Artful Mending

I discovered a new source for hand stitching SLOW FASHION STYLE. There is a face book group that focuses on this topic under the same name. It means to hand sew revealing the work artfully; instead of hiding or blending mending present it with pride.

This topic interests me very much. I tried my hand at this on my grandsons jeans. He had torn the knee completely across. This was the perfect subject to try. He asked for red thread. I like that. I put a new piece of denim under the hole, pinned it and stitched to attach it.

Here is an interesting video about what is going on in the UK with artful mending. VIDEO

Let me know what you think about this. Have you done any? I would like to see them. Double click the picture to see it large. Then zoom in to see the stitches. He loved them and put them on immediately. He had the biggest smile.

The knee mended with red thread.

The knee mended with red thread.


Gee’s Bend Quilts

The quilts made by the people in Gee’s Bend are brilliant. The designs they make are pure art. I love to study them.

You can see the display currently at the Atlanta GA airport here.

They are hand stitched beauties.




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Hand Stitching-Couching

I love to mix things together.

Couching is a term that means: attached with hand stitches. Example: To attach a strand of yarn to a cloth surface, the yarn is put in place and tiny horizontal stitches are sewn across the yarn at even intervals. These stitches are hardly noticeable.

This piece is completely encrusted with lots of texture, yarns, beads, and more; which are couched on.

. It is very small, about 5″h x 4″ w. It is a jewel. I made this in 2008.

The base is assorted pieces of satin, silk and lace stitched together by machine. The surface is filled. It was spontaneous and I love it to this day.

kelp 1 detail_resized

kelp 1 fv_resized

Mounted to painted canvas

kelp_detail_resized 1


It is amazing how much can be put into such a small area.


Denim and Wool

I have been working with (old) denim since January. I love the texture and tones. It feels good in my hands. I also love the way wool feels. Thus, I decided to make a composition with both.

I machine stitched and hand stitched and painted with a stencil. This piece is made with black and indigo denim (some color removed) and wool.

I haven’t decided which orientation to use. I contemplating it as art…..should it be mounted on canvas? should it go on a garment? should it become the front of a bag?


7 x 14″

    I  enjoyed the gradual development. I think it is almost done.



Good blogs to follow that relate to hand sewing

Entwinements is Karren Brito’s blog. She shares cool information. She does spinning, weaving and dying

Hank & Spool is Christine Mauersberger’s website and blog. I purchased some fabulous linen thread from her.

Sprit Cloth is Jude Hill’s website and blog. I have been following her for about eight years. She writes a brief post daily. Her writing style is poetic.

Today there is an outstanding article in USA Today. I belong to Contemporary Art Quilts and we will be exhibiting at two of the locations this year. Title: 10 Best places to see amazing quilts.



Making Bags

I am hooked on making bags from old denim; all colors. Indigo, black and white. I started making them for Christmas presents for each of my three grandchildren. Since December 2013, I have made (including theirs) six with number 7 half done. I am amazed how different each one is.

I have been wanting to post about this but….I am concerned about copying.


What I am making is UNIQUE. Thus, I am showing close ups of the stitching rather than the whole bag.

I am focusing on the design elements and dynamic qualities rather than the style. .

Denim bag #3

Denim bag #3

M_bag_section2 M_bag_section3

This bag is made with old blue jeans.

Embellished with yo-yo’s, lace, velvet insert, appliques and buttons.

The color is first removed with bleach to make  each piece have variations  I was surprised to learn how different jeans produce different colors.

Some of the seams are machine stitched (finished seams) while other sections are overlapped and top stitched (frayed edges).

The denim is painted with acrylic paints using stencils and stamps. Some purchased some I made.

The hand stitching really makes the bag have a rich character accenting some of the painted shapes as will as features.

The recipients have been totally blown away with the finished bag.

I made one of the seven bags for myself. I take it everywhere. It is fabulous and feels more like a garment.

I will show each bag in a separate post over the rest of the week.

In the mean time….I really like this

Vivid Color

I love bold colors!

Here are some examples of some older pieces.

Berries 12x14"

Berries 12×14″











Pathways 14x14"

Pathways 14×14″

All of these, except Pathways, have three layers; art, batting, backing. This makes stitching slower but provides beautiful texture. Pathways has only 2 layers and the edges are left raw. This piece has a completely different look.

I like both. But mainly I LOVE the color.

Felt Hand Stitched

I love working with felt. It is such a humble product. Cheap too. However, the colors that are available to us here in the US are very limited. Upon searching for additional colors I had to resort to a supplier on ETSY that is in Thailand. What is up with that?

A friend of mine had a baby girl in December. Her name is Brooke. I decided to make her a name banner using felt. It took a lot of searching for a good font that would enlarge into something I could handle and stitch and have space enough for filling. I wanted the letters to have volume. I highly under estimated this project, ten hours of concentrated effort! What a tedious process. I used the colors I had on hand for this one. I think it came out nice.

The letters are about 5″ tall. The mother liked this gift very much and plans to hang in on the wall above the baby’s crib.

Now after rethinking this project…… would I do it differently? Would I make anymore? The effort was tremendous. I would like to find some short cuts or methods to help speed things up. IF, I were to make a similar project out of felt, I think I would prefer to make an initial and make it larger say….10″. I like to put some design work into the letters. Where to place the buttons or other things; not just haphazardly. And, what other kinds of things could I include? Lace is one. I did add a bit of lace to one side of the letter B.  Yo-yo’s are a possibility. As well as more pieces of felt.

My thinking cap is on.

I am definitely planning on making a banner with my granddaughter Madeleine, we can do this together. But, what a long name!

She is into purple, so I have ordered some shades of purple for her.