Saturday, July 16, 2016

hoop by hoop

 one thing at a time
slowing down
hoop by hoop.
I don't need much really.
This enforced quiet time is just what I've been wanting.
hoop by hoop
I use the hoop as a design tool
I stay within its boundary
not planning but trusting
I'm not sure it will be OK
 "living is a form of not being sure,
not knowing what next or how
the moment you know how
you begin to die a little"  agnes de mille
an emergence
an unfolding
hoop by hoop
like nature does
hoop by hoop
the creative act is miraculous
it is defined by its situation

we are defined by our situation
studied simplicity
the world's fragility
the connection of textiles and healing
hoop by hoop
this piece is very large  (nearly 9 feet square)
the size means that it is part of my life for years
three years just for the stitching

hoop by hoop
this cloth is physical evidence
of hours of labour
of silence
of stillness
of healing for body and soul
 "the repetitive motion of a line
the caress of it
the licking of wounds
the back and forth
the endless repetition of waves
the rocking a person to sleep
an endless gesture of love"  Louise Bourgeois
hoop by hoop
made with the body
not the mind
with the heart and the empty quiet
you never know what's going to happen
please let me be myself and love me for it
hoop by hoop


  1. "Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help." -May Sarton- Stitch by stitch, hoop by hoop you illustrate the value of patience and persistence. Yet another beautiful thing in the making is a joy to witnesss.

  2. Beautiful and so well said. We all need calm and the stitch does the rest. Congratulations.

  3. You have just given me an idea for doing a daily meditation that I have been finding so hard to do. Slow Cloth of course.

  4. wow! REALLY beautiful!

  5. Beautiful, I don't think I could cope with such a large expanse of fabric, I guess the hoop helps with that.

  6. Nothing beats hand stitching! This piece is amazing!

  7. Such a nice, contemplative post. This is a VERY large quilt! So much of yourself is in it. I love the "hoop by hoop" way of your design process.

  8. This post has such gentle rhythm in its repetitions ... it brought to mind Pete Seeger's Garden Song, with its "inch by inch, row by row" ... and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. How much can be accomplished one stitch, one hoop, one life at a time.

  9. Bird by bird is one of my favourite books, and I love recalling the story of how Anne Lamott's father advised her to approach her grade 5 science project on birds. "Just go bird by bird"
    It is totally how I approach my work and has been for a long time.

    My dad used to say - "one piece of baloney at a time"

    I got an email today that said I had replaced my daily walk with a daily hoop. I hadn't thought of that before. Thanks Val. xo

    Thanks to all of you for beautiful comments. xo

  10. Pew Hong7:32 pm

    Thank you Judy for putting all my thoughts together and in such a beautiful way. I can now express my love for stitching with clarity and honesty... Unafraid of being labelled as weird. When I read your words it reflects my feelings so exactly I become totally overwhelmed. It helped to explain away years of unhappiness and why stitching is such a joy to me now. Thank you again.

  11. When I read your words I feel calm and peaceful. Yes, that´s how slow stiching feels to me. hoop by hoop will become a unit some days.

  12. Mom I never saw this post, beautiful.
    I love the way you stitch your words for us.

    Also - can u please start posting on Instagram?? You already got the followers! Xx


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