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.

On the eve of the lunar eclipse

I woke at five this morning, as I often do, to find moonlight streaming in our west bedroom window. Putting on my glasses, I found the almost-full moon too bright to look at directly.

Tomorrow will be different. As I write this, the sun is chasing the moon westward to Australia, where the earth will step between the two, thereby creating a shadowmoon that will dance its way around the world.
So my thoughts are much with the kindred spirits down under, where the summer sun reigns and the shadowmoon will be at its fullest. 
Mo, who so faithfully records the full moon on her blog
Barry, whose peace gifts 
are such a wonder …

Fiona, one of whose letterpress postcards
has flown here …

to join with other paper treasures from her hand …

And because I didn’t want to mar the postcard with my less-than-satisfactory machine stitching, I opted to slow stitch this time …

to much better effect methinks …

And then there’s India Flint, 
who was a major inspiration in my eco-dye trials, some of which were more …
or less successful …

but which play quite nicely together …

and will join these tea bag squares as I participate her upcoming online bagstories project …

There’s more, but I will keep silent for now except to note this sign just appeared next door …

Need

I sat with the cloth, The Land as the Crow Flies, for a long time. Hours I think. Looking at it, trying to figure out what it needed. Well, I knew actually, it just wasn’t what I wanted to know.

It needed to be quilted. The raw edges of the linen, even after multiple passes of Jude’s glue stitch, were simply too unstable.
I had already stitched the elevations of the land in the upper and lower corners, so those became the points between which I drew a single line and began stitching …

Kantha, one strand of Deb Lacativa’s magic floss (sorry Deb, it’s too beautiful to call it “dirty”) and one strand of variegated floss. Greens and golds above shading down into browns and grays below …

The lines running in the direction the water flows through the land during heavy rains, from 1015 feet of elevation down to 994 feet … a 20 foot drop over less than 1000 feet.
No wonder the flood plain becomes a river …

Then I added up the elevations, because that’s how my mind works. 
          1015 + 994 = 2009
2009, the year we came to Texas.
It’s magic.