Sunday, November 21

Returning to my roots . . .



There is a quilt top that hangs in my stairwell. It was made by my great, great grandmother. My grandmother had it for years and tried to quilt it, but the fabric was too brittle. When she gave it to me, I framed it under plexiglass.

It's made up of bits and pieces of my great, great grandmother's dresses, my great, great grandfather's shirts and drawers, and my grandmother's scraps (She did some repair work.). It's a composition taken from the scraps of their lives. It's a treasure that I marvel at every day.

Recycling the bits and pieces from my life is a concept that appeals to me in a big way. Committing the 'now' into something that my grandchildren and their offspring will look at and perhaps cherish gives me goosebumps.
I developed a thing for eco-dyed fabric when I wandered into the classroom where India Flint was teaching magic during Shakerag last summer. I bought her book, came home, and began experimenting with the plants that grew in my yard, my neighbors yards, and . . . well, the entire county. Just last night I started a brew with Japanese maple leaves from my son's yard to see if the red leaves give a different tint than the green summer leaves.
Update: They do.

And then I discovered Jude Hill and her Spirit Cloth blog and signed up for her Cloth to Cloth workshop, and I find myself checking it daily, reading and re-reading her instructions, marking my calendar for the next lesson. I am so wanting to sit with cloth, needle and thread and create in this softer way. And I'm delighted to incorporate the eco-dyed fabric from summer into my winter obsession.

And the old feed sacks from another summer's collection.

And I feel like I'm returning to my roots.

It feels good.

21 comments:

  1. Cool cloth. I need to post mine. I'm enjoying the activity, now we've begun. Lots of possibilities in "what if..."

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  2. Ah, I like your cloths - I'm inspired by everyone's work - I would like to do some fabric dying, too.

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  3. when you touch your quilt( if there is some bit not protected) dont you feel like you are touching your g.gma's life? I have needlework from my grandmother that gives me that amazing sensation! enjoy your winter project. I'm sure more than a quilt will emerge as you stitch!

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  4. i took jude's first class and it brought me back to my roots too.
    love your woven piece .look forward to seeing more.

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  6. Leslie your woven cloth is AmaZinG! I'm not surprised by your work, but I regret that I'm not doing this with you. Maybe... what I really regret is that I don't live closer so we could work side by side, and I could soak up some of your talent!

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  7. My wonderful husband bought me India's Eco book for my birthday in November and l have been hooked since. On my blog http://tryingtocreatearteveryday.blogspot.com l have just started showing my experipents. Not wonderful yet but l am getting there. Your quilt is wonderful.l subscribe as l am so impressed with your artxxlynda

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  8. so glad to have you in class, this piece is just beautiful.

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  9. Leslie...ah...these fabrics look amazing! I'm wishing I'd dyed up more! I'm loving the class too!

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  10. Talk about getting back to your roots! Eco-dyes now that is going old school indeed! Next time you venture into the North Country, you may want to check this place out. We stopped in and got a weaving lesson and walked through their 'dye' garden.
    http://www.tiartscenter.org/collection.asp

    Michael.

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  11. What a wonderful piece to have and cherish. I have been reading Jude Hill for quite a while, that will be some workshop! I hope you enjoy it all. xox Corrine

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  12. Hi..have left an answer to your questions on my blog for youx thanks for stopping byx lynda

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  13. Glorious quilt! I'm sure you'll enjoy Jude's workshop. I love her work!

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  14. How on earth did I not see this posting! Wow, you are really racing along with this work and I love the results.

    Yes, I do want to go back to Shakerag
    this summer...we'll talk.

    Love the huge quilt in your house. It is a treasure.

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  15. First, what a incredible thing it is to have a quilt made by your great, great, great grandmother, especially as it is made from the clothing that she and her husband wore during their lifetimes. Very cool!

    And what an intriguing post about eco-dyeing, Leslie. I hadn't heard of that before and I can see why you would want to experiment with the flora around your area. Very, very interesting! I'd love to see more of your experiments. I can just imagine one of your magical books filled with them.

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  16. Leslie. So good to see these images right now. I'm feeling homesy, and missing my mom. I also recently did my annual leaf collecting and sealing and pressing. I have to admit, I think of you often when I am doing this because you use leaves and love them. That quilt is truly awe-worthy. I wish my mama had quilted or had old clothes I could work with. I would learn!

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  17. I am so excited to hear that you are taking Jude's class...I took the first Cloth to Cloth. Today I just signed up for the Advanced class.

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  18. I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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  19. А! Me gusta mucho su sitio. Excelente contenido. Por favor siga publicando cotent tan profunda.

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  20. dear leslie, I have been away too long, and am catching up now on your beautiful blog! What I love here, besides everything, is the woven pieces of fabric sewn together. and then the leaf, so subtle and elegant! roxanne

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  21. Gosh, loving all that you are doing. I'm feeling the need to learn all of this. Your work is always so exquisite!!!

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