jude hill spirit cloth


Looking closer, signs of a struggle

but she is beautiful and she will make it

Magnolia. Looking closer.  I suppose this was some sort of frost damage.  Some fell off. But I am thinking it is just like that.  Usually we go just on.  Some might not even suspect the struggle in acceptance.

I was going to talk about cloth today but  I got into  something else and that is the way it goes.

Just Home 2 and three

So Just Home # one, there was no drawing.  And #2,  on the left here, a drawing just for reference, but no pattern pieces.  Number 3, on the right here, which I want to also call River House,  it is cut very roughly from the drawing from #2 that  I very roughly  cut into pieces.  I am going to work  with a method similar regular patchwork but using fold and stitch.

Of course I could have just as easily used these pattern pieces as puzzle pieces for paperless piecing.   But the rough cut and then just fold and stitch is less exact.  No measuring really just "close enough" shapes.  In this way you work with the shift that happens through imperfection and miscalculation.  And there is an amazing beauty in that. Because it can work. And it is full of delightful surprises.

I mostly try to work in horizontal blocks. There seems to be a peace in it.

So really, here, it is roughly draw with straight-ish lines , roughly cut the drawing into pieces, roughly cut the cloth slightly bigger than the pieces,  judging roughly how much to leave for folding, and then roughly fold and stitch.  Working in blocks helps. It won't be perfect.  Yay!  You can trim afterwards to make things fit.  Just another shift in what might be expected.  I want to talk, but the man is sleeping, so let me stitch this and I will talk tomorrow.


  1. Yes, acceptance! That’s all what life is about, isn’t it. And that is what keeps us going at the same time. I love how you express this in the shapes of the house. And the transformation from imperfection to beauty, and then surprise. And if we can see this, well we learn that there can be beauty in difficult (imperfect) situations as well. As I grow older, I’m learning this and well, it’s not easy but very helpful to keep going.

  2. Jen NyBlom

    The weekends are for gardening, it seems (if it will stop raining/thundering!!) but maybe Monday I will construct a house! Just becuz 🙂

  3. I’m gratefully holding your words of “roughly” and “a peace in it” from this post. Yesterday there was a magnolia tree with blooms the size of dinner plates.

  4. Sharon Koch

    celebrating the beauty of “miscalculation and imperfection”… and synchronicity! weaving a carpet on an outdoor loom could do that… x

  5. I’ve been working slowly on the big cloth I started with you last year. Because I’m making it specifically for my husband, I’m doing what he wants. It seems to get more and more traditional. Well, not exactly, but without the create-as-I-go aspect. Seeing your houses (I LOVE houses) has inspired me to get to work on a picture/story that’s been in my head for a while. I was over thinking it, trying to figure out all the details before I started. Silly me! It starts with houses, so I’ll just begin and see how/where it goes. Just going. I love that!

    The black pattern on blue over the green roof of the River House looks like an eye.

  6. Pam S.

    Perfect timing for me too … working on this Indigo Garden quilt I’ve been planing to only make small cloth pieces from here on out…. I feel the need for more abstract and less structured quilting.
    Your blog helps me to try new ways of stitching! as always thank you Jude for sharing ❤️

  7. cednie

    Good timing for this post! I am attempting to put a backing on a pieced cloth. To get the existing fringe on both sides, I had to cut the backing cloth in half. Now I need to sew it back together, so I pinned down the “fold” yesterday, thinking… How is this going to work??? Now I know it’s possible. I think I have to turn it inside out. The whole thing is a puzzle, hard to describe. But enjoying it. And loving your little houses, and especially the word “rough”!

  8. Jana Jopson

    This almost makes me tear up with the simplicity of it (and tenderness) and the feeling that perhaps, at last, I could make something, too. I have never seen or understood cloth from this perspective (spirit and whispering). There it was all along, but your eyes and heart made it visible for others to see, too.

  9. Susanne

    poor magnolias, they do suffer with frost – so brave to be so beautiful early in the year. But still beautiful even with brown edges

  10. Marti

    Ways and pieces: Having recently moved just this week, (landlord needed $ so had to put our rental house up for sale) and it has been quite the experience moving during a pandemic…luckily R is fully vaccinated and I have had at least one shot. We are finding ways to “home” ourselves in this old/new place. We gave up a garden but can always container garden and have gained a budding and blooming apple tree and more house space. We now live in the bottom unit of a quadraplex,( have not lived in one of those since our college days). Neighbors are long term residents, quiet, and landlord, who is a realtor, has a daughter who lives here so we will be well looked after in terms of housing needs. Across the way are families and it was with great joy, having a window open that I could hear giggles, running and joy coming from the kids across the way. Although we are in our 70’s and had considered looking for a home in an active 55 community, we like living with all ages and especially love hearing and seeing the joy of children discovering their world.

    But back to the apple tree: one of our daughters in CA has an apple tree and we have all helped make cider and apple sauce so an idea is forming depending on how this apple tree produces. For now, I simply trimmed some blooming back branches of the apple tree to bring indoors and put on our kitchen table…the need to bring in spring growth has added to our sense of comfort.

    Equally in our previous home I had 18 of my naturally dyed cloths on the walls, here I have put up just 7 and it is enough…thought about rotating my cloths, creating a gallery but even better was the longing to deconstruct, to remove patches, to lay out pieces of previous cloths that told a story from then and see what will come from telling this story, here and now, adding to the mix, the cloths that I will dye from foraged materials as I come to know this new area. Still in the same city but different zip code, lots to explore…ways of continuing to piece together a life, ways of seeing and ways of doing- it all equals just going.

  11. mritan55

    Learning much from your daily creating. Really appreciate the links that further illuminate the day’s thoughts.

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