The Story in Connection

I am not a reader, but then, I am

Rarely, very rarely, do I quote others.  There is a reason for that.  But here, I will...

The characteristic of artistic design is the intimacy of the relations that hold the parts together. - John Dewey  -  Art as Experience

Audio- Putting it into words

Putting it into Words

I started to put a face on  a stray me.  I'l talk about faces  next.  Since I've arrived there.

While thinking about knowing my own face.  And the face of others.   And the intimacy of eyes.  This piece is about us...  and everything else.


  1. this Dewey quote, which I hadn’t read the first time I was listening to your words, resonates deeply with what I’ve been experiencing this very afternoon as I am stitching a Small Pillow for Catherine, using her sample fabrics; so thank you for that Jude! I have copied it on my desk for future reference.
    lovely to hear your thoughts on what reading means to you and how you read; personally, I read a lot and with most books, novels especially,I do(must!) read from start to finish….however, these days I let myself browse more in what I call ‘knowledge’ books

  2. Trying to let it all flow through me. The open heart surgery is good. Showing the magic inside. I have to remember to keep the energy flowing. I too love reading the comments and the quotes and poetry. Gently pulling myself back together with cloth and stitch and companionship

  3. debgorr

    I’m pretty sure I need to read like I need to breath…I’ve actually been thinking about the why of that a lot lately. Quotes…I collect them really, and hold on to them and do feel a need to share them. I think I see them as a conversation. Someone’s thought and then someone else’s thought and somewhere mine…a thread.

    Funnily enough, (I was going to post about this soon) I saw a stray cat in a piece of fabric I was sorting and trimmed it a bit and thought “Jude’s” and knew it wasn’t what I wanted to make although I love it. I cut it a part and it has become a tree. And that made me think about what symbols feel like mine (not just the ones I love) and I thought words…

  4. Ksozgirl

    If I could just turn my heart inside out into the cloth there would be no reason to think… my heart has lots to say and I so want the thread to be the voice.

      • Ksozgirl

        Chose careful from the color wheel
        Decide it for the crowd appeal
        Slice straight the edge that stops the skin from being what it might have been
        Buy new the thread that sews stiff joints
        Match perfectly the meeting points
        Measure seams impeccably
        Now press this way to force the stay
        Til juried ribbons stabbed and proud rest shiny on the finished shroud.

        But I cannot.

        This holy line wanders far outside the pattern line
        Old soft worn cloth falls into place
        As if it were a hiding place.A secret space.
        Each warp and weft tells where it fits and feels the best.
        No matter how it looks. It’s fine. I see it on my face sometimes- the no awards for crooked lines.
        It’s just the sacred mending part
        made from the lining of my heart.

  5. grace

    i love to read. to read of other people’s experiences and thoughts. I don’t have a lot of time to read but it
    matters. right now i’m reading Emily Dickinson, A Medicine Woman For Our Times by Steven Herrmann.
    I love to read so much that i’d never known about her, the woman. I loved to find out that of the 1,775 poems
    now in print, only SEVEN poems were published in her lifetime. I love to read how the author refers to her
    “powerful interiority”…his love for her as a human being Shines….
    she had a very beloved herb garden.
    she was a scientist.
    I thought and think of her when making the Cloth i’m working on now. I could call this cloth Emily Dickinson
    so….what i read transfers directly into my own interiority and so, in to Cloth
    i thought yesterday, that if it were possible, i would contact her, maybe email, and send her a pic
    of this Cloth. I think she would like it. I think we could very easily become correspondents.

  6. One of your questions early in this course was “What do you want to say?” I have asked myself this question for a long time and I have it on a sticky note hoping that, perhaps, I would find a way to answer it. I did realize a few years ago that my art – primarily stitching at this time – gives me a sense of peace. Is that enough? I ask myself that all the time as well. Listening to how you think it out, helps me to think as well.

    • jude

      sure, why mot, but what you have to say doesn’t necessarily have to be about stitching, but rather using stitching or whatever to express your thoughts. I think what we have to say probably changes moment to moment. Sometimes I think it could be as simple as “it’s a beautiful day”. I remember naming a piece that once.

      • Jen NyBlom

        Once, I named a painting : “Just Another Day”….(it was a still life of a sinkful of dirty dishes) Ha Ha!!

  7. love this gathering of thoughts with your responses to the last post, there is much to think about, I read a lot and quote a lot and wish I could put into words what I feel and think. Had to laugh when I reread Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse recently. The first time I read it was when I was 18 years old and soaked up everything like a sponge only to find all these years later that my deepest held thoughts on art and philosophy were written by a man nearly 100 years ago who had almost no understanding of women!

  8. One of the reasons I have decided to take this journey again with you is that I tend to stay out of my head and work the process instead of finding the meaning and the connections, which I so appreciate in your work. And yet I am not sure this is a skill I can learn from you or if this a personality trait that I am more comfortable with stitching as meditation rather than intellectual thought. I admire your storytelling and how the meaning grows through each layer of your stitching, but don’t know if this should be able to work for all of us. Is it a skill or a way of being with the world? Sometimes the thinking seems so much work.

    • jude

      Cheryl! what an open and honest comment, thank you…I’m not sure, … perhaps first of all it is maybe a habit more than a skill, but the persistence does result in a kind of skill I guess. But then, I think if the true joy is there in what we do, the story is in there I think. Perhaps untold or even unrealized, but sensed. Maybe the sharing is simply helping me continue, of find my true joy.

    • Deb V

      Cheryl….similar to you, I stitch as a form of meditation (and even that isn’t intentional, but rather a by-product) but I understand what you mean about the thinking. I’m “in my head” all day, over analyzing everything and it wears me out. So the making, whether its stitching, clay work or mixed media, is an opportunity to quiet my mind. I guess there’s some thought, because I know I’ll put things together, not like how it looks, take it apart and try something else…so I am thinking about it on some level. But I don’t work from a plan…I just start and see where it takes me and when something in me feels settled and quiet, I know the piece is finished.

    • deemallon

      Distraction and burden have kept me away from the great stream here. Now I’m reading backwards. Lamenting the loss of immediacy but soaking up all the provocative poetry you offer and the beautiful perspectives of those listening in.

      There is so much to say about it all,
      like reading, how important it is to me, how it holds some of the connecting, excitement and discovery that you find with cloth. Right now short stories by Alice Munro, but always someone with unique point of view fueled by the power of language. . . so much excellence out there.

      Cheryl’s comment really hit me. Because in all the years of learning beside you there has been this gap where I wonder the same — that as much as I learn from you there is this (what to call it?) pot of genius? that cannot come across the membrane. It’s okay when I remember that and acknowledge it, but in the context of a class and learning, a “striving to be like” sets in with an inherent set of frustrations. Recently I think I’ve learned that I have a cooler, more abstract sensibility with cloth than you do (maybe much cooler — is this because I pour so much of my storytelling into words? Or just how it is) and that my love of saturated colors will always keep me in a different lane.

      Big ramble. Most comments wont be. I promise!

      • jude

        Glad you have made it here. yes, I think if I can create a movement, make flow apparent that it will just carry folks along in their own little boat. I think I realized quite a few years ago that I actually don’t admire anyone that much that I might want to be them. Maybe that sounds harsh. I enjoy when others find joy in themselves. I don’t value my work that much, just the joy I find in it and the joy it might bring to others. I use Joy as a very big basket like thing . it might hold anything.

just share what moves through you...