This piece is one that I’ve been working on (mostly in the evenings) for a few weeks now. The poems are from the book with the embossed pages and the engravings. Most of the poems are elegies and have the saddest titles: Death of an Infant, A Father to His Motherless Children, Baptism of an Infant at its Mother’s Funeral. I wanted to really highlight these titles. So I picked 24, cut them into 3.5″ squares, sewed them together by hand, eyeballing the “seams” and hoping to keep it pretty square. In the end, it more or less ended up pretty even. Then I added some feather stitching — which was actually the hardest part, I poked all the holes in one go (making a pattern of sorts with a tracing paper overlay), and keeping them straight was not easy. I didn’t get it perfect, but I don’t mind.
I’ve been slowly working on adding things to the burlap coffee bag. I am pretty sure that this side will be done once I finish up the flower in the bottom left hand corner. Then, I will move to the other side. This project has been pretty satisfying. Working big like this — I’ve been stitching over 2 using size 3 crochet thread in natural, and with a big plastic kid’s needle — has made for pretty quick progress. And as I am always obsessing over tiny flaws in my work, improving and not being overly worried about everything being perfect has been really liberating and a very good exercise for me. I think the only thing I would have done differently on this side would be to start from the bottom and work up, instead of going from the top down.
I’ve been trying to will on Spring to finally really arrive. I’m not sure that the text/patterned background totally works here. I’m planning on trimming this up, putting it on a piece of felt, and adding some flower applique. But regardless, the sentiment rings true. I needed to replace the Winter piece lest it be the thing keeping cold and snow hanging around. I like the idea of having one for each season, reminding me of all the things there are to love in each quarter of the year.
It’s been a while since I got that perfect feeling of yes, this is what needs to be made with this exact piece of paper. In this case, I had a real actual sense of what I wanted to make. Usually, I sort of just wing it and see if it works. This was the third tree that got made to go with the roots. I am glad I was persistent and stuck with the idea I had in my head.
The title comes from a line in a Dylan song – You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. I’ve been thinking a lot about the music I grew up listening to. In this case it was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band cover version of the song.
One thing always leads to making another thing.
And already this page has led to me starting on two more pages. But no photos of those until it’s more than holes in paper.
My shoulder has been a little wobbly again lately (as it is wont to do), so the burlap has been put on hold, it requires too much arm movement.