slow stitching


i recently, on whim, picked up claire wellesley-smith’s slow stitch at my local library branch. i greedily read it one night when i was afflicted with insomnia. the book is not a how-to per say but it was very inspirational to me. i went to my closet where i had been hoarding a zillion pounds of thread and floss and got to work.

once i realized my fabric choices from my closet where less than inspiring. white upon white, i tried to do a coffee dye and succeed in doing a turmeric dye. it was fun experience and hope to repeat it more.

what i love about slow-stitching is that unlike mindful mending or even embroidery there is no implied finished product to move towards. it can be very open-ended or one can mend/create what they desire. also, slow stitching is not about perfection. the stitches don’t have to or need to be perfect. imperfection is a part of the art of slow stitching.

the whole stitching thing reminds me of living with my grandma and how she would put on her big coke bottle glasses and sew and mend our clothes and items. i have often told the story of my grandmother winning her first sewing machine from a reader’s digest magazine. when i lived with her she was strictly hand -sewing. i do wish i had paid more attention to her methods. however, even in my inattention, i can recall her obvious care, skill, mindfulness and joy when she approached fabric.

having my own child (and one on the way) i would like them to know that even if they never pick up a needle or piece of fabric that this part of them, too. our/my legacy often feels small and paperless. it often feels like the only thing that often holds us/me to the past is our/my memories. memories that feel further and further away each year unless i embrace and release them to ears or paper or fabric.

stitching again (i’ve embroidered of and on for years) is like reclaiming the past and myself in a holistic way. this is a part of my legacy. the thing women in my family for generations have been doing-for necessity and for the love of it.

maybe, i have always been stitching in my mind(just not strictly fabric). maybe, i have have always known that somehow we/i always have to stitch ourselves/myself bit by bit together again and again with the past and into the now and the beyond.




petalplum has a free ecourse called slow stitching in her the creative year. she also has dye course (for pay in that same ecourse).