Friday, May 20, 2016

with my hoop

In the work of their hands, they documented not only the world around them, but their inner world - a landscape of their loves, wounds, hopes, wishes, fears, and dreams.
The quilt was their confession in cloth, a form of visual music- life compressed, organized block by block, measure by measure, pulsing with heartbeat, rhythm, and melody - songs they never knew they were singing.
And that very object, the quilt, the consummate symbol of their femininity rolling, comforting, protecting, embracing all of their life, accompanied them through their rites of passage. 
It also became their magic carpet, their release.
I found this text in my 1990 journal
It was originally written by Barbara Damashek and Molly Newman, co-authors of the musical play Quilters.  They based their play on a book The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art

The photos are of two quilts I'm stitching now.  


  1. I loved that Play. Went to it in three different cities. Never could get bored with it.
    Love your work too, it is beautiful!

  2. The stitches in the first image ... a combination back/satin stitch, or open stem stitch perhaps. Either way, I am quite taken with their presence (so much bolder than a straight line form of stitch) and how they interact with the cloth.

    Likewise, I very much appreciate the visibility of your quilting stitches with the added variation of light and dark traveling over the multi-colored patches.

    Honestly, I learn so much from looking here ... then take each new understanding to my own work. Your teachings are very much appreciated.

  3. The first and last images are of a large plant dyed silk quilt made from large pieces of cloth. It has a wool batt and is backed with sheer silk chiffon. Very light. The stitches are with silk floss - 2 strands. I do a stem stitch along a line I've drawn earlier - and then next to it, I couch wool yarn to give more texture. This piece looks good from the back - the reverse lines have interest.

    The middle images of the multi-piece work quilt are stitched with running stitch and size 5 perle cotton. The batt is just a layer of harem cloth - the back a tie dyed silk scarf bordered with a rayon print. The thread adds a lot of substance to this piece - I like it much better with the stitching than without - all the multi colours of the patches get blended together with the multi-colours of the thread.

    Thanks for your comments. I enjoy teaching by example - much easier for me than the one day workshop format.


  4. Rebecca Staunton4:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing and providing a different approach makes me think deeper about my approach to textiles.

  5. your work and words hold such deep peace and grace

  6. Moved by the poetry of these words
    Calmed by the connection I feel

  7. I know this play. A high school in Toronto did that play about ten years ago and they asked me to come in and speak to the actors about quilting and teach them how to hold their hoops.

    Nice pictures Judy. I love all your quilts.

  8. Love the work and the words

  9. michelle said it exactly!

  10. Very beautiful words and work.


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