Catching Thoughts with Context

I like to think of framing as creating context.  A sense of place.  I think many times  we create the place first  and put things in it.  But the order in which we do things  can have a freedom to it.  As long as  there is a way to hold it together.

managing thickness while framing story

Part of a larger Magic

Considering Frame of Mind

I suppose I have a lot more to say about framing/context that I've said already.  But here, today,  I am talking about  an edge,  the frame we  might even call a binding if it is more traditionally executed.

It's role in the process.


So here,  just the addition of this particular  border has changed everything in my thought process.   Even though I haven't formed words about it.  Written them down.  I'm not even sure if it was the best choice.  But what is that anyway?

I wonder what effect it has had on you as the onlooker?

A physical frame is something more tangible that might remind us about  context as simply a frame of mind.  And how important that is to story.


So  a frame, as an element  of composition, might be  a  border,  to contain it all,  might be a kind of binding,  to keep it all from unraveling.   Binding is often  added to "hold"  the edge.   But when it simply  holds a thought,  it  can be a  path to other thoughts.   I think we might add it when we need it.  With a different point of view,  it might be a way out of the box  we first put ourselves in.

A frame might become a Ring of Growth / Vision.

Managing Cloth Layers

Managing cloth as self

This is now the others side after cutting.  As far as technique goes here,  this is common way for me to manage layers. Rescue cloth.  I've talked about it many times before, and I will gather those instances and add them to the methods index eventually.  It is interesting , though, today,  how this method has taken on a meaning in the context of the class itself.   Removing the build up of layers, rescuing cloth,  all part of my "frame of mind".  I like to remind myself , that technique itself  is not as useful outside of the context of  usefulness and purpose.  I think that is the difference that giving classes makes.  And what feeds the story.


I am posting here once a week now on Wednesdays.  I think you might check in here once a week and there will be something new here.   My Spirit Cloth Blog had some hacking issues yesterday and I hope I have solved them.  Comments may have to be disabled over there,  but whenever I add something here  there will be notification there and you will receive that by email if you are subscribed.

Thank you to all who have signed up for part 2.  I will make an introductory post  soon.  You should have received a pdf with access info with your order if you used paypal.  Please email me if you do not have the link or password.


  1. you framed them but the frame added the spaciousness of space and its flowing through them
    it’s looking.. no feeling…. sooo amazing.
    I’m not sewing anything yet just letting it move through me!
    thank you you are part of my life!

  2. Henrietta

    Well here’s a thought, July 8, 2011…magic diaries: the black and white woven corner has the skirt material in it. Speaking, “yesterday and today.” Listening to you from back then I thought: components of tomorrow. One big story.

  3. Jen Tarchin

    As always, I love your narrative and aesthetic. My work is non-representational so I am working at interpreting your process through that lens. So far I’ve done 8 blocks. It is always interesting to witness how they may expand themselves? Or how they will behave independently from one another? This is the question I’m currently pondering. Framing designs as you have done is not self-conscious and gives a beautiful edge of growth on the piece. Thank you.

    • jude

      most of my non representational works has never been shared. It is a part of a past processing in my creative development that is untold. I am thinking now how to talk about it. Thank you.

  4. I have a friend who is a painter and her husband used to have a frame shop where I had some things framed. She told me that framing a piece gave it dignity. I always liked that. Made me think of the painting as a person with a crown and a sceptre and being dignified. heh. I like the idea of binding a quilt in the beginning and also using the frame as a tool for composition. It really does add another dimension in many ways.

  5. this way of framing, even if only temporarily if one decides to enlarge the piece (endlessly!) is such a useful bit of stitching advice, and I imagine time-saving, as only with a definitive backing does one have to sew all the layers all the way through the entire piece, brilliant
    I have learnt an important lesson here today, thanks
    your dark frame works really well I think
    also, lovely to hear your own meanderings and thinking back and forth on what works and how something else might work as well, but then choosing ‘an ending’ anyway
    all very familiar

  6. I love how the dark frame looks with the white elements giving a sense of movement around the edges. I was wrapping my stitched piece in a light gray square that was supposed to eventually be the background. The wrapping felt very comforting and protective. Now I’m thinking I might try another fabric to make a more vibrant border. I love the fluctuations in this process and how you teach us to embrace them.

  7. Jen NyBlom

    Jude, not only do I love the ever-changing process you have with the cloth itself, but how your thoughts and feelings about the piece change and flow with each new intuitive step! And, the renaming as you go along…as you move through! LOVE that!! (& I love how you share memories and thoughts of the development of You, not just your Cloth & techniques.) Oh, how you resonate. (do you have any idea how Zen all this is?!!) <3 xoxox Sorry you got hacked, aacck! :-0

    • jude

      the naming thing is very helpful, because many names are like chapters in a story. they remind me of change. and moment.

  8. Instinctively I loved it, (my gut reaction). And I so agree with the roots ideas at the bottom, the rings of growth and the little tips on the end of the woven piece reaching out. Like a pointing finger. Pointing the way .

  9. amaranda de jong

    Thanks Jude loads to think about.The end / finish of something for me implies a” product ” that will be seen or bought by someone who will therefore have an opinion on it .I am doing your course for me.At this late stage in life i am trying to do something without caring about outside opinions,or even the opinions of what i call the parrot on my shoulder (my negative voice) Am so enjoying the ideas and support of this group TA ! x

    • jude

      opinions are thoughts too I guess, but often too processed in judgement. Even with my own thoughts I try to understand the feeling and use it rather than accept or reject. when you are comfortable with your own work, opinions are just new eyes.

  10. How the new space created by the frame gives the branches a way to continue … and a ground for roots perhaps …

    P.S. I have a (wood) framed piece that I really to liberate … it makes me sad every time I look at it

  11. Mary

    Some how the frame makes the piece look, to me, more like a story. Something is happening within that frame, box, page or maybe window. Am I inside looking out of the window, or are the strays inside and I am looking in? I love looking out of windows, there is something mysterious about it.

    • jude

      window. I once did a series about windows. a window is like a new eye. I feel mystery too, the kind I might call wonder.

  12. Jude I like the frame, draws in nature, I think borders and framing give a sense of comfort, like an enclosure- people are very uncomfortable without it
    By the way I was told the same thing about finishing

    • I think the black and white “galaxy” print behind the strays connects powerfully with the interwoven “heart” strip…. the thing that runs through it is both interior and individual, and outside and universal. The ground of being is within us and without us, as the Beatles said.
      Prompted by your thoughts I have been considering context more seriously. Creating context is what tablesetting is all about and I am wondering how to play with that.

      • jude

        yes, i agree, it changed the scale of my original thought about connection. Thinking could be defined as context I think. The setting for considering.

  13. deemallon

    brilliant to add the edging mid-way through making — thereby circumventing it becoming a dreaded part of ‘finishing’ which I often struggle with. Nice to see you cutting out the back-middle too — ‘managing layers’ as you’ve called it. That has been such quilt-changing technique to learn years back.

    • jude

      Even if it is a binding…it helps me understand the relationship between the center and the edge. Managing the layers like this is a constant thing now. I love the cutting.

  14. Joanne

    Saving cloth. That thought. I am always wondering if I want to “use” a favorite cloth or “save” it. This gives me a halfway point. Cut from the back. I will soon get to feel and use Harem cloth thanks to Grace.

  15. CL

    It is such an aha moment when one realizes you don’t have to fit into somebody else’s “frame of mine”. I have known that intuitively, but your story about finishing things and your father’s comment really resonated with me this morning. For me, the frame gives your three muses a place to land for a while, almost like a butterfly or bee on a life-giving flower. Those little tips of white on the end of the woven piece are a simple touch, but create such a wonderful interplay of planes. I can feel that strip moving back and forth through time and space.

    • jude

      it does, it make me feel more “throughness” but also even with such a small border the darkness and the floating white make it feel so much bigger to me, and deeper. So much so I want to call it “We Are All Part of a Bigger Magic” . Also it has changed the impact of the green.

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