Inspiration

Stitch Meditation – Day 75 and 76

Three-quarters of the stitch meditations are completed as I fulfill my desire to work through a 100 Day project. Much of 2020 was a period of little or no productivity in any creative pursuit, especially stitch meditations. This seems counterintuitive, as you would expect that if more of your world was in upheaval and uncertainty, picking up a needle and stitching for no reason but to focus on something else would be both necessary and helpful.

Indigo dyed wool, hand-dyed perle cotton

Thankfully by December, my creativity resurfaced. I am not certain if it was due to the increased sense of hope, a break from work, and the beginnings of the holiday season. But, I began creating and have not stopped!

Hand-dyed cotton, commercial fabric, hand-dyed perle cotton

I received my copy of Resilient Stitch and love that it is bound in the same suede-like cloth. The book is tactile and beautiful. I have quickly flipped through to look at the photos and will now slowly work my way through reading it.

Stitch Resources:

  • Book: Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art. London: Batsford, c2021.

Continuing to read, create and meditate – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 73 and 74

Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art is the title of Claire Wellesley-Smith’s newest book. I am anxiously awaiting my copy to arrive. I loved her previous book on stitching: Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art.

Repurposed silk, hand-dyed cotton and commercial fabric, hand-dyed perle cotton

I read Wellesley-Smith’s book Slow Stitch near the beginning of my 100 day journey and have dipped into it many times since. Beautifully photographed with inspiration from other textile artists. One of the things that brings me joy is just touching this book – it is bound in a soft cloth. It is such a simple, elegant and perfect choice for a book about textiles, cloth and repurposing materials.

2 five inch squares stitched with repurposed and hand dyed fabrics.
Hand-dyed cotton and velvet, commercial cotton, hand-dyed perle cotton, rayon thread

While I wait for my copy of Resilient Stitch to arrive, I will pull Slow Stitch off the shelf in my studio and slowly savour the photographs and admire the work within.

Stitch Resources

  • Book: Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art. London: Batsford, c2021.

Reading and meditating– one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 71 and 72

Pulling out the fabric scraps and sorting until one catches my imagination. Pairing with others – keeping it monochromatic, or contrasting? What colour thread? Do I add more stitches, beads, or layer more fabric? Many decisions in each creative act.

stitch meditation day 71 by doris lovadina-lee textile artist
Snow dyed silk, repurposed silk, leather, perle cotton thread

I like using up all of the same fabrics and in doing so inadvertently creating a series.

stitch meditation day 72 by doris lovadina-lee textile artist
Snow dyed linen/rayon, linen, perle cotton thread

I must admit to having noticed this before and have tried to vary the colours and fabrics between stitch meditations. Mostly because I thought it would be more interesting for those reading and looking at the pieces. I don’t know if that is important or should be important! This 100 Day Stitch Meditation Journey was not for others, but for me.

Stitch Resources

  • Article: Chelle Stein. What is Slowing? How to get started. September 30, 2020.

Working with it all – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditations – 10th Month Review

No matter how I try, my squares are simple. The shapes don’t overlap in a colourful display with many stitches holding each layer together. I look at others creating such beautiful pieces, admire the stitches and interplay of fabrics and textures. Yet, I can’t seem to create the same designs. 

6 squares from the tenth month stitch meditation challenge by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Looking back at the tenth month:

I do create simple, spare designs. Just a few pieces of fabric stitched together with a few basic stitches. Harmonious, elegant, quiet, and clean. And, always colourful and of course, restful while working on their construction.

Simplicity – one stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 69 and 70

Short periods of time, capturing small bits of fabric that would have been discarded. Arranged into pleasing displays and held together with stitches and memories. Stitch meditations that conjure a specific time – just yours.

hand embroidered 5 inch square using hand dyed linen and repurposed silk
Hand dyed linen, repurposed silk, hand dyed perle cotton
Indigo dyed wool 5 inch square stitch meditation hand stitched in yellow
Indigo dyed wool, hand dyed thread

Stitched for no other reason than to just be.

Stitch Meditation – Day 67 and 68

There is still a peacefulness in stitching. It calms and soothes. Sitting and listening to a book from the public library.

Selecting the fabric scraps and then the threads. Deciding on the shapes and sizes I will use. 

5 inch square with hand dyed fabric scraps  and hand stitches by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Snow dyed cotton, hand dyed perle cotton

Discarding those that don’t fit into that particular meditation.  

indigo wool stitch meditation hand stitched in yellow, green and blue thread by toronto textile artist Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo wool, hand dyed perle cotton, polyester thread

Arranging, pinning and then beginning. All a part of the process. Creating a rhythm. Stitching and stitching until it is complete.

Stitch Meditation – Day 65 and 66

One of the questions I forgot to address during the Q&A after my 1st ever Virtual Trunk Show with the Erin Village Quilters was about stitch meditations. I have been stitching albeit very slowly. This 100 Day Stitch Meditation Journey was to be a project that I could work on without becoming stressed. So, if it didn’t happen every day that was OK. There were supposed to be 2 evenings a week – Tuesday and Thursday that I was going to sit quietly and hand stitch. I assembled a kit of hand-dyed fabric scraps, thread, needles, pins, 5 inch squares of muslin to be used as the base. All of these were placed in a large plastic bin that I could pick up and move around.

I began my first post with this:

“2019 will be a year of slowing down and being more productive. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but my hope is that planning, prioritizing and scheduling will keep me motivated in creating artwork and spark some new ideas.” — December 27, 2018.
white and red stitch meditation for day 66 of the 100 day stitch meditation  challenge
Hand dyed cotton, gauze and hand dyed perle cotton

Well, slowing down and taking time to reflect is happening. This pandemic has really changed how, and when I do any of my stitching! Sitting quietly to reflect is so very difficult during this time. My mind can’t settle, it flits over a million things. The constant barrage of news is distracting and causing stress. I don’t have the news or any TV programs on while I am at home alone, but when my husband is working from home it’s on all day long.

silk, wool and cotton scraps in stitch meditaiton day 66 by doris lee toronto ontario canada
Repurposed silk, indigo dyed wool, hand dyed cotton, hand dyed perle cotton

There is more order and routine now when working from home. It was an adjustment!

Now, there is more space in my mind to be able to create. I am reaffirming my intention and determination to continue with stitch meditations. I have completed more than half of the 100 I set out to do. I am not giving up!

Stubbornly continuing — one stitch at a time!

Color or colour, fabric stashes and book club!

Oh no, I’ve joined a book club to read and learn hands-on about colour! Normally something that would not cause a negative reaction. But, the first thing we are told to do is cut the 150 color card swatches included with the book: The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color : A Hands-On Workbook for Mastering Fabric Selection

Rache Hauser cover
The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color : A Hands-On Workbook for Mastering Fabric Selection by Rachel Hauser.

Why do we need to cut up a perfectly new book? It goes against everything I believe! I work in a library, I’m a library technician! I can’t possibly cut up pages!

Rachel Hauser Table of Contents

Cutting up a perfectly fine book (I know I must!) notwithstanding, I am excited to be participating with a small and enthusiastic group of quilters on this project. We are a mixed bunch – some have been quilting for many years and others fairly recently. Some have an art background and many others don’t. I know we will all learn a lot from each other and this experience whether we do or don’t have an art background.

Rachel Hauser. About

I have a good size collection of fabrics in my stash. Will it suffice for this project without purchasing? I hope so, as I do want to use the colours I have collected without adding any more. My aim is a deficit, not surplus.

Fabric Stash in closet of doris lovadina-lee canadian textile artist

The first cut is always the most difficult!

Knitting for Covid-19 Memorial Blanket Project

There hasn’t been a lot of meditation in any format for me lately. But I changed that a few days ago when I began to knit. A friend passed on information from the CBC regarding a couple of women who were beginning a very large scale project to honour all of the people who have dyed due to Covid-19. The Covid-19 Memorial Blanket Project was conceived by three knitters: Heather Breadner, Allison Day, and Amanda Sharpe. They took inspiration from the National AIDS Memorial Quilt which travelled around the world and a part of it became Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt.

ball of yarn and knitting needles with a page of instruction from the Covid-19 Memorial Blanket project

All knitters and those that crochet are invited to participate in. Unfortunately, the number of squares they require number 9,193 to date. There will be more.

My husband is really the knitter in the family and he’s already made three blocks. My mother has contributed one as well. She knit hers in just a couple of afternoons. Oh, retirement – sigh!
I have only until November 2020 to get my square to them. They hope to have all of those collected made into a large blanket so it can start its tour across Canada.
But it’s expected that they will need to continue knitting and creating more blankets until necessary. So I recommend reading the information they have posted on their website and keep knitting even if seems November seems to be too soon.

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