Aaliyah (age 5) took the photo of me holding the little square of O. A black and white graphic O with white stitches. Stitching the square is the easy and best part, establishing a regular sequence around the stitching is not ! I chop and change every day. It’s day 11, a good enough day to remind myself to implement ‘the making routine’, the way I did with yoga.
Thinking about the square patch I’m using , I wonder where the square was first represented? It’s not a naturally occurring phenomena as far as I know. Crystals have geometric shapes though, like octagons. I think the square was created from the circle. Sharpening off the edges from the mid point of the circle to meet up at right angles……
After a modest amount of research I discover that a square created from the outside circumference of a circle is impossible due to mathematical laws. The drawn square is constructed from the inside area and circumference of the circle and here’s an animation to show you how ( if you don’t already know )
I also find that the most common crystal form is the cubic crystal ! look at this perfect cube created by nature. and consider common patchwork shapes used, the square, triangle, hexagon, rectangle, shapes that occur naturally in crystal form too. This is appealing, that quilters are recreating gems of the earth.
N for nine. Nine days and nine patch, a traditional quilt construction, based on the mathematical sequence of having the same number of units along each side. Most blocks, as they are called, use 4, 9, 16 patches of cloth. Traditional patchwork uses small symmetrical blocks in repeat, for ease of handling, to help plan and unify the design and to make use of available fabric, joining them all up to make up the larger whole.
This project will end up as a hundred patch. It will be long and narrow, like the Instagram feed, 33 rows high and 3 wide, with the last square on top, the crowning glory, the cherry on the cake. Only another 91 days to go…
Now there are six squares.
Well, today has been a success, because I stitched the ‘y’, and because I’ve tweaked my routine, I worked my morning and started it the way I wanted. No dilly dallying today. So a nice bright yellow ‘y’ to celebrate.
Experts in time management, recommend celebrating small wins. Sowhen you’ve achieved that small thing that’s on the way to a bigger thing, celebrate ! give yourself a pat on the back.
I am happy with the words today as well as the art and my head feels fine.
X marks the spot of competing patterns, a metaphor for my day.
I originally picked out a bright egg yellow ‘n’, then noticed that it would spell ‘no’. X to make up a random selection of letters, like a sight test chart.
X pairs with ‘O’, a sign of endearment, in an email or letter. Xo xo , something positive.
I am switching my routine, to stitch first and then do yoga, because I had a strange feeling in my head yesterday after I posted on the blog. The crown of my head felt weird, I couldn’t get out of that place, involved with words, technology, stuck the virtual space of my head and the internet, it seemed like one and the same thing.
How did I remedy it ? it did the dishes, yep, I stood washing up the dishes, back to a safe, familiar, scenario…Woman Washing Dishes…trying to ground myself and return to my whole body. I think yoga will be a better solution.
So now I’ve completed my little stitches for today. I love the colour, it is bright, vivid and warm. The circle or ring is an ancient and universal symbol.
I like it, I like the shape, this ‘O’ . It is pleasant to stitch, no sharp, untidy corners, with exactly the right amount of thread on the needle. It looked as though the thread was going to run out but didn’t. Then lots of little ideas arrived, how I might make micro changes.
‘h’ was my first choice letter today and provided todays title.
So yesterday (Day 2) I nipped Into town to replenish supplies. MacCulloch and Wallis and John Lewis were my destinations. As I turned left into Dering Street, it was looking decidedly quiet, maybe because there is major cross rail works going on , but as I approached, the door was closed ( usually open) and then my worst fear.. An empty white filled space, no flashes of cloth, no busy people coming and going, all very quiet and sedate. The gallery had some colourful painting though, I was in half a mind to go in, to see the art up close and enquire about MacCulloch and Wallis. I checked online instead, to see , and really really hope, that they’ve just relocated and not fallen victim to the online revolution ( that helped my search ….) What a relief, thank goodness, yes ! they are in Poland Street now. Makes sense actually to be near Berwick street and the cloth shops there. The new website looks cool too.
So as you were, every thing is alright. This is one of the benefits of living in this fantastic metropolis, having specialist shops a bus ride away. But as my mild panic for the potential demise of my haberdasher of choice shows, maybe I should be appreciating it and them more often.
MacCulloch and Wallis – Haberdashers – suppliers of stitching goodness
The letter ‘f’ picked at random and kept for its pale blue as light as todays sky. The nearly vintage 80’s furnishing print is in a greyish palette of pink and purples/blues. Not too happy with the overall effect of the blue and the green thread, I prefer yesterday’s brighter colours and contrast. Here come the likes and dislikes, to discern as you go. We will see how it works In the over all scheme of things. One day at a time. One letter at a time. Focus. Simple. Is there anything more to say on today’s rendition of the letter ‘f’? It was chosen for its colour primarily, and because I like the detail shape of the top of the ‘f’ the curve and bar going across the stem. I’m sure there are words for the features of a letter, this is the realm of calligraphy. I like letters and I like to see their shapes enlarged in cloth. The colour and stitching adds dimension.
I have one hundred 3″ cloth squares in various colours and a number of random letters left over from another project. Each day I will stitch one letter to one square and post it on Instagram and blog about the process here. This is to get into a habit of making and to make a micro system of recording my projects. In keeping it small, and keeping it simple is to get myself a modest result and most of all to finish.
Because in last year”s #100 day project I was going along happily, then stopped for no apparent reason. I failed and took so long to recover. Really. This is a pattern of mine. When I am making something and feel good about it, I halt. There has been plenty of time for reflection as to why.
There were several contributing factors ( some might say excuses ) such as external circumstances and all manner of mindset games (generally known as the ‘inner critic’ ) that played in my head to divert me to ‘not’ doing. It is quite staggering the way the brain works to prevent a person ( that is, me ) to fulfill a simple aim, to make art for one hundred days. And when it didn’t happen, the consequences were drastic, to the extent that my grand daughter observed that my studio looked abandoned..
Some lessons learned from last time.
1. to focus only on the task, to finish the daily task. I found that I started to include other things that were not about the project, like celebrating my yoga days for example. Nothing to do with one hundred beautiful words.
2. There is what I call ‘force fixing ‘ mentally shaping the outcome – what it would look like, what would happen as a result, etc etc. Who knows what will happen as a result of 100 days of making or what it will look like. I have to just stitch each day, it will reveal itself as we go along.
3. When I’m doing something i love, ideas flow freely and open up the potential for bigger things, my mind becomes distracted, ambitious and gets carried far away from the task at hand.
4. Then there were the external circumstances, life showed up in the form of family drama and of course I dropped tools to help. There was no need for me to give up my project though, I just did.
So here, I am trying again, this time with a refined plan. To keep the whole process simple to execute, simple to record and simple to finish. To complete daily, to stitch over and over each day for 100 days. I’m hoping also to establish a routine that will lodge in my brain, for onward use into other endeavours. This is the intention ( after doing my daily stitching that is )
Hand of truth (c) Maggie Winnall
todays truth admits to the perennial challenge : too much stuff in the studio. I create a wide enough gap on the table to write and draw, there is a path in and out, but the rest is chock full so no sewing at all.