Inspiration

Stitch Meditation – Day 51 and 52

Hand dyed cotton, perle cotton

Two stitch meditation squares featuring shades of green and turquoise. I see warm Caribbean waters, palm trees and miles of sandy beaches! Wishing I could escape the cold, dark days.

Coarse white linen, hand dyed pink, green, indigo shibori linen

The current situation in the world has made relaxing and stitching thoughtfully even more important. But, also more difficult. Your mind has difficulty focusing. I find that focusing by listening to a podcast can help. Two of the podcasts I’ve been listening to deal with art, artists and the business of creating and selling art. They are conversations between friends and interviews with other creatives. What are you listening to?

Stitch Resources

  • Podcast: Laura Horn Art Podcast – Helping artist to build their skills, confidence and creative style.
  • Podcast: Art Juice – The podcast for artists, aspiring creatives and art lovers

Listening for focus – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 49 and 50

Two stitch meditation squares featuring shades of green and turquoise. I see warm Caribbean waters, palm trees and miles of sandy beaches! Wishing I could escape the cold, dark days.

Repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton, sari silk, silk ribbon, perle cotton
embroidered for the 100 day stitch meditation project repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton
Repurposed sari silk, cotton and silk batik, hand dyed cotton, cotton thread

Stitch Resources

  • Article: Wax, Melinda. Meditation on a Simple Stitch. (2013)

Creating with the light on – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 47 and 48

Why does time move more quickly as you get older. I find myself running out of time to do the things I really enjoy. But, I am finding time to work on other (unnecessary) projects and daily housework more and more. So, I spend less time on the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project than I had expected when I first started. It certainly hasn’t become a focus of my down time! Read about the 2 Argentinian artists who have made their entire life about hand embroidery and sharing everything in their lives together. The projects they hand embroider take years to complete!

pink and blue strips of fabric with a blue patch and flap hand stitched on top by doris lovaidna-lee toronto artist

The other article I read from Selvedge Magazine is about an exhibition of work: “of seven pioneering women who went against all established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and international public collections of textiles in the UK today.” So many beautiful pieces of hand work!

ombre shades of blue strips with hand stitching and one small darker square of silk in top left corner made by doris lovadina-lee canadian textile artist

Stitch Resources

  • Blogpost: Hewitt, Bonnie Burstein. Argentinian Artists Stitch Their World Together at Lux. Encinitas Advocate. 27 Jan. 2020
  • Blogpost: Unbound Visionary Women. Selvedge Magazine. 25 Jan. 2020.

Simply creating – One stitch at a time!

Starting Stitch Meditations – Again and Again

Traditional meditations are not easy to explain or learn. It’s a process of bringing your mind back to noticing your breath when it wanders. This is one explanation that I can understand. I know my mind wanders – did I lock the door, what should I make for dinner, do I need groceries …. on and on until I’ve planned the entire meal and cleaned up too!

green batik dyed fabric, black and green silk, embroidered for 100 day stitch meditation journey
Repurposed silk, batik dyed cotton, silk and cotton batik, hand dyed perle cotton

So too, I’ve let my time and energy for stitch meditations wander away from me. There are things out of our control that impact our lives. It’s important not to give up though, to stop wandering and settle down – back to noticing each stitch. Again and again!

Stitch Meditation – Day 45 and 46

blue wool scquare embroidered with running stitches in hand dyed blue and yellow thread by doris lovadinalee canadian quilter
Indigo dyed wool, hand dyed embroidery floss
red, black and yellow fabric embroidered with black and yellow running and cross stitches and red silk ribbon with french knots
Hand dyed red, yellow and black cotton, perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Blogpost: Grinnell, Kate. (October 09, 2019) Meditative Stitching and Storytelling Retrieved from Selvedge Magazine.

Quietly sitting and reflecting – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 43 and 44

yellow and green scraps embroidered with running and cross stiches with handdyed perle cotton stitched by doris lovadina lee toronto artist
Repurposed silk, hand dyed canvas, hand dyed perle cotton
red, grey and black fabric held together with red and black embroidery stitches by doris lovadina-lee toronto artist
Hand dyed cotton, commercial cotton and hand dyed perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Article: Vercillo, Kathryn. 5 Craft Therapy Books to Learn About Handmade Healing
  • Bibliography: Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who also has a Masters in Psychological Studies. Her expertise is writing at the intersection of crafts and mental health. Kathryn is the author of several books on this topic including Crochet Saved My Life.

Creating for health – One stitch at a time!

Venetian mosaic – sashing, borders, bosses, and cornerstones!

I am creating the 6 inch squares that will be placed in each corner of the sashing and border of the quilt. This means that I am almost, almost ready to start making a sandwich of each quadrant in preparation of machine quilting.

Next Steps:

  • Cutting sashing and border fabric
  • Stitching the cornerstones or bosses
  • Stitching the border to quadrants
  • Stitching part of the sashing to each quadrant
  • Pressing the backing and top
  • Making a sandwich
  • Machine quilting each quadrant
  • Joining each quadrant to make the finished top
  • More quilting in border and sashing
  • Blocking
  • Binding
  • Label

In the photo below I am still working on the triangle shapes and trying to decide if they need a border. Of course they did! There was more work and stitching ahead!

The photo shows the drafting process to make six inch square mosaic tiles that will be placed at the intersection of border and sashing.

I wasn’t planning on such a large quilt. I guess this is what happens when you design as you go! It has evolved to be what it needs to be.

Stitch Meditation – Day 41 and 42

The colours of this stitch meditation are rich and luscious! The hand dyed hot pink varying slightly making it just a little bit more interesting than a flat colour. Layers of black knots tying it in with the darker gray cotton. The piece of repurposed silk sari fabric has a shimmer of pink while also tying into the lighter grey. It is tied together with the hand dyed pink perle cotton. I don’t usually sit back and study the piece I’ve stitched to analyze why it works. Having the time and perspective makes you realize that following your instincts can lead you in the right direction.

shades of grey, hot pink and iridescent blue scraps embroidered by Doris Lovadina lee toronto ontario quilter
Hand dyed cotton, shot cotton, repurposed sari silk, hand dyed perle cotton

I am fortunate that a friend gave me a bag of silk and upholstery fabrics that I have been using in some stitch meditations. They are so gorgeous and often times reversible — the colour varying slightly from front to back. These delicate fabrics are precious snippets

black/grey fabric stitched with hand dyed grey, black and red a 5 inch stitch meditation journey square by Doris lavadina-lee toronto artist
Repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton, shot cotton, perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Blogpost: What is Intuition from Psychology today
  • Article: Karen Broude interview: Motivated by Intuition in TextileArtist.org

Don’t second guess yourself, close your eyes and pick a colour – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 39 and 40

There are quite a few articles about the benefits of slowing down your thoughts with traditional meditation. For many people mentioning the word meditation brings about a negative reaction. I’ve heard: I can’t do it, it doesn’t work for me, I’ve tried it but I wasn’t successful and so many more. Meditation was and is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Quietly lying down or sitting comfortably and trying to empty your mind! How is that even possible! No way I can’t do it! Who can! I’ve had only a very few times I think I can say that meditating worked, maybe.
That’s why having having something more specific to focus on — like a hand stitching project makes the idea of meditation a little easier to understand. I know that I’ve lost track of time, my discomfort, and those around me (child and husband) when I focused on my sewing. I am in my happy place — making.
An article I discovered by Monika Auch a Naturopathic doctor and artist talks about “creating with your hands makes you happy”. She has an inventive project where you stitch your brain!

pale blue gauze stitched with patches of indigo dyed cloth by Canadian Textile artist Doris Lovadina-Lee
Hand dyed cotton, indigo, hand dyed perle cotton, metallic thread


Stitch your Brain an international embroidery project: “Creating with your hands makes you happy. Embroidery, knitting, weaving, crochet and other craft activities release feelings of well-being in our brains.” Is this what a successful meditation session feels like?
You can map what your brain looks like to you. Join the project and embroider your brain on a printed canvas using: yarn, threads, beads, with any types of stitching, anything! Finished pieces are on tour throughout Europe and some are on display on the website. Meditate on your brain – such an interesting project!

white background stitched with purple, pink and blue scraps a stitch meditation by doris lovadina lee toronto artist
Repurposed linen, hand dyed cotton, gold foil, hand dyed perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Video: Monika Auch 25 April 2017 lecture on – Art Knowledge: our senses in art and scientific experiment (in Dutch)
  • Website: Stitch Your Brain – is a project and study by Monika Auch, visual artist and medical doctor (n.p.) about the intelligence of our hands and the effect of creative making on health and well-being.

Brain health – One stitch at a time!

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