Working The Land

Deb Sposa at Artisun asked to see a close-up of the stitches on The Land as the Crow Flies


At the time I replied that I wasn’t sure I wanted to show them …


because they’re not what I consider my “best work” …

But I reconsidered, because these pictures detail a learning process I want to remember. How the thrift store linen clothing, torn into strips, would not be held by Jude Hill’s invisible basting alone. Nor by kantha stitches worked in Deb Lacativa’s “Dirty Threads.” Only a final application of single-strand overcast stitch along all the raw edges finally effected a cloth that felt capable of fully being.

It will soon be done and shown it in its final state. But I will never again love it as much as I love it now, my hands traveling over its imperfections, working The Land.

15 thoughts on “Working The Land

  1. I love that farming analogy…working the land. Sewing has some of the same hands-on-working-with-what-you-have quality as farming. This particular cloth really fits with your always present engagement with the earth and your physical surroundings.

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  2. Dana – I usually consider stitching to be play, but this one has been a hard slog. Work is the right word for it. Fiona – It felt very tenuous for quite a long while, now there is strength in its fragilityNancy – The Land called and this was my responseVicky – For a time I was discouraged by how many stitches it was taking, now I anticipate missing them once they're done

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  3. This sings the land: colors of land and brush, the tatters/fringes sway like native grasses, the stiches are seeds, dropped into rows, randomly placed by wind; such an alive cloth that speaks to me of outer inner landscape. When I refer to inner landscape, I mean how one feels when working intimately with cloth that holds so much story of how we hold the land in our minds and heart. Simply, this is a cloth of acknowledgement and love.

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  4. Nancy and Vicky – I love the conversationMarti – my heart is so happy that you see the grasses, the seeds, and the wind! And yes, how “we hold the land in our minds and heart”

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  5. It's beautiful! I feel for you as I have the same problem with fraying edges with what I am working on now. I've decided to overcast them first because all the loose threads were driving me crazy. I hope I can one day make something as wonderful as yours. Are you on Instagram? I can't find you

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  6. Sue – thanks for the kind words. I’m afraid you won’t find me on Instagram as I’m an old-fashioned blogger in awe of those who manage to keep up with multiple platforms.

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  7. Sue – The Land is now done and hung … but this time not imprisoned in a frame so I can take it down and stitch some more if the spirit moves me

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  8. Dee – putting “best work” in quotes was a wry nudge to self … and thank you Deb – speaking of nudges, thanks for giving me one at a time when I was discouraged by what had become a slog. Ironically, as I finally approached the end, I found myself wishing it could last longer

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