jude hill spirit cloth

Journal February 24th 2021

Starting from "SKRATCH"

To begin. From scratch. Let's call it Skratch. For fun. Nothing wrong with lightness. Play.

The first step seems like well, draw something on cloth.

But really, let's go backwards a bit.   I think I should talk a little bit about cloth first, for it is the base on which we will work.

And then it will be part of how we might continue.

And then thread, I need to say a bit about thread.  And mark making tools. Right?

I will create a little menu of posts called Red93db88bc5e402be8ff53b6ca7b1c8e7 Skitch Skatch as I go. To make this easier to follow if you get confused.  Life gets mixed in here. It's a diary.

cloth- base and skrap

Base Cloth.  When we talk about cloth as a base, it might be a different conversation than cloth as  a skatch. (patch over a sketch)  The base is a foundation and some cloth might be a better choice than another.  But my choice might not be suitable for you.  How do I choose? I'm talking about a base here, will talk about Skrap in another post. cloth


Thread. Like cloth, thread can make a difference.  I use DMC embroidery floss  for mostly everything.  And I have moved toward single thread stitching over the years as I further seek some sort of tapestry like one-ness between cloth and stitch. My only rule for the Skitching, use what I have. thread

mark making

Drawing on cloth has an interesting history for me.  In the beginning I looked for a marker that would disappear. Worried how to get an image on cloth.  Searched for methods and jumped through all kinds of hoops.  Then I stopped and said "wait a minute." marks

In general, Skitch Skatch, more than any other of my techniques, is based on creating with what's on hand. What's in your head.  No agenda.  Mending an image into existence using anything and everything from a doodle on up. It is SkrapWork.  Something from nothing. Everything is beautiful.

Where my heart might wander

We are in meltdown mode, as in spring is coming.  There is no way I will be sitting here in front of the computer today. Tomorrow,  Yesterdays Heart will be soaring. See you later. season


  1. “Maybe you have a white pencil from something” – gosh you make me smile.
    Safe to say there is nothing quite as happy as birdsong in the coming of Spring. xo

  2. Hmmmm those birds !
    (I “know” it all because : stitching for a looong time too, but is is wonderful to hear your voice telling it all again, never get tired of that)

  3. Pam S.

    Using what I have at hand is always what I’m trying do …. it feels good to not purchase so much stuff!
    You’ve set off a lot of ideas 💡 💙💙💙

  4. Marti

    Many years ago my daughter and her British husband traveled to Glastonbury, England and sent me a photo of an amazing tree. The tree was ancient, , gnarly, with very dark roots almost looking like fingers, rising up out of the ground, I called it the Dragon tree. I became obsessed with trying to create this tree on cloth so I dyed large amounts of cloth using walnut, crab apple bark, iron water, red onions on copper to get green for part of the grassy land and rusty bits to get those dark “dragony” roots. I also received some “magic” acorns from Glastonbury since Glastonbury is known for its magicks…

    Laying out all of the dyed cloth, I couldn’t begin to understand how to make my Dragon tree so I sat with the cloth and then simply began to draw acorns, a thick trunk and gnarly roots using the only tool I had on hand, black sharpies. My thought was that if any of the ink lines showed, I could stitch over them but I ended up leaving some of the swirly markings on the trunk and acorn outlines. Took a long time for me to complete this cloth. It hung for many years on the wall above our bed, mysterious, magical and momentous because I had never completed a cloth like this, using my sketches. I got so carried away that I even drew Celtic circles and stitched them all with green floss. Took apart an old bead bracelet because it had green beads and stitched those onto the center of the spirals… Knowing that I could take a living object, put the image in my head from a photo, and then sketch it on cloth, stitching it to life remains one of the high points of my journey with cloth. I guess this is my story of skitch skatch.

  5. Sharon Koch

    “spring!” yes! so ready to spring into a new thing! this post reminds of the first day of school, with my freshly sharpened pencils ‘n blank sheets of paper, excited to be with friends… ‘n there at the chalkboard is my most fave teacher of all time! x

  6. Jen NyBlom

    Oh! Oh! OH!! Ohhhhh…yes, this segment has “me” all over it!! Wheeeeee…and this morning: It SMELLS like Spring! Oh hallelujah, I could burst out in song myself!! (btw, the bird singing here–sounds like Cardinal–what is it?)
    Yippeee, Yahooo, Hip Hip Hooray! Spring is Coming!!!!!!!!!!!
    And, ooo, lucky us—four, count em, FOUR audio segments–
    SO Much to THINK ABOUT.

    Im going to go play in the dirt and THINK…

    Enjoy your beautiful day, Jude! xoxox

  7. It feels like a no-pressure activity. “Thank the Goodness!’ as my mother’s cousin used to say. Maybe, just maybe I will pick up needle and thread and make a Skitch-Skatch. It sounds so simple. Perhaps intimidation will remain in abeyance.

    Thank you for this lovely series of audio bytes. Just perfect in every way.

  8. Vicki L Hollander

    Beautiful…thank you…simplicity soothes along with the bird song…coming together as one..

    An aged pre-beginner question…for the wee piece above….your heart…
    what is a good size of base? a good size of fabric on top?

    with gratitude…again…

    • jude

      I think scale has to do with what you can handle when you begin. Any size can work but very often I work with a size that fits to my other work. Because it all then fits together like a puzzle. My pocket cloth size, that is small enough to carry with you, is about 4″ square ish and the second layer slightly larger. Enough for a seam incase I want to make it larger. I also like the framing effect around a small piece. Practice on small cloth is easier and less worry, like a loose scrap of paper, it doesn’t matter what happens.
      That birdsong made me happy this morning.

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