– Done for now: Hearts for Charleston is heading to Massachusetts

After adding some more stitch to the horizontal strips …

 

and twenty cross stitches representing the children, young and grown, left behind by the nine who lost their lives at Emanuel …
this piece of Hearts for Charleston feels done …
I’ll sleep on it, of course. But the cloth is already so freighted with symbolism (intended and unintended alike) that it doesn’t feel right to add any more to it.

Thanks again to Dee Mallon for enabling me to take this journey through sadness and wonder. I have learned much along the way.

And to Deb Sposa’s students: art, craft, creativity (whatever name you choose to give it) has the potential to change you in ways you can’t imagine. It is worth every moment spent in pursuit of what you feel called to do.

– Listening to what cloth needs

I really didn’t know where to go next, but I knew I had two problems to solve. First, the reverse appliqué heart was buckled and needed to be stabilized. Second, the indigo pieces cut out of the heart needed to be placed somewhere, somehow. So I started pinning …

At first I thought perhaps I could stitch a ghost heart around the “I FORGIVE” piece. But the “died” piece in the middle of the reverse appliqué heart didn’t feel right. So I gathered the rest of the scraps together and tried to reassemble them into a heart shape …

realizing as I did so that there were nine scraps altogether if I included the smallest bit …
Note the whisper-thin shred on the upper right edge of the heart

However, after moving the pieces back and forth several times, some began to disintegrate, so I hastily pinned them where they were and began to baste. Then, thinking of Mo and her bandaged hearts, I stitched around the edge of the heart …
It reminded me of the torn and tattered heart made last year when I first began seriously studying with Jude Hill. Remembering the lesson learned, I didn’t try to tidy this new heart up … instead I let it speak of the loose ends of everyday life that the Emanuel Nine surely left behind.
Turning next to the reverse appliqué heart, I decided it needed a backing. Tearing a small patch of Salvia amistad cloth it occurred to me that it was about the right size for a label. So I wrote some text with a Pitt pen … twice. The first time just didn’t look right, so I tore another patch, re-wrote the text, then invisibly basted a piece of harem cloth to the back. After backstitching the text in blue, I used a traditional basting stitch to attach the patch to the back of the cloth. Following the lines left during the dyeing process, I made fine running and back stitches using white floss …


which went through to the front …

When it was done, I removed the basting threads from the back …


and turned to the front, where I discovered nine lines of stitch crossing the heart …

Life lines

What will come next isn’t yet clear, but I absolutely trust the process that has brought me safe thus far …


Overview of back
and that it will lead me home …

– Hearts for Charleston takes another step forward

The strips have all been basted down with backstitch …

Most edges were left raw, but some were turned under …
after which the heart was cut out free hand …
Behind the heart is a piece of muslin dyed with Salvia amistad

creating a reverse appliqué that can also be seen from the back …
The backing cloth was dyed with Thimble Flowers
It’s now time to consider how best to finish the cloth, including this piece of the heart …