it’s very disconcerting when you want to stitch and the lights go out.

that’s what happened the other night, we had a power cut until the early hours of the following morning. i wanted to get some more stitch onto my cloth and suddenly I find myself trying to work by candle and firelight. take light away from a textile artist and what do they do? 

as i’m at an early stage with my work and have no deadline for what i’m doing losing an evening’s stitching isn’t that important. one of the 10 qualities of slow cloth as stated by Elaine Lipson is “Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process” (for the other qualities, see here). as i worked on my cloth over the weekend i’d noted some thoughts about my initial sample and my early work on the larger piece.

“i need to work on a cloth base; felt and domette change the handling and quality of my cloth. what about just cloth below the strips? i’m making a quilt cloth rather than a quilt.” and further on in my reflections, ” i don’t want to bond my fabrics- that changes the quality”

the feel of this textile piece is clearly important to me, as is a more reflective process than a planned one. until i started this piece, i’ve always felt it was important to work on a tensioned base, so i’ve either worked handstitch with a ring, or on a base that gives my work stability without the use of a ring.

“winter light” has a domette base which gives it more of a quilt-like quality than i intended. the sample i worked initially has sections that have no backing cloth and a section backed with felt. the woven cloth alone is too flabby to work with and loses shape/ structure when stitched, the felt adds some rigidity that is better than the thicker domette. it’s clear the weaving requires some sort of a base to give stabiltyso before i stitch my work any further i’m going to experiment with woven strips on a fabric base and see if that gives my the feel i’m after.