Also Find Me Here

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Friday, March 9, 2012

paying tribute

As I have worked the last few weeks on Indigo Dragon I have been thinking about how I got to this point. With stitching that is. Much of what I know about the basic mechanics of sewing was learned as a child sitting with my Aunt Virgie, my mother's aunt who did a lot of sewing--almost all of it by hand. She owned a wonderful old White treadle machine that sewed like a dream. I remember asking her once why she didn't use is very much. While I can't recall her exact words, it was something to the effect of enjoying the feel of the piece laying across her lap and being able to turn it and run her fingers over the stitching.

I am beginning to understand a lot of this. Getting older and slowing down a bit may contribute. But there is something quite calming about having your own creation in your hands, stitching with a needle warmed and shaped by your hands, the quiet of hand work opposed to the mechanical whir of the machine, and the perfect imperfection of stitching that bears the mark of your fingers. I took a verrry long break from any sort of sewing.

Knit Together.  Mixed Media: digital image printed on cotton fabric, altered with paint, ink, and stitching. 8 x 10 inches.
This piece is about my daughter and myself. The figure in the image is my daughter. The knitting is my own.
This was done during grad school. You can learn about the process used to create in on my Current Work page on this blog.

 But now I am back to it. And much of the thanks for that goes to Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth. I have enjoyed Jude's work for several years. The quiet voice in her videos belies the adventurous spirit that comes through in her work. She is fearless in her "what-iffing", experimenting with fiber manipulations that I might never have considered. Her persistence in working with her slow cloths have helped me slow down and work more meditatively. I have figured out ways to integrate different techniques (some learned from Aunt Virgie and then some from Jude and some my own) into a piece that is a unified work.
So, I want to say thank you. To my Aunt Virgie for everything she was and is to me. I wish she were still here. To Jude. For unselfishly sharing. For being a true teacher. A giver . For freely giving of her time, energy and stitching wisdom. I hope that someday soon we will see a print version of Spirit Cloth (if there ever is I will be on the waiting list for its release). Thank you both for helping me get to this point.


  1. HEAR! HEAR! to that Brenda!!!!!!
    Don't know who your aunt was, but I dó know Jude, and all you say about her is so true! I owe her a lot too!

  2. ah that was nice, i am honored to be in the same category as Aunt Virgie

  3. this is a beautiful tribute Brenda & I love your work with stitch and image, the mark made by hand is so important it gives the work life, in a hundred years what will resonate more to the finders, an unreadable CD or a cloth that has been handstitiched with love and care....

  4. I very much enjoyed reading this post. However, the image of your daughter and of your knitting is absolutely wonderful. A warmth comes through. Really nice.


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