Softening Edges

We might start out,  Just Imagining.  How it might happen. But what we end up with is what happened.  At the same time something is happening that we may not have even considered.   Story embodies all those things for me.  So I said to myself today,  " my goal is not to be in the moment, which is so fashionably popular to declare... it is  to be in all of them,  to patch them together,  to be comfortable with how they build upon each other,   and create new form. Through me. My perspective.  The often invisible thread. "

how it happened

the linked to the wrapped backstitch that might so

elegantly mimic magic thread.




This kind of evolution takes time.

Story is an expression of time. Change. Perspective.

Audio-How it goes

You don't lose a thought, it just changes form.




  1. Sharon Koch

    stories can be short or long. cloth stories, too. accepting what happens, letting the cloth speak, learning from the cloth. not liking what it’s showing me? maybe it’s me who needs to change. time allows that. returning to a long ago story that got stuck, but now ready to listen, letting it take me to an unknown destination. life story, that. “love is the first step”. yes, and the second and the third. step: a small rudder on a big ship. pondering what you shared previously. “dividing is the original creative process.” zeroing in, then zooming out. on-going. much to consider, jude. and reconsider. never enough words to express my love for you, these brave ragmates and this patchwork (life) perspective. thank you.

  2. deemallon

    this post starts to answer a question I’ve had for a long time: what if there isn’t a story as I’m working? Your talk about how cloth reveals us to ourselves as a moment in time starts to answer this.

  3. ahhh, yes…”slower has more story” This feels into my deepest and sweetest. It wants to flow into my needle-prone ways, and now it is also wandering into the music study and practice. Many times there is thinking and stressing over the feeling of needing to get it “up to speed”. Now there is permission surrender and to go at the speed of the story…not fighting it.

  4. Joyce Leatherwood

    I was always frustrated that in college we had to draw something in our sketchbook and then make it – mine never looked like my original sketch so I thought I did it wrong. I could Never get that original idea through to the end. As an adult, I had a teacher who said to me, “Make one decision at a time.” Blew my mind. Her work looked so planned and thought out but in actuality, she just let the original idea flow and I think, now, that is where the creativity comes in. Ideas flowing through and you capture one once in awhile and it goes into your work and you build one decision (moment of thought) after another. I love stitching for the time that it takes and, therefore, allows that feeling to happen. It makes my work much more satisfying and, at leas to me, successful.

    • jude

      I’ve been thinking that there is really no moment to be in. probably that is scary, until it is not. we are the moment maybe. the embodiment of that. thought.

    • Jen NyBlom

      Joyce, I too, have always hated/struggled with the thumbnail sketch/final product thing!! Ugh Ugh!! I now only use a quick sketch to preserve an idea (which I don’t use 98% of the time–HA HA!)—I much prefer to just work right on the project itself! Ooooo what would those old teachers say!?? ha!

    • Diantha

      Very well said Joyce. This is exactly how I feel about my stitching and how I end up working most of the time. It is so enjoyable to be in those moments of creative choice as it is happening. that was good advice your teacher gave you.

  5. Raheli

    I just got chills listening to your recording. Where does the story live? It doesn’t live in a static, preserved artifact.
    I do often push myself to remember what I was planning – what did I *imagine* the next step would be? But I love this idea that my work can “contain the change in me” – that i could I see my progress, not lament that I wasn’t already perfect and omnipotent when I started (not that I will end that way either… expectations are not realistic).

  6. Joanne

    As you spoke, I was looking to see where I would extend and fill in you image on the screen. You couldn’t have given me a better way to learn this. Thank you….. from now on I will make a photo of what I am working on and put it on the screen and just look. See what happens. I would love to have that drawing pencil thing but my system doesn’t “do that”.

  7. ‘cloth is not brain surgery’, hahahaha, that really cracked me up! phew I needed that…..I have a tendency to take myself way too seriously, so this was such a refreshing reminder not to

  8. I heard that no one will die and that made me smile. I do take my making so seriously sometimes and I need to remember it is not fatal if I am not thrilled by it. also story is very mysterious to me as a writer. Are we trying to distill a moment? create a new one? connect one to the other? I think about these things.

  9. Jen NyBlom

    what an eye opener…it used to bother me that I’d have an IDEA; only to have it morph in the creation of it…so now I know it HAPPENS. And that is ok, let it become….

        • Stehanie

          I love the idea of stitches being the connection, the flow, the colour, the movement. I’ve been doing this in a small way without realising the power and possibilities of these connections. Thanks for helping to see the potential of what is there already. Flexing and relaxing the muscles of the imagination

          • jude

            for me the stitched start out as the connectors, of patches etc. but as i stitch, i thin, and then it is my thoughts that begin to become the connectors. They become one, and i become connected, more conscious of what is happening.

  10. We, too, are in the process of moving, so stitching has gotten short shrift … how perfect to have this idea of ghosting in the moment … wondering where it all might lead …

  11. This is exactly what’s happening…my figures started out in the woods and they moved into my garden…I had an itemized list of what I needed to do to finish, and now having put it aside to work on puzzle pieces, everything is again up for grabs. It’s a very helpful perspective that it takes time and changes as I change.

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