Yes and No

Hand and machine stitched intuitive art textile by Maggie Winnall at Sewin Studio
Yes and No © Maggie Winnall. Machine and hand stitched art textile

Yes! I’m happy to say that I completed my project, #100 Day Result, finishing up on July 27th or thereabouts. I stitched one hundred Applique fabric letters.  My sense of self and artist self merged into one. I became an artist.
I maintained my daily practice through one hundred days. It felt good. A new process emerged from the experiments, or even multiple processes as I tried hand and machine stitching in differing ways.  I was riding the crest of the wave and keen to continue, I made a start on supplementing the missing alphabet letters. I call this project #44lettersmore.

Then along comes the ‘no’ part of the blog title.The ‘no’ represents a pause, the delay in daily stitching. I slip back into resistance, I deny myself the pleasure of making. As I write now, I see I am concentrating on the negative but it ( this negative) has to be acknowledged. It is a pattern of mine, a recurring theme. I will be going happily along then I stop suddenly and drift away from my intention, for no apparent reason. It then takes ages before I realise I’m off the beaten track.  Much has been written about this, I know because I have All of the books !  So I have gleaned an insight as to why I behave in this way.. But it is a battle, a silent stealth that creeps back.

Do Your Best

Do. Your. Best.

Mum’s maxim still rings in my ears, even after all this time. The power of words to linger, to imprint in your mind, to guide, to remind.

‘do’ is hand stitched.  I’ve taken the stitches across the letters here, to echo the background. I love to hand stitch. I love machine stitching also. There’s no need to choose one above the other, just enjoy each process.

As this project develops, I notice I am searching for specific letters to complete a word. There are no ‘b’s’ left, so I reversed a ‘d’ instead. I could expand the lexicon but will stick to the plan and only use the remaining letters. Keep some boundaries, test some limits. It will only be a problem if I want to spell.

Fast and Slow

This is a fast and slow process. It is about the speedy sewing machine, where the fabric is manipulated with free flowing movement. The machine whip stitch causes the bobbin thread to be pulled to the top, creating little dots and pulls around the circles, echoing the edge stitch of the letter. I like this spontenaiety.
Then it’s slow and purposeful, stitching by hand to define the letter. The choice of colour and weight of thread influence the outcome. Using the same thread on the letter as on the back ground creates balance, using a weightier thread brings colour and texture to the surface.

Word games

The letters are growing in number. It’s time for a little fun, (or pun !) time for a word game and this is what I came up with. I especially like the vibrancy of ‘opens’.

Good enough

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.

Circles and Squares

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

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

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

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.