Story Cloth: a beginning?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what stories I want to tell and how cloth might be a part of that. This is where it ended up today …

And here’s how I got there.

I’ve been reading Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth blog from the beginning … again. This time with more insight and the intention of taking notes with Jude’s words on the right and my responses to them on the left …

My all-time favorite cloth (to date) is Remember 2016, with a patch for each day of the year I turned 60. It currently lives on the back of a chair where I can see it every day …

Many of the patches hold words and I realized how much they are a part of my way. So I went to my boxes of cloth looking for these scraps of my mom’s shirt …

It was a simple, printed cotton, button-down shirt … one I claimed from my parents’ house on Shelter Island after my mom died in 2008. I wore it as a nightshirt for years, until it began to fall apart. Then I began to use it in paperless pieced cloth

a technique learned from Jude.

For this new project, I chose a piece of cloth from the worn elbow, one that had a flaw in it, and pondered what to write …

The pen I used has a pleasingly fine tip, but an annoying habit of vaporizing so quickly that it has to be reapplied again and again …

I chose to stitch the letters in creamy white silk, remembering this picture from Meg’s graduation in 2005, just before mom became debilitated by the cerebral vasculitis that would not be diagnosed until after her death …

Then I moved on to a second patch, inspired by this picture of Meg’s daughter, Parker …

She’s holding a miniature towel I made for the play kitchen her parents got for her second birthday, hence …

Dyed thread by Deb Lacativa

After stitching the words (and I’m feeling a bit rusty as it’s been a while), I pieced the two patches together with an overcast seam …

thereby joining the generations from my mom to my granddaughter …

A perfect pairing …

Sampling a life in stitches, 2018

I recently joined the Fiber Artists of San Antonio (FASA) and volunteered to do a five minute “show and tell” at the April meeting. Only five minutes?! Anyway, I decided to (try to) do a sampling of how my work has changed over the years, beginning with how I learned to stitch as a kid and the last kit I ever did when I was in college …

The Chase Sampler, 1970s

Then moving on to my time as the Needleworker for Colonial Williamsburg in the early 1980s, when I taught students how to stitch silk on linen samplers …

 

while making canvaswork …

and marking linens  …

Followed by my library career days, when I only made time to stitch when on vacation …

as recounted in the post Sampling life: a family in stitches.

Culminating with my retirement, when I realized that cross stitch samplers were no longer what I wanted to do, after one last go at it …

But I’m most looking forward to recounting how I found Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth and a lively blog community of stitchers: the Kindred Spirits who have sustained me ever since (many of their blogs can be found in the right side bar). Jude’s online workshop Spirit Cloth 101 led to the creation of my now preferred modus operandi, which I refer to as “patchplay” …

the development of which was documented during the creation of Prairie-tea-dyed cloth Land of Flood and Drought 2015 (best understood by going to the end of the 19 or so posts and reading them chronologically).

That in turn led me to Remember 2016, my favorite sampler to date, which shows the way I now learn by playing …

 

one day at a time …

And so it continues …

bagstories