Loosen Up

I came to use scraps of cloth like scrap paper.   Especially the ones I either didn't like or didn't seem useful as is.  I used them to  practice stitches and dyeing, develop motifs and symbols.  Eventually though, they grew in importance, these  experiments.  The "what-ifs".

Eventually I came to respect these experiments as exercises in transformation and they led me to the collage method of composition I so often use today.

Working with loose patches is easier.  There is less commitment, yet a sense of accomplishment.  They are portable and take little time.  The open edges leave possibility open as well.  They are fun and encourage play.

A rambling video to begin:


four more

I start with the wishing star.  It goes back to simpler times and was a design I considered as a looser version of a puzzle block, the quilt star.  It is about hope and positive thinking and is always a mood lightner.  Sometimes I use it aligned with figures. Like being aligned with your dreams.  Sometimes they form a ring, of hope maybe.  Sometimes they just float through.


audio- wishing

These make me happy.  What would your symbol for joy be?

loose considerings just to free my mind


  1. michelle e weatherson

    Your question–what would my symbol of joy be–caused me pause. Feelings rather than symbols come to mind. The feeling of sunshine on my face in early spring. The calm I experience when gazing out my kitchen window and seeing the little wild cotton tails scamper over the grass outside. Gazing upon our cat curled up tightly against my husband’s back as they both sleep peacefully. I will need to translate those feelings into tangible symbols. As always Jude, you’ve given me much to think about.

  2. deemallon

    I love the idea of filling a basket next to my chair with little scraps (I have lots of those!). Right now the basket at my feet is filled with sheers and rayons for layering already-in-construction landscapes. But now I want to fill it with some nice linen and cotton scraps for making little motifs. I’d like to make stars for my boys. And I will always love hearts. Seeing some of these components of yours was a walk down memory lane!

    • jude

      i put all my tiny leftovers into what I call the skatch basket. That is the only fabric I am not packing. It will have to do for a while.

  3. My symbol for joy is a simple five petaled daisy. With a bright round centre and five rounded, smiling, petals. They crop up over and over again for me. I love them. Thank you for your teachings and thoughts on circles and loosenes. I think I’d like to make a little wishing star for my pocket.

  4. Sue Facherty

    This made me think about sad/happy times. ”Into each life a drop of rain must fall” my mum often misquoted. She had more than a drop of sadness as a child. Though she built a mostly good life, it haunted her.
    I sew raindrop boro bobbles and the shape is powerful for me. My favourite word is ‘petrichor’, the smell of the first rain after a dry spell. It sounds contradictory, but we both love(d) rain and I hope to use raindrop shapes as my symbol for joy.
    Building hopeful connections,
    Your list could be mine!

  5. Sharon Koch

    i’ll probably replay this video at least 100 times. it’s like sitting beside a peaceful stream (of consciousness) that flows effortlessly from one magical image to another. that rainbow wishing star sez it all. thanks, jude! xox

  6. Jen NyBlom

    Earlier today I made a gift with a wishing star motif on it…..synchronicity?!!!?? Love your “ramblings” Jude—Thanks for sharing your heart and wishes and dreams!

just share what moves through you...