N is for Needle Chanting. Stitching to me is a Needle Chant. One stitch at a time is how I like it. Slow. repeat. Although some others may be using this term, I do believe I coined it.
Once upon a time I said…“Needle chanting……so much of my stitching is free form, it helps me sometimes to exercise some discipline in the form of repetition. Often times it seems, when I look at samples of ethnic and primitive textiles, especially older ones, that the repetitive element is quite important to the effect that the overall piece has on me. I think it is partly the awe at so much time spent and the respect for the purposefulness and dedication it represents. And then it is the rhythm created by the consistency of the elements. Hand sewing seems out of place in our modern day routine. Mostly there is an effort to get the look of handmade through trickery and short cuts. I’ve chosen this rainy Tuesday in July to embrace the ceremony of repetition. I have been listening to the rhythm of the falling rain. The obvious simplicity of doing the same thing over and over soon becomes the not so obvious complexity that is contained in a tiny stitch. not one of those stitches is the same, and the small journey of the needle into the fabric and out leaving a trail of thought behind it, could be the journey of a lifetime if you pay attention. So it is not zoning out and losing oneself…. but being there and finding oneself in every tiny moment. The rhythm, surprisingly, is created not by sameness but by infinite differences with a collective purpose. And this has comforted me today. “