Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Change of Pace

Rice Stitch

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.

Thank you for spending time at Studio 24-7. I love hearing from you and Remember:

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  1. I like your comment about slowing down and enjoying your studio, it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately and seems to be a recurring philosophy amongst makers' blogs lately.

  2. Hi Carrie! Well it certainly has been a nice change for me and I can recommend it without any hesitation.

  3. Keep those stitches coming. I like the look of it, and it makes me want to do the same. The same, only different.

  4. Loved this post, Terry, and Happy Thanksgiving! I, too, am doing handstitched work these days. Just started yesterday on a piece that might have been machine stitched and quilted, but I decided recently to handstitch it. And all that eco dyed fabric I've been producing...planning to handstitch there as well. I'm not doing any shows outside of CA these days, it's too costly for me. Also I'm letting go in one way or another of most of my earlier quilts. I'm in a new phase, starting fresh to a large extent, and making the art for myself primarily.

  5. Thank you Alice, Judi and Connie for your comments.

    Connie I appreciate the notes on your activities. It is expensive to be shipping work all over and a new phase sounds exciting!

  6. This is like a prayerful exercise for me...the slow hand stitching eases the rough moments of our often chaotic lifestyles. Blessings to you, Mary Helen

  7. Thank you Mary Helen. I am in total agreement with you. We are often so frantic in our daily lives and this practice is a welcome break. xo, T

  8. Belated Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you too! Love your Rice Stitched piece. Slow stitching is good, isn't it. I am doing a lot of knitting for the same reason - a slower change of pace. I'm also back into embroidery on my dyed silk pieces. It makes you stop and really think about the piece that you are creating.
    I'm wondering if you are still enjoying your iron. I'm not going to order mine for another month or so - waiting for further reviews from you.
    I'm also wondering how far Greenwood, SC is from my home in Gainesville, GA. It can't be too far. I'd love to see your show!


  9. Hi Judy, Thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes. We had a great one. I also tend to get out the knitting needles when the air gets chilly....can't say I produce much however.

    My iron is still doing really well. At this point I can't say anything but good things about it.

    Greenwood is about 2 1/2 hrs from Gainesville. I looked on the map and there just don't seem to be good roads between the two places. Would love for you to see the show ;-)

  10. I love using the rice stitch. The largest piece I ever quilted was a 24" x72" piece for my father- my first comb quilt. It took months of work and the quilt traveled everywhere I went and saw more airports than most quilts do! It gave me quiet time to contemplate the changes that were going on with my father, my family and myself. It is a different kind of experience than machine quilting for sure.

  11. Hey Judy! I know the truth of the time you gave for finishing your work. It's a huge commitment but sooooo beautiful. My piece will not be flying anywhere but I hope it will still get completed and I appreciate your shared thoughts on contemplation. Each of those stitches is like a tick mark in time at the tips of your fingers. xo, T