jude hill spirit cloth

what you reveal and what you don’t reveal

As we get older, it is easier to see things. In context. After a lot of the story has played out.

I can say, over the years I have been blogging, let's see, 16 years, (17 if you include the blog I actually deleted) feels more like forever,  I can say there is a long enough time for me to see how things change. Around me.  How (and why) my style of blogging process took hold.  How the ragged, the mended, the imperfect became  the trend of the day. How I remember when it wasn't.  How lucky we are to live long enough to look way back. And then to still be here to wonder what's next? How might it happen?

hello from both sides of me

I remember, way way back, while writing an article for a publication, doesn't matter which one... the person I was working with at the publishing company, she said to me, I like how you show the inside workings of a piece, how you reveal and celebrate the backs of things, the slowness, the simplicity, I think you are on to something.  We decided to name the article Slow Cloth.  That was way way back.  Then when I hosted my first class and mentioned calling the book I dreamed about Slow Stitch (related to the reference blog I was using to catalog  technique)  and didn't because well it was taking forever to put a book together. Probably I mentioned that too.    And well, I decided not to do the article.  Or pursue the book as I imagined it.  Why is something I now choose not to reveal.

Sometimes revelation is rooted in conflict. Like proving something. Holding on. Sometimes it is to  Feel Free.  Let go.

All I can say is letting go makes me feel lighter. I am not ashamed of how I feel.  I know it is way bigger than who we think we are.  How we feel.  We are like a soup.  A collective phenomenon.  Self . Selves. Our selves, Your selves.

And getting older gives you permission to say, a lot, "I wasn't born yesterday".

So let me say that again.

I wasn't born yesterday.  And I sure have a lot of stories.

enter the zone...



  1. Luna

    It’s always so pleasant to come here to read/listen to your stories. They reflect so much of the feelings flowing through me these days. Also not born yesterday. Whenever I have considered the idea of slow cloth you are who come to mind.
    The culture out there seems to require ideas to be owned like tangible objects. But who really can own an idea, a thought, process, ? Making a lot of noise about ownership seems really childish. 😀

    • jude

      I think it is all tangled up in other things, hard to sort it out. We all have stories. Best to share them. Makes a difference.

  2. I’m stuck in the efficiency world during the week, because if you’re not efficient A LOT falls apart! But, the weekends and nights are my time to Feel Free ❤️

  3. carroleb

    What a wonderful conversation.
    I find in talking with younger folks, and telling stories, they usually say, wow, you’ve had so many adventures..I answer that if I have truly lived my life, I should have many wonder filled stories by my age.
    I tell them I wish for them as many stories….
    Wishing I had more cloth stories…but there’s still time.

  4. Vi

    🙂 wasn’t born yesterday and letting go somehow gives the stories told a flavour I am grateful for. Some stories become a line.
    Thank you Jude.

  5. Dewey Cabe

    as a designer for almost 40 years, i have seen my work copied/appropriated so many times i lost count. i have also been inspire by the work of someone else. while i always believe the work I saw was a spark for something new i’m sure many have thought my work copied theirs. i always go back to my greatest design professor, allan donaldson who always said there is nothing new under the sun only new ways to see it.

  6. sharon

    those who try to take credit for what isn’t theirs by copyrighting what they copied have written a life story with an unhappy ending! your back side reminds me of a lightning strike!

    • jude

      Nothing is really ours, but there can be a culture of respect. I think that can soften the way to claim. Groups form focused on inclusion while losing site of their exclusionary nature . We all do that to a certain extent. The circles.

  7. Dakotah

    Some people are the support of everything else that exists, maybe like a base cloth and how it is the foundation of all that is built upon it. But good luck trying to tell anyone. Claiming words or phrases as your own (especially when they are not) always feels pretty arrogant to me. Maybe because I’m a writer and who owns words really?
    Sometimes I look at younger people and think what do you know? You’ve been here like two seconds. And I, too, have some decades under my belt at this point.
    I’m trying to find ways to tell my own stories and believe me I understand the concept of being ripped off. I think I go in circles a lot. Maybe that’s ok as I like circles. Dunno. Sometimes I prefer to just float above it and observe.

    • jude

      ownership is mixed up in so many things really, success mostly. no matter how you define that.
      But then if you are lucky you can get carried away by the spirit of the thing and fly free.

    • Alice

      I like your phrase “base cloth.” Working on my family’s “tree,” I’m enthralled by how many people had to be born, live, meet specific other people, and have and raise children to adulthood, etc. for me even to be here! My father was born and raised in one state, my mother in another, yet a series of random events took place that allowed them to meet. If any changes had occurred in any of that, or in any of the lives of any of those other people, my “base cloth” would never have existed and I wouldn’t be here. Jude’s work is like that — the cloth shapes she chooses to connect, the thread she chooses for stitches, and the stitches she chooses to make the connections — they all result in the unique, intriguing creations we all appreciate and enjoy.

  8. Joanne in Maine

    75 here and I think I “found” you just in Time. changed how I see cloth and rules. thank you. When I make things the Jude Hill way- they make me so happy.

  9. Efficiency. . .I tend to think that mode of working leaves a lot of things unattended to. Like sweeping the (thread) crumbs away to make it look tidy, when those threadcrumbs are like bookmarks to remind us to come back and consider. I elected, early on, not to ignore many things for the sake of efficiency. This (jude’s) way of working may eventually reveal itself to be thorough and ultimately more efficient. no?

  10. Greta Wells

    Smiling front side😊. And smiles and giggles back side❤️
    At 83 years I can say “And getting older gives you permission to say, a lot, “I wasn’t born yesterday”. Thanks for all you do Jude.

  11. Laurie

    I remember that somebody I used to follow – don’t remember the name, now – insisted that she invented the term “Slow Cloth” and copyrighted the term. Not only did I think that was untrue (although it may have been in her perspective), I thought that copyrighting it was against the spirit of “Slow Cloth.” I do think of you as the high priestess of Slow Cloth. ;D

  12. Mary Pat Barry

    LOL. exactly how I feel. After working for 30 years in a climate of efficiency, i retired and said, everything I do now will be inefficient…embracing slow, handwork. I feel only the need to focus only on quality and learning. And, I have nothing BUT stories (just like you!)

  13. Sara L Jordan

    I wasn’t born yesterday either… I tend to be fairly “high disclosure” and there’s almost no story I won’t tell if someone asks or if it seems an opportune time to share it — that makes me Feel Free! 🙂

  14. I’ve just recently signed up to get your blogs. I didn’t know they would come most days, so I am enjoying receiving your mini messages and getting to know you. Kind of like visiting over the backyard fence!

  15. CJ

    Took me forever to free conflict but by the words and works of so many such as you, I found clarity of my true path. Got my spark. Let go! It’s damn time to radiate more fire!

  16. Helen Lee

    I wasn’t born yesterday. …no…it was decades ago now!!

    So glad always to listen to and look at your stories. Feeling mostly that I’m losing words these days, I appreciate others who are storytellers.

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