i had to come back this morning…too large, too small, and thenone and two~tenths……just right!had to come back to read this….oh my goodness. as my old LOVED friend used to say of me,you are a piece of work, Liz.


  4. Thank you for your wonderfully poetic thoughts … and in answer to your question: we have a dining table of beautiful wood that I am loath to cover. But I also don't want to damage it with heat or food. So, table mats to go under pottery trivets and serving dishes is what I am after. In a variety of sizes and colors. With placemats, eventually. Right now, I'm happily using repurposed quilted placemats in a beachy blue-green … but a southwest flavor will be a good change of pace.


  5. Funny you should say that … this has always been my vision of southwest colors. But after putting them together, I went back to the pictures we took in New Mexico and really, this combination isn't exactly it. So perhaps this series of cloths will record my changing perception of what southwest means to me, color-wise.


  6. When I embarked on this journey into slow cloth a year or so ago, I wondered where it would lead me … what my modus operandi would be. I think you've hit the nail on the head: it is in mapping things onto a grid that I am most comfortable. As for recording process, I would return the thanks as I very much enjoy reading your posts that show where you are headed, particularly in dyeing.


  7. You couldn't have said anything that would make me smile more broadly. \”A piece of work.\” Well, if you too answer to that call, than I consider myself to be in very good company.


  8. I have learned this from you … to show process, in the smallest of increments … although I am probably a tad more verbose, not trusting the pictures to tell the story. I am always learning and I love that.


  9. (Trying to get my comment to stick again…) The curve of roads and the tilt of the trail really brings movement and life to your piece.


  10. I seem to have trouble with leaving comments on blogspot blogs, this time had to click on publish a couple of times before the \”not a robot\” & publish again.


  11. Hi Dee,I keep landing on the \”hearts for Charleston\” like I am somehow meant to add one. I now live near Savannah and visit Charleston often, and feel a great connection. Last Sunday we were in Charleston and I noticed all the churches because they were so alive that day and said to my husband, that it could have been any one of these churches we were passing.Please let me know what to do.


  12. Liz…I was re-visiting your NM piece…the stripes came to my attention – I have quite a few striped remnants. The striping is a great focal point. Love this piece of your's. Blessings.


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