Friday, February 26, 2016


Hello everyone,

I must preface this post with the statement that I am not usually drawn to making political statements.  However, I am just home from my first evening of "stitching activism."  We gathered at the Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville to create squares filled with tally marks which represent the women whose life choices will be seriously affected by a case which is being heard now in our great state of Texas. I love Texas.  There are so many songs and tunes from and about Texas (part of me is a musician.) Many many women live in Texas. Each of our stitches was a stitch in support of a particular woman's right to choose her own life path. My total for two and a half hours was 510.

Everyone's piece was different!  (I'm really sorry I didn't take more pictures.) It was inspiring to sit in a room of men and women stitching in solidarity for our sisters at risk. The conversations were profoundly moving. We have all bumped up against these issues in one way or another and sharing our experiences perhaps for the first time, was an experience to treasure. The stitch-ins are happening in many places. You can learn more here.

In other news, I've been experimenting to enhance the process of more spontaneous embroidery. I have a hard time drawing on the cloth sometimes while an idea is developing but I was inspired on Instagram by ladyjanelongstitches ' work to try using a product called Sulky fabric stabilizer. You can draw on it, then baste it onto the background piece and stitch directly onto it. Then, when you're ready, you put it under the faucet and the drawing completely washes away!  This is my first (unfinished) experiment:

It represents the big activity on my block which is a neighbor house being raised to
create more space.  There are 4 of these houses.  They (including mine) were built in 1926 for small families who lived in this small working class town.  The house was recently bought by a larger family who wants more space for each person.  In my extensive time on this block (since 1975) I have known that house to be lived in harmoniously by a family that at one point included 5 people of 4 generations.  I could not do that myself, but Margaret, who lived there, could, plus she was a good neighbor.  She distributed cookies to us all on holidays.  She was retired and watched over us.  I loved that.  Anyway, change is coming, and our new neighbors, whom I don't know yet, are building a bigger house, which profoundly affects the amount of sunshine which will shine in the yard of the neighbor to the north.  So. Here we are. 

Somewhat abruptly, and lastly, because it is late, here is Gilly after getting her annual shots, resting (briefly).  

Love and peace to all~~s. 


  1. What a special stitching !!! (good cause !)

    I think this Sulky fabric stabilizer is a bit like our Water soluble ... ;-)

  2. Thank you, Els! It was very affirming to be in such good company, stitching and chatting together.

    It's my first experience using this Sulky product...I like it because I can draw on it, so it's helpful with design challenges. I must admit though that I prefer stitching directly on the cloth, because the needle slips through so much more easily. So it has a mixed review from me, but I'm glad to be trying it out. Is your Water Soluble product about the same?

  3. love the idea of the "stitching activism". Think I'll try to find the Sulky product and give it a try. Love your little stitching piece - especially the fish!

  4. i love what your making . since hanging out in jude's classes i gave up my attitude about marking on cloth . i use a pitt artist pen warm grey brush tip. it works great and it is permanent .i understand how you feel , sometimes i question my sanity (:

  5. Hi, Suzanna. I see you haven't posted for awhile, but your mark-making project was very interesting. I really liked the results. Also like the house piece. Have a very creative summer! best, nadia

  6. Hi Nadia, it's so nice to hear from you. That project was so gratifying to work join in with all those others to make a statement. Truly every stitch matters. And yes, very good results!! I hope to get back to posting soon...need to catch up. xo, s.

  7. I too am interested in your mark making project and activism with stitch. Have you participated in more of these since? x

  8. Dear Judy, there was one other event but I wasn't able to go to it, and haven't heard of anything nearby since. The Supreme Court DID rule in favor of the women of Texas, so that was quite heartening. The only other thing I've done that is similar has been a very small group called Stitching in Public. We go to a coffee house where people are all working on their laptops...and we order coffee and stitch away! Just to present a different option (and visual image) for how to spend one's time. Young people come up to converse sometimes. It's nice! My original inspiration to do this came from your posts about the beautiful church tapestries you brought into being. xo, s.