Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weaving In Black

A very dear friend of mine died last Friday.
She was 90 and died in her own bed, what a blessing.

It still hurts.

I don't show my weaving projects here but I named this blog for them.
I weave to throw the shuttle. It puts me in a place of quiet and meditation. It restores my soul.

Margaret always said that we come here to grow a soul.
I think death is one of the things that make us grow
but it hurts.

So I am weaving in black. I don't have a pattern or have to think. I am throwing the shuttle and I am dreaming of Margaret. She was a weaver at one time in her life.
She was one of the few people that truly understood spirit cloth.
I showed her everything.

She knit all the time. When she woke up at night, she knit.
I should have known when she quit knitting.
She would say, Well you know, lovey, I knit all night.

So I am dreaming of Margaret and sending her love.
And missing her.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What is it?

I worked on this piece all day yesterday. It is just starting. I like the idea of it and I like the stitching that is happening. Done after this picture was taken. When I showed it to someone, she said it was cute. Cute...

I know this work is different than other stuff I do. I know if you don't stitch and don't try it you don't really know what it is about. I know that it looks like a waste of time to someone that is into woodworking or other crafts where you get a product that is useful.

But cute...

What do you call it? What do you say to describe it? Why is cute not the right word? It feels like someone patted me on the head and said "good job, linda".

I do know that people expect a product. I do this because I love the new creative process my mind has to go through. I love looking at the little pieces and seeing how they can tell a story. I love the quiet time I get sitting and stitching the cloth and how it feels when it is done. I love the story that is in my head when I am creating it. I love the connection I feel to other people that are also doing this work. But most of all I love the process..

Whenever I weave, I usually do make a product, towels, rugs, scarves, etc. This is not like that. It is just for stitching for the sake of stitching. I know it is not what people expect from me and not something usual. It is not a quilt and will never be a quilt. It not useful.

So "cute" is what it is and I guess I should not be upset.. but I was a little.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Weekend

This is what our backyard looked like last Wednesday. So we decided to stay home and enjoy the weather. It was great to have four days of unplanned time. Thanksgiving day was just four of us and it was simple and wonderful. The rest of the weekend has been time at home.

I had this table in the basement and have been wanting to move it to my weaving room. With a little help from my son and granddaughter, it is in place. The bench from my loom can slide over to table and be for both places. It is crowded but every space is used. I love the table, it makes it so much easier to do my small cloths.

So this is the cloth I started this week. It is funny, I wanted to do a tree and left the big space for the tree in the middle. It is from gifted cloth and it raveled so well, it looks feathery. The picture isn't as nice as the real thing. I wish I could get better color. I looked and thought and felt this cloth for ages, now it is coming together. Love when that happens..

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Today is my birthday. Yesterday was an awful day. I went to bed at 7 and just laid there and thought about my life. I went through all the decades and thought about where I would have been on this day. It was really interesting and something that no one really knows but me. It gave me more of a perspective of where I am now. I think people should just know who I am, but how could they? I have been so many different people. That is one of the things that make me crazy. How young people I work with think I don't know anything. If they could see the experiences that make me.....
So I woke up to a better day and glad of where I have been. Also glad I am not there anymore.

So off to work..

Friday, November 5, 2010

Indigo Continued

I have been working on this little piece. It has turned out to be fun to work on. I love the little squares and trying to ravel the edges. There is some shot silk and an ikat piece that I love. I have used Jude's ideas to inspire me. (In other words, I copied)
I wanted to have my own symbol. I like Jude's feathers and would like to do that, but I wanted something of my own. I did the little weaving in the corner with thread. I think that will be my symbol for my fabrics.
I will quilt a lot more on this, but wanted to post the progress.

I am inspired by so many blogs I am reading. Grace's work is so exceptional. I love seeing what she does. I don't know how to put in her website, but it is called windthread.

This blogging process is so difficult for me. I want it to look different with pictures in
different places, guess I'm going to have to break down and ask for help from my granddaughter.

I read in on of Grace's blog that she questioned why she was doing this and for whom. I feel the same way. I think now that I've started it makes me feel like I am contributing to something. I'm not sure what it is or why, but it is part of the stitching. You stitch then you put it on the blog. For me...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is my next cloth. It is indigo and really soft thin fabric. The color is so much nicer that this, but I find it hard to get the correct color with my camera. I have quilted it around each square to hold it in place and it has such a nice quality about it now. I am now at that place of "what's next"?
This is where I always lose confidence. What will it become? It is where I start admiring Jude so much for knowing what to do. I go back and look at the videos and the posts to the class and I just kind of think about it all the time. One of my thoughts is to embroidery X's on it.. we will see what happens.

I'm off to make an apple cake, I found my grandma's recipe.. yummm.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Howling at the Moon

The finished cloth. Just the moon and the wolf hiding in the mist.

Stitching and Theo

it looks like a ball of fur there in the corner but instead it is Theo taking a nap. You can't tell that it a dog and it is wild and crazy and wants to bite you and chew on your fingers and the couch and the loom and the cloth and, well, you get it.
So this was a quiet moment of sleep that allowed me to finish the last cloth that I did.
It is the Howling at the Moon cloth I did in the cloth to cloth workshop.
I am pleased with the piece. I think each one I do gets better and better. I learn so much stitching the fabric. I never know when to stop... it could be thick as a brick when I finish. I love it.. I do find it difficult to start. I made some new bases and then I stop because I don't know what to do next. It eventually comes but my confidence flags a bit during that time.

It is a quiet day here with rain and gray skies. It makes me happy to be here alone (with Theo and Sadie) to stitch and read and take time to be slow. I love being with a partner, but alone time is still special. I feel like my mind doesn't have to think, just be.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vancouver class

I spent four days in Vancouver taking a class on weaving from Jane Stafford. It was so wonderful to be around weavers that think about cloth like I do. On the first day I was in Maiwa (the store that sponsored the class) with another student. I was looking at this scarf with her and I turned to her and just hugged her. I thanked her for being there.. It is so nice to share this part of yourself with people that look at weaving like it is an art form instead of just pieces of cloth.

I also had four days in a B & B being totally relaxed. No laundry, dishes, babies, dogs or jobs to do.
It was a wonderful vacation. I fully intended to come home every evening and work on spirit cloth, instead I was wiped out. I slept 10 hours one night. It was so consuming to be weaving and thinking of weaving every day. I did start a new base and today I will make some progress. I just got my first package from Glennis and I am thrilled. What a beautiful package of cloth, all blue and white. I love blue.

Now it is hard to not just go in there and cut off my warp and start over. I think the first thing to do is to order some color cards for bamboo and figure out what is next. I can weave and stitch in the mean time.

So I made new friends and have new skills and ideas. Wonderful time. Now if Theo will just learn to be good while I weave and stitch, life could be even better.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Still working

I have been working on this piece for the cloth to cloth workshop. Instead of trying new techniques, I have been stitching. I do find it relaxing and satisfying to just sit and stitch with a nice small cloth in my lap. I can do it for hours and did last night.

I like how the wolf is coming out of the mist and the little bits of green weaving. I have been stitching the weaving part with lots of stitches. Makes it look so textured and thick. I like that.

Today I am going to put this aside and try to weave on the loom. I am so inspired to weave but not what I am weaving at the moment. I am weaving place mats. It is a first for these. Not usually something I do, but I needed them and I wanted to try out some different techniques. I hope to make a rug and wanted to test the ideas on on a smaller project. Now I just want to weave something wool. Think it is time I got the smaller loom going. I do have some nice alpaca on it for a scarf. Weaving is weaving... just do it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Howling at the Moon

This is the cloth I'm making for the workshop. I used Susan's special dyed fabrics that are the same shades of color but different textures. I wove in some trees and a wolf. I am wondering if I should do more green. It is the first time that I feel like the story is coming from the cloth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I just came back from my vacation in Italy. I wish I were Italian.
I loved this place and dream of going again. I have a hard time imagining that people lived in the same city for centuries.. I went to a church that had been there in some form from the 8th century.. always makes me think that maybe I was there in a past life and just returning. Got us talking and thinking about time travel. I have always wanted to go back and see places in the past... China and Japan before their culture was changed by invasion of other people.
The American Indian before the white man came, France or Italy when the walled cities were where people lived. Someone said that be sure and not go during the plague. Good idea.

Good to be home and live in the moment.. sunshine on my face right now and good things all around.. Ripe tomatoes finally.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Birds of a Feather

I took this picture at the cabin. I really liked seeing all the purple starfish together. I wondered if the pink one felt left out and ugly. It wasn't up next to them.. just looking from afar. I love the tide flats. I could stay out for hours and often do. It is amazing for this Illinois girl to see the ocean.

I finished this piece of spirit cloth. I basted it to a checked cloth and hung it in my weaving room. I like looking at it. Two people have said they don't like the words on the cloth. I do like that part and I like stitching them. Will just do what I want and how it feels.

Will try to work tomorrow on more stitching and some weaving. Can't wait to show pictures here of how the placemats are progressing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Summer has finally hit the PNW. It is sunny and warm and finally going to hit 90 by the weekend. I know the east coast is frying but we are drowning. So summer is the best time here and I am working on a piece I call summer.

I have woven the "ground" with silk and am stitching more on it daily. I love the look of the orange flowers and the sun. Will continue to make progress.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is the second base I made. I found it difficult to create a story out of it. I finally realized that I just didn't have the experience that most people in the class have. So I decided to practice some of the stitching that was part of the class. I loved holding the cloth and stitching through it and remembering buying it. So I know that the story is in my heart.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I am visiting my daughter in Philly and enjoying summer. I forget how hot and humid summer can really be. After living in the northwest for over 30 years I think summer starts in July and hits the 80's in temp. WRONG...

I am enjoying this Sunday morning sitting on the back porch out of the AC and listening to the birds. It is early and all are sleeping inside. Both grandkids are here (one from Chicago and 18 years difference in age) and it a very interesting time. I love the busyness of seeing them all and love this solitude of morning. I miss seeing cardinals at home ( we don't have them).

I have just read another blog of a woman in Portland. She talked about femininity and I feel like I want to write about it too. I am a woman born after the war like so many. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and have struggled with the patterns my mother laid down in my mind. How to keep house, how to be a good wife and how to be a mother. I rebelled for years and finally found that I am just like my mother in so many ways. I am a good wife. I was a wife for 30 years and raised two children. I also have worked all that time in one job or another. Six years ago I became partners with a woman. I thought it would be so different than living with a man and I welcomed the differences. I found that it is so similar. But is similar because I am still who I am. I don't know how to not be a good wife.

I have friends that think it terrible that I do the laundry and keep the house clean, but that is who I am. I find that I like doing that. I am not a jock or a tomboy and have never been. My main thoughts are of textiles and and books and weaving and creating something out of yarn or cloth. I have loved this in one form or another all my life. I don't want to change it.

Since I am in the latter part of my life. I hope I have another third to go but who knows? I am blessed with health and have good genes but that is a crap shoot. So I hope I can wind down the working and enjoy the creating. I long to spend days just thinking about creating something that is in my head. I now keep Fridays for a weaving day. It might not be spent at the loom but it is not spent on the road or in the basement doing laundry. I might spend the day looking at weaving books or working on my new love, Spirit Cloth, but it is my day being in my head and working with my hands.

I still wear some makeup and am struggling with the changes in my body. It is hard to have these changes since we were so caught up in how we looked for so long. I would love to get past it and just let it all happen, but that is part of who I am too. I find that I am embracing that woman after all these years and loving her. I have not always felt that way. I am learning that we all have our experiences and they pile up on each other and create who we are. I like being this age and knowing that I can be slower in my life. I can sit for longer times and read more. I can create slow cloth that is made by hand on my loom or on my lap. I can be who I am.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Base for Spirit Class

The Spirit Cloth workshop has started and I am stretching my imagination. It is a craft that I have not tried before. I have always avoided quilting since I was a kid. My grandmother quilted and I watched her all the time. She did it all by hand, piecing all summer and then quilting it in the winter. I would try to quilt and she would take it all out. It wasn't a good way to teach a child. I was always sorry to not really know how. I love quilts and have bought many. I have quilts from her and others in the family.

Somehow seeing Jude Hill quilt is a different experience. It is all by hand and it not a bed quilt but an art piece. I want something to stimulate my creativity and spread over to my weaving. I think this is the way to do it. I am so excited about looking at things in a new way. I think about it a lot. Even when working, I am thinking of how to change the little pieces into something more interesting.

So these are my two bases that I will work on. Others are doing more bases, but I think I will stick with these two. I will also do some really small one to maybe add to these.

The first one I did because of the small piece of dyed fabric in the corner. It is a lining of a kimono that I took apart. I loved that little bit of orange and so that color came to mind when starting the piece. We have had little summer in the northwest so summer colors were what I was after. Susan gave me all the great pieces from her bags of cloth that she has dyed in her class. I did the weaving method that Jude showed online because I am a weaver first.

When Jude saw it she said that it should be about the weaver. It's funny that the weaver is named summers. So the first one I call Summertimes.

The second one I used the turban cloth that Jude suggested as my base. I then found some fabric that I bought in India in 1996. I love ikats and found a store filled with saris and cloth. I could have lived there. So I made the pillows with the cloth and then saved every piece that was left. It was perfect for this class. I call this piece The Road to India.