Thursday, December 08, 2016

Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith

There are so many things I like about this book.

The cover, for instance. It’s a hardcover book, but the surface is velvety.

The introduction. I learned I am not the only one who wants to wants to slow things down. An entire movement originated in the 1980’s in Italy with Carlo Petrini. The Slow Movement began as a protest against fast-food companies and expanded.

The author’s story. In the About Me section, author, Claire Wellesley-Smith describes her interest in textile arts and community based projects. Her seed to fabric project began with a garden of plants used for dying fabrics. She includes examples of her own work as well as that of other artists. I am inspired by a photo of one of her works in progress, a log-cabin sample made from a variety of white fabrics pieces sewn on a white handkerchief.

The beautiful close-up photos of details in hand sewn pieces. A number of artists are represented in this book, all are experimenting with textures and materials, upcycling and reusing fabrics and threads.

The idea and information about dying threads naturally. Before reading this book, I had dyed fabric, but had not thought of natural dyes for the threads for sewing.

Textile art as a cross-cultural activity. The author describes the kantha quilting technique which originates in Indian Bengal and Japanese boro.

Stitch journals. I like this idea and would like to try it. Rather than writing in a journal or sketchbook, Wellesley-Smith uses thread, needle and fabric to practice technique and record seasonal observations. She collects  found fabrics on her daily walks and incorporates them into her journal.

If you want to be a part of a cultural revolution, or just want to contemplate your next sewing project, check out Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art and find out how you can enjoy the process of hand sewing and making.

Here is another book to inspire: Lena Corwin's Made by Hand: A Collection of Projects to Print, Sew, Weave, Dye, Knit, or Otherwise Create. It includes illustrated instructions for different techniques. Or, you might like Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing and Mark-Making in Textile ArtAll are available at the Virginia Beach Public Library.

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