text/stitch works

New improvised text/stitch works.... These pieces feature 'raw poems', first drafts, improvisations. Instead of writing in a notebook (or on the back of an envelope) I set up my sewing machine with a blank page of linen fabric and I stitch the words..... I'm often asked what machine I have, so if you are new to my work I should explain I have been working on the same basic machine for the past sixteen years - a basic Elna that is set up with the dog feed down so that I can use free motion stitching.

This is not an easy task, as you may imagine. It is a task that requires different areas of my creative brain to work at the same time - I am writing, considering imagery, not thinking ahead too much but going with the flow of language though yes there is a certain amount of editing on the go as I don't want the piece to be completely intelligible or uninteresting. At the same time I must stitch with some care and yet to maintain my handwriting I must stitch at some speed. I choose not to draw guide lines as I like to allow my handwriting to meander a little, so that the piece has a truly improvised feel.

days of unexpected sun
then dark cloud and forget-
me-nots altering the smile of
green....birds depending on their
own shimmer and mirrors tip-toe
across freshly dug paths and
dreams letting go of shimmer for
a luxury of twigs and I kneel a
a digger bee breaks into warm
daisy roots to rest a moment as
sun returns and all over green
shakes a world that cannot see or
know how things came again with
tomorrow's pretty poems just to
catch us out oh blackbird sees
only through a thin veil of me as I
borrow and beg the flowers to rise
their sleeping rough buds obscured
by wild ferns....

(as a starting point for this piece I took the phrase 'oh blackbird sees through...' from the piece above and began there)

oh blackbird sees through the
thin veil of me knows my rootless
plundering - we are all trespassers -
words cannot stitch together a flower
any more than rain may shape the
limbs of a child..... I hold nothing
and anything certain this bright
love that warms the stones and leaf
somehow loves me too despite my
ghostly tread in borrowed gardens
see hear the laugh of my shaken
leaves at midnight or how I fail
the rosebuds at three am... this is not
you at all the starlings have
fought over only the mirror images
of this springtime - the real one
comes when we are lost

The reverse side is left uncovered so that the mirror writing can be seen, making an interesting alternative. These pieces are designed to be framed, perhaps in a deeper frame, allowing room for the loose threads. A printed/typed copy of the text comes with each work.

I've not made stitch/text pieces for a while, so it is interesting to return to making a few of these. I've felt my writing has not had time recently - and I am hoping to make more time for it. I've been working on a collection of short stories and new poems, but these things take time.

I will be offering both pieces in my shop this week (as well as a few other stitched works), a still life painting and a a new selection of tiny portraits.


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