After exploring many different techniques in the fibre arts, I always find my way back to stitching; needle, thread, and fabric hold endless possibilities to me. Whether I’m making quilts, repairing tears or holes in clothing, or stitching an embroidery, it’s where my creativity flourishes and I find my peace. I love the contrast of thread on fabric; thoughtful, intentional, and necessary stitches. There are endless possibilities in the basic running stitch.
I once heard someone say, “There is a quicker route, but you’ve chosen this one.” I often think about this as I gather fabrics, cut or tear them into pieces, sew them back together in geometric designs, and then topstitch them again by hand. I think about this when I prepare a dye vat and dye some fibre over a three day period. I think about sustainability and how important it is to consider where my tools and supplies have come from and where they’re headed as either waste or finished product. Can I reduce the waste? What is involved in doing this? How many steps and how much time?
I am inspired by thrift, by my grandmother’s polyester scrap quilts, by sashiko stitches, and vintage Amish quilts. I look to the quilters of Gee’s Bend, visible mending, and sustainability practices to guide my process. The harmonious colours emerging from a natural dye bath, quilt block names, and the richness of a minimal palette filled with hand stitches fascinate me. I value quality craftsmanship and strive towards being the example that I seek and admire.
When I work, I think of the lineage of my craftsmanship; to those that did this work before me and to those that will do it in the future. Stitches are timeless; they suspend us equally in the past, present, and future. These thoughts guide me along the path that each piece takes me.