Tag Archives: jude hill

What’s the story?

It’s done. Sky indigo-dunked by me. Foreground silk, I don’t remember (arlee barr?) Pink linen: Deb Lacativa. Plaid house window: a shirt of my husband’s. There is blue-grey linen from Montreal, dark blue linen purchased in NYC in another lifetime, and scraps of a skirt that I wore to my last (and loathsome) job.

I keep asking myself — what is this little piece about?

Sometimes the story of the cloth can be found in the fabrics. The clock print would be the obvious narrative (the relentless march of time, etc.) but for me it’s all about that red plaid window. It’s warmth. It’s comfort. K wore it for years and years: camping, mowing the lawn, walking around the North Shore, fixing stuff in the house.

Somewhere I read that when quilters place a red fabric in the center of a log cabin patchwork square, it is to represent the hearth of home.

Yes. That.

A recent experience offers something akin to permission to think about this a little differently. The experience? — this season’s Project Runway (yes, it survived Tim Gunn’s departure!)

If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll know how often the judges insist on ‘story,’ which is something a little different and apart from the designer’s ‘voice.’ Each collection needs a story, the judges insist, a unifying theme. Sometimes what the designers say is laughably far-fetched, seemingly uttered just to satisfy the judges. Other times, you can see how the designer’s story directed construction and textile choices in a meaningful way.

Near the end of this season, the contestants were tasked with creating an installation, and the man who ultimately won simply could not find a narrative for his collection. He painted his cubicle an awful color and slapped up some floral cut-outs. It was dopey. It clashed with his exquisite garments. He flailed, openly complaining that he couldn’t find the story.

And yet, he won. The woven strips of leather, the craftsmanship, the authority of his designs were story enough, it turns out.

I’m still not sure what to think about this. Is the play of color and shape story enough? Maybe, maybe not. Listening (very part-time, I’m afraid) to Jude’s recent class, has me reviving old pieces. One side benefit to watching her create is this reconsidering of older work. IS this piece finished? Is that piece? Could something be added that would enliven it (i.e. tell a story)?

I’m quite certain that the reason making a gift for a particular person is gratifying, is because the recipient supplies the story. It’s built in. You start with this bib and that bob, and you’re off, all the while considering the person who will ultimately receive it. I know that this is an energetic matter, too, because as recently mentioned on Dana’s blog, after making a satisfying gift, I’ve tried to trick myself into thinking a subsequent piece was also a gift, to no avail.

Thoughts, please?

Jude Hill – a little look back

workshirt-woven-strips
buttonhole-ribbon
three-stones

turtle-atilt

strips-on-pine

blue-moon-some.jpg

This is a small gallery revealing Jude Hill‘s influence and inspiration. I am feeling nostalgic. It’s been different without her private classes. And I’ve been ‘away’ from her and others’ blogs — more consumed with writing and the ten month project for Charleston. I miss being on a learning curve that was as exciting as it was steep.

Life is all about change. And it’s hard, too. We are all constantly adapting to various burdens, impositions or difficulties — aging not the least of them. One of the things I have admired about Jude the most is her capacity for invention — not just of her cloth creations (the way she can take an idea in fifteen directions, each of them further than I could possibly have imagined), but also of how she has conducted herself online — generously, with poetry and beauty, and with unbelievable technological skill.

The reinvention of late seems to be toward greater privacy, which of course I respect, but the thought of her going away makes me panic a little.

There is so much more I want to say about this, but I haven’t done my morning pages yet and the dog will need walking soon, so it’ll have to wait.

Wrap up

But before I go off to my LIST and my PAGES and the CLEANING I like to do on Mondays, I wanted to assemble a collection of pictures from the summer class I took —  ‘Considering Weave’ with Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth.  Just as a place to see what I did.  How much I learned.  These kinds of visual bookmarks make a difference down the road…  it is so easy to underestimate or lose track of the volume of threads/cloth that went through the process with me… this will help me remember!

And, by the way, the act of doing this — its value both now and later — is just one of the many, many things learned from Jude.

in-process butterfly received a needle woven body

in-process butterfly received a needle woven body — idea to embroider words inspired by Cindy over at handstories

some actual weave; some figurative

some actual weave; some figurative

one of my indigo cloths with woven opening

one of my indigo cloths with woven opening — made so many mistakes!

IMG_4060

a woven patch

a woven patch — lumpy, loveable, functional

IMG_4569

the “Triscuit” crater — backing from my indigo vat

woven strip square open and woven at center with butcher's twine

buckling caused by size of opening could not be fixed even with machine stitching to a heavy weight backing

woven 'islands' extending patterning over edge

woven ‘islands’ extending patterning over edge — one of my favorites from the class

woven islands partnered with Middle Passage piecing

woven islands partnered with Middle Passage piecing

visual weave with vertical and horizontal running stitches

visual weave with vertical and horizontal running stitches

IMG_3793

the crow got a woven base and flew off to Wendy Golden-Levitt

IMG_9897IMG_3926

seeing warp and weft all around

seeing warp and weft all around

continuing on a piece in context of weaving

continuing on a piece in context of weaving — many sections begun in another of Jude’s classes

IMG_0458 IMG_0462

more strip weaving because it's hard to stop; travels well

more strip weaving because it’s hard to stop; travels well

IMG_0576

speckled vintage linen from Deb Lacativa’s dye pot

IMG_0549

blue sky — arashi technique with commercial dye — by moi!

IMG_0548

sampler:  Corn Guy

sampler: Corn Guy

as I started 'sewing' more, back neatened up (worked top down)

as I started ‘sewing’ more, back neatened up (worked top down)

IMG_5335

copy of Jude’s waves. Woven on primitive box loom (which was a rectangular basket in my case)

IMG_4717IMG_5272
Planning to order a bead loom so that I can continue without some of the frustrating tension issues caused by wrapping warp around a basket and taping it to the back.

I didn’t get a chance to make any fringe and look forward to trying.  Would like to edge some of my Star Maps with it. And, I can’t wait to try some of the more experimental techniques offered this month. Any more meaningful reflections on the class will have to wait.  It was a terrifically provocative journey (as usual)… and if other classes I have taken are any indication, the fruits of the learning will keep coming over the next months and seasons.

Bye for now!
IMG_0528

 

 

 

Considering Weave – summer class with Jude Hill

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!IMG_3839I 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.
IMG_3925I 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!!).
IMG_3890The 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.

IMG_3916I 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.

IMG_3897 IMG_3903 IMG_3917

weekend work

I might be finished piecing “Middle Passage I” – shown here.  An African ritual beaded belt helped me ‘see’ the bottom edge.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be daring and violate copyright laws to show you.

I finished this felt house today by adding satin cording and a bottom and closing it up into a 3-D structure.  Need to find bead for closure.

Did first “Whispering Hearts”‘ online class with Jude Hill yesterday – signed up, whaaa? – last year sometime – only now going through the entire class (I signed up at a time when I was working full-time — it was an act of hope more than anything).  I love her idea of keeping things simple and getting to know the subject before departing from it.  On American Idol, they’d say – ‘more melody’ or ‘stick to the tune’.

I like the way Arlee Barr’s beautiful ecru silk is imprinted with leaf shapes that almost look like ribs.

While piecing “Middle Passage II” today, this little piece emerged – just for fun!

Cleaning out paper boxes, found the heart doilies… once you investigate a theme, it starts showing up everywhere (but, I have to announce for the record, that I’ve been sewing hearts of one kind or for more than a decade!)

Tonight, after WISHING for curtains for our back sliders for years – honest to god – and puzzling over the nine foot expanse, wondering about support for the rod, brackets (do they match others in the room, or not?), where to place the fullness of cloth and still move in and out the door readily – I JUST DID IT!!  Had the spring rods.  Dug up the curtains.

Maybe it’s the NIKE track poster of C’s that I just hung on the other wall that spurred this long over-due act!!

Whatever the reason, it is heavenly to have the room completely enclosed at night – especially when the leaves are still not out.

Found and Finished

Quilt, about 5" x 10"

Quilt, about 5" x 10"

Found this while cleaning up and bound it.

I call it “Exuberance” because of the figure with her arms spread wide.

exuberance-close

Note the little purple house in the center!

I am updating my Google Reader so as to have some juicy, inspiring blogs easily accessible.  Here’s one I love written by a quilter named Jude Hill — spirit cloth.  I especially am drawn to this quilter’s raw edges, well-worn fibers, and dense hand stitching.

jude hill quilt

Check out her work!