Monday, May 16, 2011

Medicine stitch

The ceremonial walking around an object, site, or person with the right hand towards it, is called the sunwise turn, or the holy round. It brings good luck, fends off evil, cures diseases, blots out sins, and is sometimes regarded as a kind of magic to insure the continuation of the sun in its course. It is an ancient and widespread practice occurring in a number of cultures. (from Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Maria Leach editor ) healing circle
medicine hum
Over the weekend, I stitched while battling severe leg pain. Stitch, move, lie down. Stitch, move, lie down. My life had a rhythm. I listened to Agatha Christie's Towards Zero on tape.

"Our constant struggle to pull ourselves together to deal with difficulty and injury and illness, and with threats and fear, manifests itself at a psychological level as art.

We may not think at the moment that it's the most valuable thing we do, but of any past civilization it's the one thing we want to preserve, because it still operates as medicine."
Ted Hughes


  1. helen salo12:06 pm

    There are few people I visit on line that I truly admire. You are one. You create wonderful pieces with such ease. It's a feeling that you do what you do because you have to; it is who you are.
    Your work is always fuel for me to continue doing what I do, because it is always the process, and it's what I do.

  2. Sending healing blessings to you... and absolutely beautiful cloth! I've been obsessively making spiraling, concentric circle and meander drawings for a while now, they are quite healing and meditative. I love what you say about the Medicine Stitch, I feel like I'm doing that with my drawings.

  3. Judy this piece is absolutely amazing, I really like the colour, movement and texture you have created.

  4. i, too like the medicine stitching...and am concerned about your leg pain. i hope it will pass.

  5. Anonymous5:28 pm

    i love this.
    just beautiful.
    am so sorry about your leg pain

    and watched towards zero just the other day.....the geraldine mcewan one.
    here's hoping the magic helps.

  6. What better medicine than fabrics and threads. Your piece is astonishing. Good luck with your pain and healing process

  7. Such a stunning piece, it is full of magic. I'm a bit obsessed with spirals, they do touch something deep inside. It occurred to me that if I was stitching a spiral or circle, I would instinctively work anti-clockwise, 'walking backwards' as it were, if I were starting on the outer edge and working in, but clockwise if I was working out from the centre. I suppose it's just a matter of practicalities as a right hander. If I'm painting spirals, clockwise is always easier. But of course, in the antipodes, anti-clockwise is actually sunwise!

    The Ted Hughes quote is perfect!

  8. Hi Judy,

    Saying prayers that the pain in your legs will ease up and you find relief.
    I am in awe of your beautiful medicine stitch piece. Absolutely stunning as is your heart.

    Warm Hugs,


  9. I love this piece but I've discovered that all my spirals seem to come naturally into the opposite directions - born under a shadow, I was. Hope you feel better soon. Pain is such an annoying distraction.

  10. These questions re: spiral stitching resonate. I've been stitching spirals for a long time, and sometimes I go clockwise and sometimes I go counter clockwise. I used to worry about it. People would ask me if there was a reason behind the direction I stitched.

    Now, I take comfort in the idea that no matter how you look at it, you are always stitching the way you want to. If you naturally go counter clockwise when you start at the center, if you go from the outside in, it is sunwise.

    I make my circles with the sunwise motion - clockwise.
    I make my spirals the other way because I start from the center.

    Either way, it's a healing stitch for me. Thanks to all for their good wishes re: my leg pain. I think it has to do with my back somehow. xx

  11. everything has been said..l will just add my few the work and the wordsxlynda

  12. Oh l forgot to a fellow sufferer of back trouble, your leg pains do sound as if they could be contected to your back. I send your loads of white healing light and know that l am thinking of youx lynda


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx