Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Stitched Textile Pictures: Barn Series

Back in April I began a new series of stitched barn textile pictures. Not surprising that I decided to focus on barns... anyone familiar with my work knows how much they inspire me. But I seem to especially turn to them in times of trouble. As I walk or drive past them, I've always felt that they whisper to me their own stories of happy memories, along with times of struggle, hardship and survival. They truly are like friends to me, and help me feel like I am not alone as I make my way through this life.

As for the stitched barns below, each one is made from vintage grain sack material, and bits of antique fabric salvaged from an old quilt too far gone to repair. Some also have bits of vintage book cloth, as well. All have been machine and hand stitched. Once finished, each one is then mounted, via hand stitch, to a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. 

The first batch of 8 have already sold and I just listed the second batch of 8 today in my Etsy shop. Below are all 16 in full, along with some detail shots, too.

PS. I hope everyone is hanging in there and doing ok. These are difficult times for our country. Again, anyone who is familiar with me, knows that I am aghast at our current administration. Stay safe and well. And VOTE! xo

Barn no. 1

SOLD

Barn no. 1 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 2 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 3 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 4 - Detail

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(with eleanor)
(some are really small!)

SOLD


Barn no. 5 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 6 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 7 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 8 - Detail

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SOLD

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Barn no. 9 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 10 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 11 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 12 - Detail

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Barn no. 13 - Detail

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Sold


Barn no. 14 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 15 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 16 - Detail




Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Faded Memories

This blog post immediately feels inadequate to me. How do I post something without acknowledging what we are collectively going through right now? And yet, anything I say feels so insignificant in the face of it all.

I wish I had wise words, comforting words, words that maybe could make you laugh for a second and momentarily forget the pain, the fear, the sadness, the confusion... but I don't.

The only thing I have is my compassion for whatever it is that you are going through...

If you are a medical worker on the front lines, risking your own life to save the lives of others, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you are one of the many workers, such as my husband, who is still called in to work and you find yourself in an environment that puts you at risk and seems to undervalue the service you provide, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you have been laid off from your job, and are not sure if your job will ever exist again, such as myself, finding yourself in an odd state of limbo where one day blends into the next and you feel unproductive despite having more time on your hands then you ever had before, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you are a parent of young children, possibly juggling work from home along with childcare, homeschooling, housework and meal prep, and increasingly find yourself understanding why some species eat their young, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

xoxo

The rest of this post is me just showing you some pics of the piece I recently completed. It's a small piece, (14" x 16.5") started months ago... one that I would just pick up here and there and add a bit of stitch before putting down again, and now it's finished...


"Faded Memories"
Made from vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of book cloth gleaned from the covers of vintage books that I have had in my possession for 30 plus years... It was time for them to be repurposed...


Some small holes in the cloth gave me a place to mend...


Machine and hand stitched,


And patched together...


And that's all I got.
Stay safe. Stay well. 
xo


Monday, December 16, 2019

Shunned Series



In my mind a did a blog post just about a month or so ago... in reality it was 8 months ago, and here we are with just a few weeks left in 2019. So, with that realization, I figured it was definitely time to do one last blog post before the new year.

While I've made a couple of quilts between my last post and this one, (both of which can be found on my Instagram feed, I thought I'd share with you what I've been most recently stitching.

Small stitched works visually inspired from the local worn and weathered barns that I photograph on my phone as I go from here to there, in Northern Lancaster County and surrounding areas, such as these two...





Each was stitched while contemplating that, (and those) which are rejected, discarded, abandoned, deemed unworthy... But which deserve love, respect, honor, dignity, and understanding. I also pulled from personal memories of rejection, as well as reflecting on the Amish practice found here in Lancaster County of shunning those in the family that choose to forge a different path.  And from those contemplations, all I can say is this...

We all have faced rejection and we have all been the one that rejected. We have all been judged, and we have all judged. We have all had love withheld, and we have all withheld love. That alone should give us compassion. Everyone is broken to some degree, and everyone is in need of some tender mercy. 

Having said that, (and warning... I'm about to go political here) I admit I'd find it hard to give that mercy to some... including the person who now occupies the White House. However, should he ever grow a heart, or at least a moral compass and truly ask for forgiveness, then that is what I hope I would do. Until then, I hope his is a one term presidency, or better yet, a less than one term.

Below are the 8 pieces I've stitched so far in what I am calling my "Shunned" series. I may finish with one more, or keep going. Don't yet know. 

The photos were all taken in various natural light and aren't the best, so have a bit of mercy for them.


"Fragile"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
7" x 4.5"



"Broken"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
3" x 3"




          
"Hidden"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5.75" x 5"



"Labeled"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
7.5" x 6"


 

"Exiled"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
6.25" x 5.25"



                                 

"Discarded"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
8.5" x 4.25"





        

"Homeless"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5" x 5.25"



"Omitted"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5.5" x 5.75"


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Wishing you all the best for the New Year.
xo









Thursday, April 25, 2019

Off the Beaten Path



If you read my last post, than you know that I have been on a bit of a fabric buying strike, but allowed myself to indulge in buying some thrifted men's shirts, (results of which to date can be found on that post as well). 

Well... I also allowed myself to buy some vintage grain sack fabric found at a local Mennonite quilt sale. I figured it was fair game, as it isn't new and I fell hard for its quiet beauty, flaws, stains and all. 

And on a quick side note... may I say many thanks to those that did read my last post and a special thanks to those that took the time to leave a comment. I know much time can go from one post to another, (although not this time) and everyone's kindness is always so very much appreciated!  


I got several pieces of this incredibly soft grain sack fabric that has the most amazing drape. Old dirt and mildew stains speckle the cloth which I find lovely. (The fabrics all appeared to have been washed before selling, with no evidence of active mold or mildew. However, I still gave everything a thorough cleaning in very hot water and dried on a long high heat once home as well. I want those lovely stains to remain, but also wanted to ensure that no active spores were still present.)

Now that I hopefully peeked your interest, I regret to say that I am still contemplating what to do with the above fabrics, so nothing more to show you there. And I might as well be up front now, (after my last post set the bar a bit high) just ONE quilt to show this time, but I think it's a good one!

Ok, back to the fabrics, and eventually that one quilt...

I also got a stack of these low volume beauties...


I am serious as can be when I tell you that their weave, their colors, their typography... 
all make my heart speed up and my mouth literally starts to salivate. 
Why on earth I do not know... it's not like I want to eat them.
(Or do I?) 

No, I'd much rather sew with them...


Vintage grain sacks
Freehand cut, machine pieced, hand quilted
27.5" x 21"


Out of all the quilts I've ever made I think this was my favorite one to quilt. 


All the hand quilting was done in a VERY freeform manner. 


No planning, no marking, just stitching. 
It was, in a word, LIBERATING! 


Some of the material was very gauzy and light weight, so I decided to line the whole quilt with a piece of muslin fabric layered between the top and the batting, in order to give it better stability. This also came in handy when I decided to mend two small holes found in one of the fabric pieces. I just hand stitched the edges, and left the hole openings be, allowing the muslin lining to peak thru. You can see a better close up in that photo at the very top of this post.

Oh, and here's a little tid bit... 
Have you noticed that little slice of fabric that says Baltimore? 
It was part of the address found on one of the grain sacks.
I put that in as an ode to where I was born.


I backed the quilt with a natural unbleached muslin and for the binding I used a gauzy vintage fabric that I got at the same sale. Then I washed it to bring out all that delicious, crinkled, quilt texture. 


Quilt is currently for sale in my Etsy shop and can be found here.

Thanks for stopping by.

xo