Saturday, May 21, 2016

Story Cloth Endings

Lee W.

This past Wednesday was the final class of To Tell a Story with Cloth. I'm always sad to see a class end...particularly one in which the students gel as a this one.

Lots of different stories are coming together. Some will take a bit more time than others. I hope to see them all as they progress (maybe at some Stitch-Ins!).

Lee W. finished the four parts to her story about protection and being a parent. She told us more about why the cut paper exercise really resonated with her. I love how she carried the symbolism of the shapes into each finished piece. In the first class session, Lee created the background fabric by writing a poem by David Whyte (using a liquid soap resist) about loss. Some of the words are visible in the final pieces and really add meaning to her story.

Lee W.: She plans to mount these all on one background fabric.
Lee W.
Lee W.: This piece is directly based on her cut paper design.
Lee W.

Hattie B. brought in some of her stitched "flock". She made stencils of bird silhouettes and transformed them with stitching. I can't wait to see more (she also made some larger bird silhouettes) and also to hear what her grandson has to say about her project (these are birds they've seen at her bird feeder).

Hattie B.: Mourning doves

Hattie B.: Chickadee
Hattie B.: Grackle
Hattie B.: House finch
Hattie B.: Robin

Kathy B. continued to have fun with carved and printed blocks and also "finding" images in her painted fabric. I want to thank Kathy for her humor and contributing to the fun atmosphere each week!

Kathy B.
Kathy B.: Using vintage handkerchiefs for backgrounds.
Kathy B.: One-eyed cat.

Kathy F. temporarily misplaced her piece and started working on a second one. She was inspired by a gelatin print that reminded her of a pond. So she added this wonderful frog! When the class looked at the piece, we kept discovering imagery in the background (which is one of the reasons I find gelatin printing so inspiring!).

Kathy F.
Kathy F. Detail.

After finding her original piece (also a gelatin print), Kathy started stitching in some details in the owl. Looking forward to seeing both these pieces in the future.

Kathy F.

Jan B. completed two pieces and started to add borders and backings (which I covered in this last class). In addition to her piece about life's journey, she finished a piece of a beautiful sunset over water (don't you just want to be there!). Jan used a curved piecing technique that she learned in a class taught by Karen M. Karen was so sweet to give us an explanation and hopes to offer a mini-class in it for those of us who are interested.

Jan B.: Starting to add borders.
Jan B.

Karen M. continued to work on two pieces about spring. She put the finishing touches on her cherry blossom piece and had to include some rain (since we've had the rainiest spring on record!). She is adding some stitched details to her second piece which has many printed layers...including gelatin prints.

Karen M: Some subtle running stitch rain and hand appliqued blossoms.
Karen M. Adding Feather stitch details.

Amy P. started stitching and couching fabric strips to her story cloth. She knows that she has a long way to go on this piece but is looking forward to some quiet hours of stitching. This piece is about Trachimbrod, the shtetl (village) where one of Amy's ancestors lived and is also the setting for the book, Everything is Illuminated. Amy would like to continue the focus on family stories with future pieces.

Amy P.
Amy P.: Some stitched details.
Amy P.: Couching down fabric strips.

Marine L. unfortunately missed the last class due to illness. But she took great leaps with her piece using hand painted fabrics and her sewing machine. She jumped off from the famous Japanese print, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.

Marine L.

Thank you was a pleasure to facilitate your stories!
To see past blog posts about this class:
Starting Stories....
A Full Wednesday Part I
Story Cloth: Introducing Some Characters 
Story Cloth: Slowly Stepping into Stitch

A number of my students are artists in their own right. Below are some links to see more of their work:
Amy P.
Hattie B.
Kathy B.
Karen M.


  1. LOVE the students art! What a fabulous opportunity to work out a story in cloth!

    1. Thanks, Carol. This class concept has been pretty successful for me. I'm planning to do a variation on it in the fall. I want to delve into memories and do color, cut paper and writing exercises before heading into cloth. This was really a great group to teach!

  2. I sure liked following along with you and this class. Seems like everyone was enriched by the experience...your fall plan sounds inviting.

    1. Hi Mary Ann- These were some great students to teach...very fearless! Yes...very excited about the possibilities and stories from memories!