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.
I like using up all of the same fabrics and in doing so inadvertently creating a series.
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.
Article: Chelle Stein. What is Slowing? How to get started. September 30, 2020.
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.
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.
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.
It took me a long while to get to the point in the hibiscus flower quilt that I was finally able to make decisions on the background. Meaning that I can continue to stitch more of the quilt top together.
I thought at the beginning of this project that I would use neutral linens and cotton fabrics in very low volume prints. These would become the background for machine and hand stitching to create interest.
It wasn’t just the background causing me setbacks. There were a few vines twisting themselves around the flowers and I knew what I wanted them to look like but finding the fabric in my stash wasn’t easy. I tried many combinations of colours as you can see from just a couple of photos below.
With the guidance from my friend who also taught me this technique, I was finally able to make some decisions.
So, after a few years of working on this UFO and then storing it away, then pulling it out again, it’s finally finished! Or almost finished. The top is stitched in one piece and is now waiting for machine stitching to give it depth and texture.
I have put it aside once more to give me time to think about this final step. More decisions to come!
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.
“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.
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.
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!
One trunk show cancellation has ended well this year – it’s turned into a month long stocking of my hand-dyed fabric, scarves a few quilts and some ready to give gifts! Make1 a studio, shop, and community space in Guelph was to have hosted a trunk show this month but instead it will be hosting a selection of my snow dyed items.
Jo the owner, curator and maker is featuring Makers and their items for the month of November. Her store is full of modern quilt fabrics, hand dyed yarns, and a space to create. Follow Make1 on instagram at: @make1guelph where pictures of beautiful fabrics as well as what is happening in the shop are posted. Love the Fat Quarter Friday feature!
This is a detail of the quilt I’ve been working on for a while. I finished it the night before I delivered it to Make1 so there is no photo of the completed work and no name! It will be in the shop with Atmosphere, Cosmos and a couple of smaller pieces. So when you drop in have a look at it and let me know what would be a great title for this one. I’ve been calling it the Purple quilt. Descriptive but not evocative, plus I have other purple quilts so definitely not the best. LOL!
The Chakra commission quilt that I have been working on for far too long is finally finished! I laid it out on my bed so I could remove the lint from it and I just had to take some photos and a short video too!
The sun was shining in and really highlighting the beautiful texture of the machine quilting. It also brought out all the subtle changes in colour of the hand dyed fabrics.
The machine stitching has made the quilt, perfect for snuggling under. It has enough quilting to soften the lap sized quilt but not too much to make it stiff.
It has been an honour to have been asked to reinterpret my Modern Chakra Quilt into a functional quilt. It’s been fun to create it using all of my hand dyed fabrics.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.