Thursday, March 24, 2011


Two years ago, I started little sewing projects that helped me reflect on our work of creating gardens using plants native to this region and area. Details of some of them are here. I started out just using the stuff I had at hand- inherited, bits of old clothes, cloth from the second hand store that I'd picked up over the years.

I wanted to tie the materials to the story of the cloth: telling a story about recovering a landscape by reusing stuff. (That's a pun I think...)

Those little cloths featured my representations of seeds, pollen, water, soil, rain, lightening, day and night, snow, leaves, all the stuff that 'makes' the garden.

And the bugs. All the bugs that show me that the new landscape we are creating here is integrated into a bigger web of life beyond the borders of our yard.

The bugs undid my conventional view of gardens as bounded. This place is part of a landscape of places, all bound up in a web of living things. An invisible network. A 'foraging-scape' maybe.

And so I'm starting another little project about these foraging-scapes, to help me think about them. In honour of the work my little bug friends are doing, of the journeys they are making to link our place up to the other places they go, I'm using 'foraged' stuff for the project.

This is the stuff I'm starting with, dyed with stuff we find on our walks. The cloth so far is some from my Mom's old silk blouses, found rags and bits from found quilts. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Im lusting after your batch of dyed circles, love the shades of green, what have you used to get that subtle colouring?
    The embroideries are just delightful too, the buzzy bee is a beaut lovely to have done them with those sentiments too.
    What an heirloom for someone, somewhen and in the mean time you have the pleasure of the pieces!

  2. Thanks Liniecat for stopping by; the dyes here are glossy buckthorn berries with copper or alum or iron as mordants. They are the long-frozen remainders on the shrubs along the river here.

  3. some beautiful stitched pieces. looking forward to the progress on your new piece.

  4. Already swooned over the new ones in SEW but the stitched ones...oh my god! they are so cool and beautiful you put us all to shame. Wonderful work!!

  5. Just finished reading all your posts. A topic that wanders through my thoughts but you have given it more shape and body. I also may have to do some non-fictional reading...I hadn't made the leap to what is being said.
    Thanks...I look forward to more of your meanderings through cloth, consumerism, and mending with Grace.

  6. This is just wonderful.

    And I agree about those dyed - clamped circle fabrics. Very inspiring.

  7. Love those mends!!! love mending my own clothes items ,,,, color helps !!!