Nancy Erisman of California sent a cloth square for the “Hearts for Charleston” quilt and it is a beauty!!
It is dedicated to Cynthia Hurd who, like Nancy’s mother, was devoted to books (Ms. Hurd was a librarian, Nancy’s mother an English teacher, and then clerk in a bookstore). To represent the deceased’s love of books, Nancy wove in fabrics printed with book spines as well as a cloth printed with cursive words.
I really encourage you to read about the making of the square on Nancy’s blog: Pomegranate Trail, here (and also 5 or 6 posts before that), because the amount of love and care and remembrance of Ms. Cynthia Hurd that went into this square is very, very moving. The heart is surrounded by a red blanket stitch. Here’s what Nancy wrote about that:
I wrapped her heart in a blanket stitch to symbolize the loving care she gave to all of the patrons of the library…
to symbolize the love she gave to her friends, family and church community…
to symbolize the love those who knew her gave back to her…
to symbolize the loving care we should all give to each other…to symbolize the loving care that, because of this tragedy, is being shared with Cynthia’s family.
A good blanket stitch can say all of that.
Of the stitches radiating outward from the heart, Nancy wrote:
The ripples grew and grew and grew.
They began close to the heart in red to symbolize both the love
Cynthia shared and the love sent back to her.
They began as a heart shape.
Hugging close in.
As they radiated outward/inward, the heart shape morphed into a lumpy circle.
Years from now, way out in the edges of the ripple…
may Cynthia be remembered well.
The stitches turned blue to represent the community.
The community who knew her.
The community who loved her.
The community who only got to know her because of her untimely passing.
The community surrounding her, holding her in light and strength.
There are a lot of stitches.
This beautiful embellishment is attached to a button and looks exactly like the braids on the cover of “Americanah” (which I happen to be reading right now). There are eight, to symbolize the other members of the congregation who passed. Nancy hopes that people will feel free to touch the braids and take comfort from them. Again, I share what Nancy wrote:
As I braided the eight, I considered the Black Lives Matter movement and I hoped these could be used as a physical source for comfort for those remembering
Cynthia and the others…
for those deeply troubled by the current state of affairs.
It is comforting to hold them.
The central heart is patterned with a finger paint print, giving the heart depth and movement. In Nancy’s mind, it speaks to Ms. Hurd’s uniqueness: The finger paint fabric… was used to symbolize Cynthia’s beautiful uniqueness…to represent her, as individual as her fingerprint.
Nancy has added a series of shooting stars to its surface.
Like all the other squares, the reverse side is as beautiful as the front, albeit in a different way. It’s clear to me that when I attach the squares to each other, I shall have to leave the backs exposed, somehow. Thank you, Nancy, for radiating such love with your words and your stitches!
Last week marked the beginning of another online learning adventure with Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth. I will not footnote every idea/work that springs from there (out of laziness; also to honor how quickly the ideas may flow). Just know here, upfront, there will be many strands of discussion from that forum showing up here, with gratitude and excitement!I made many woven rectangles during Jude’s class “Cloth to Cloth”. At that time, I discovered how one could FIRST weave with the cloth, THEN create more weaving with thread (after all, a RUNNING STITCH is essentially a weave — over/under, over/under), AND THEN, create more faux weaving by appliqueing chips of fabric onto the surface. I found the exercise of making these rectangles satisfying and irresistible. I have piles of them downstairs. Pictured above are four that were lying about. Early experiments in incorporating woven rectangles into larger quilts (like the landscape, upper right) were not always successful.
Last night I worked on a Little Pink Elephant (notice her woven skin!!). The horizontal blue stitching came first. Next, I stitched the vertical white thread to look like weaving. Unlike a loom, where the vertical threads would be the stable, structure-forming threads, my verticals are wobbly… they are forced to accommodate the less-than-regular rhythm of the blue.
I am in love with the concentric circles in the sky.
Would I have thought to interrupt the circles’ paths around the blue disk without the discussion of weaving at Spirit Cloth? I don’t know. I’ll probably travel a different color thread through the white circles.
The rest of the pictures are from the morning’s walk and all triggered by the thoughts of weave in general and basket-making in particular.
I am feeling a little washed out, not unlike my plaster buddies. Tired from being on my feet yesterday, and possibly fighting whatever C. has had all winter. HE is on antibiotics as of this morning.
It is a good day to putter about cleaning, and to sit and stitch. The first season of Project Runway (borrowed from the library) is calling my name. I’m hooked.
This landscape below is comprised of several split woven squares, as well as a ‘practice’ house for a commission made last year. The silk sky looks horribly flat next to the weavings, and received a nice oily blotch during pinning. So, it will be covered or removed. But later.