I'm still here, still sewing but I'm not making a particular thing at the moment. It's freeing and also a little startling. I've just returned from a week with Jody Alexander at Arrowmont. Jody pushed us to focus on making art rather than making things. Uncomfortable but a good stretch.
We did make some *things* - in fact we made this boro sampler book the very first day. A warm up to the days to come.
The boro sampler book contains (mostly) examples of repair stitches found in old boro cloth from Jody's collection and also from her study of boro. At the end of the day she taught us a simple binding technique to gather up our practice samples.
We also spent a day playing with printing techniques, such as carving our own stamps.
Jody regaled us with stories of her art. I have to say that she is a masterful story-teller.
And then we spent the remainder of the week focusing on a piece of our own. A. Piece.
Mine is a sort-of sampler, though I tried to make it art. Oh, well. It contains bits and pieces I like a lot but I'm not over-the-moon with the totality of it.
You can see a shoulder piece from a discarded top I once made. And I drew the grasshopper one night after re-reading Mary Oliver's piece "A Summer Day." I then used one of Jody's printing techniques to transfer it to cloth.
I am particularly fond of the spider-like stitch Jody taught. And I learned to repeat and abstract.
It was a lovely week and I came home spoiled. How wonderful to make art all day, interspersed with great home-cooked meals and inspiring lectures at night. Jody was a terrific teacher and I am filled to the brim.
I am now using Jude Hill's approach to quilting to make this art into some.thing. I just cannot help myself. This may be my all-time favorite post of Jude's. You can see my attempt to quilt in the Jude manner in the grasshopper picture above.