I posted an article recently about the return of The Dots. The piece was hand stitched with rice stitch. The detail I am showing today is of a much larger piece in which I am again using rice stitch. I took a very deep breath before I started this work as it is perhaps an area of 24" x 45". I love to work large but I have never committed to stitch such a large area in this way.
When I began to learn to quilt I hand quilted several full size works with a traditional quilt stitch but it is just too hard on my hands and as I began to make more work I felt pressed to "move along" so I began machine quilting. So how do I find myself with several large pieces in various stages of completion, all being hand stitched?
I think the answer is I always knew I felt connected to this process. I took the Expressive Stitch class with Dorothy Caldwell a couple of years ago and loved that. It reminded me of how much the touch of hand adds to work. During the last year I collaborated with Kathy Loomis on a blind stitching project and we are continuing that work to be presented at some point in the future.
Another large factor in this change of pace is due to my personal commitment to slow down and enjoy my studio. I decided to take a break from entering shows and just work. I had a show in the early fall at USC Upstate - Pieced Together, with my husband, Tom and we have another show coming in February at The Arts Center in Greenwood SC along with our friend, printmaker Syd Cross. so I'm not totally out of sight but I'm not having to think about show entries, acceptance or rejection, shipping and receiving etc. It's rather refreshing.
This change of pace requires that I accept the investment of time that is required and enjoy the physical aspect of the work. I hang the work on the design wall often and enjoy the progress and I also make a point of rotating which work I'm actually working on. This keeps it fresh for me. I am also continuing to keep at least one work going that is more inline with what I had been doing and just today I am preparing to put the facing on a new work that is machine pieced, appliqued and machine quilted. Mixing things up seems to help me feel productive.
Well Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. You are the reason I choose to blog and I appreciate your comments and support.
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