Thursday, January 03, 2013

monumental repetition

the repetitive  eyelet
row after curved row of circles
of eyelet repeats
buttonhole loops around and around
pulling gently at the center to make holes
contained voids
the fabric stronger with the addition of thread
rows of strong holes
small marks
small windows
small voids
all round and neat and tight and packed as if they are the fabric
it's so labour intensive and slow, you can't imagine
while my family is visiting I stay up late
I stitch until 2 or 3 am every morning like I used to do when the kids were young and at home
actually I look forward to it
I hardly slept when I was a mother-artist
now I am a grandmother artist
how long does it take ?  an hour? 3 hours?
double that
triple it
the amount of time and repetitive movement in this piece of cloth is monumental
it's obsessive, the repeating I do of the same gesture
it's like tying skates, tugging gently with each eyelet
like dancing, turning the fabric in my hands to make the circles
the result is so delicate
like snow flakes
like flowers
like fields and rows of planted, weeded, tulips
fileds of holes
fields of buttonholes and unimaginable time spent
stitching soothes me after a day of trying too hard
what will please everyone?
what would they like to eat?
should we go for a walk?
should I read? talk? listen?
stitching these solid strong lines of white
up and down, over and through, do it again
up and down, over and through, do it again
over and over and over
the same rhythm, the stronger fabric
it's heavier, weightier now
and there is still much to do


  1. Anonymous9:22 pm

    your talk of stitches and mothering, they are very much the same- such beautiful hard work.

  2. i think we're dancing to the same rhythms...

  3. beautiful...and "a day of trying too hard"...I think I do that.

  4. helen salo11:33 pm

    Yes, the wonderful rhythm of the stitch dance,soothing the artistic soul, I know it well.

  5. There are a lot of monumentals in this piece, in this post.

  6. Astounding, and like walking meditation with fingers and fabric--this drawing is like that too

  7. Trying too hard...we just want them to have a lovely time, the best time, to want to come back and share the 'special' time...

    Sitting up late stitching, thinking, 'your' time after looking after everyone you love all day.

    I dont need much sleep either.

    This post really got me thinking about what I do when my son comes home for a visit ...

    Family time, stitching time ...all beautiful.

    Jacky xox

  8. Lovely. All of it. The rhythm of everything all at once.

  9. It is stunning! Just looking at the pictures I am aching to touch the fabric and thread! Not only to see it but to fell it. Just beautiful!



    PS: I like your new blog design!

  10. the stitching the stitching
    oh, my. i like these tiny windowstars, all stacked.
    lovely judy

  11. i love your work. this post seems to fit all of us trying too hard for our kids. i admire you staying up. i need sleep and so give up one one thing that calms me. i will remember this and stitch when i am listening.

  12. you shine with such quiet brilliance Judy

  13. Anonymous12:41 pm

    I just had a zoom back to check and this is the same piece in your starry night post - amazing how the light changes the work so utterly, it's whole intention could be different.

  14. You describe the feeling of stitching so well. I too am familiar with the monumental project. I want to ask if you have developed any trouble with your hands? I fear arthritis may be sneaking up on me.

  15. I am imagining you quietly whispering your mantra as you stitch. I have been doing more stitching this past week. It is less spectacular. It is hand hemming some pieces. But it is a quiet meditation. I am in awe of your work!--Julie

  16. so perfect... perfectly "put"

    and I am speechless.

  17. It is beautiful. You are so inspiring.

  18. Monumental indeed....both stitching those teeny eyelets and raising those wee babies too!

  19. nkneedlework.wordpress.com2:28 pm

    Hi Judy
    Recently discovered your blog. It is great

  20. Love your work. So spiritual. Must come back to the group. Happy New Year Judy! Linda


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