art, cloth weaving, depression/anxiety, fiber art, Obsession, Slow cloth, weaving

Mending

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Mood swings. High highs, low lows, and blah in between. Not much liking my brain activity these days except when I’m in the studio. August is historically difficult for me. I’ll get through it. It’s harder when I have tendinitis (currently my right hand) and I know that if I use it I will progressively make it worse, but if I don’t use it I will get closer to the edge of the hole. And I don’t want to go into the hole. Tough decisions.

I felt euphoric at the progress I made with the denim blanket this weekend. My poor cheap little plastic sewing machine was groaning at the weight of the panels. I moved it to a bigger table so I could support the weight of the panels as they became heavier and bulkier. I expected back strain but I’m happy to say that it was temporary.

Next steps, once my carpal tunnel calms down, begin with reinforcing the colorful striped strips of fabric that join the panels with some lightweight fusable interfacing. I love this fabric, which I bought from Yadkin Fiber Room in June. The owner rescued an enormous amount of woven baby wraps that had been imported from Mexico that failed some kind of standard and so was destined for a dumpster. The cotton fabric is gorgeous, but the weave is pretty loose, so I’m worried about its strength. It unravels like crazy. Once I do that, I’ll stitch some heavy fabric over the seams on the back. This is a picnic blanket. I don’t want it to become too precious. I want to throw it on the ground, get it dirty, and toss it in the washing machine with no qualms about it.

Now for the NEXT one, I plan to do something similar, but to use for a coverlet and I will be playing with making it much more complex.

A lot of artists that I follow have been writing about finding that focus that makes them happy or satisfied, or making directional changes that fulfill their current inner needs. That is what I am feeling here. In this place and time, the cloth weaving is patching a place in my soul that is threadbare and in need of mending. I think that is why I become depressed when I have to stop. The repair is not finished yet.

Also, I am feeling the physical absence of kindred art souls to share my journey with, and it makes me lonely. Withdrawal from art retreats with my tribe(s).

Diego, a.k.a. Chunkybutt, claimed this cloth right away when I laid it out on the bed.

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I found a couple more pairs of jeans, and a friend is bringing me a boxful tomorrow. Until then, the next project is replacing the denim panels on the design wall/window. Those denim panels were warm when I took them down so they did help absorb some of that heat coming in.

The next project will consist mostly of Sandy’s old shirts that are worn out or torn and will be more lightweight. The plan is to use panels of his khaki pants in this one. I collected these old clothes for years.

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It’s a mess again. That’s okay.

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2 thoughts on “Mending”

  1. Both these pieces are very beautiful, and I do hope they lift your spirits and repair the hole, we all have these highs and lows, and yes the lows can take us in to really bad places. Stitching, weaving, in a quiet peaceful place help me to maintain a balance and I hope that works out for you as well.

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  2. Thanks, Debbie. I’ve changed my anti-depressants recently and perhaps went to a dose that was too low. I hope that it will work itself out as my body adjusts. The numbness in my hand drives me bananas! Thank god for the sewing machine, although I prefer hand-stitching.

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