Grow

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I was mentally searching for the right word to put on here. I found ‘grow’ among my box of tricks. I had a choice of pink or green/white. ‘The right words at the right time’ you’d be mine’ Lyrics from Tracy Chapman float into my head. 
I like how the densely stitched shapes create an undulating surface. The bicolour letters blend in and out of the back ground colour. Not too obvious.
 
Initially the letters were fed into the sewing machine , one snapped needle later and a chorus of profanity I decide it’s better to hand stitch through the layers. 

I love the sensation of stitching into quilted cloth. it’s meaty as the needle sinks in, passes through and the tug of thread as it tails out, tautens, comes to a halt. 
As I stitch all manner of thoughts come and go.. It creates a space to think, the hands are occupied .

Done ?

Hand and machine stitched intuitive textile art by Maggie Winnall at Sewin Studio
Z,M,V,A © Maggie Winnallf 

Four more letters towards my #44lettersmore project. I have 30 letters so far. I’m unsure if these are done , they might need something a little darker. Also my spectacles crashed to the floor and split in two. So I’m working with an older pair… This might explain a lot .

Art practice Yoga Practice

Hand and machine stitched intuitive art textile by Maggie Winnall at Sewin Studio
‘Today I did yoga’ © Maggie Winnall

which I do three to four times a week now. The difference with today’s  practice is that I rescheduled my yoga to immediately after I got up this morning. I followed through on an intention to practice at a specific time. For this I gain clarity and presence. It’s remarkable what a shift in schedule and attitude can do!

What have you altered that makes a difference to your day ?

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.

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.

Day 4 #100 Day Result

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.

Trying again

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 )

Rose Tinted World

 

A rose tinted world stitched in the secret garden, a glorious afternoon spent listening in to life. A squirrel rummaging in the bin, airplanes coursing , parakeets squawking, a squabble of crows swooped in . Then  calls and cries of children from the nearby paddling pool echoed all around, zoo like, alongside murmurs of hushed conversations passing by.

The garden shared secrets. As I stitched and took photos, the links between the images came into view. The dress I wore to mums funeral, ‘the world’ cloth  mum bought for me from the fabric shop in Brixton,  heaven scent from the roses ( she had a beautiful rose garden) and the exotic magnolia still blooming in July ( which mum couldn’t grow in her garden on account of the soil, but loved anyway.)

sometimes,  you have to pause , whether you like it or not, to assimilate, before you are able to proceed.