Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rag of the Day October 30 2011 and Arlee Barr's Class

-ladies yellow cotton shirt; hanging on a low sucker branch on a box elder; south side of CN tracks near Wellington.

I washed it this morning with my blue scarf. A piece of the fringe came off the scarf, which appears through the cloth of the shirt:

It looks like a vein- sort of creepy, sort of touching, sort of 'halloweeny'. But I still like how it looks.

Below is where some rags of the day have gone lately, especially some of the really fragile stuff. I'm taking a class with Arlee Barr, who is teaching us about her methods for building up stitched surfaces. It is perfect for how I want to work with some fragile textiles, little bits that are going to wash and wear away pretty quickly. I hope the stitches will make a kind of matrix that stays together as the cloth falls away.

This is my first thing- a pouch, of course. There's a little fragment of a prayer flag there; the Snow Lion, of course.

A lot of the thread here is also second-hand. The pink and the red below are from spools marked 'Artificial Silk' (I think it is rayon) that I bought last summer at the mission store. The label is very old, could be 1920s, could be 1940s. Despite its age, it works well for the built-up stitches that Arlee is teaching us. I think it is for crocheting, but works for sewing.

I'm using Arlee's stitches to make seams between thin strips of cloth. And below to make the two seams on the inside of the bag. I can barely find the seams here, they disappear within the overall stitched effect.

And this is a corner of the pouch, where a sliver of walnut dyed linen is patched on for strength.

I found a smashed mirror a little while ago, and noticed for the first time how all of the fragements were triangular. I put one piece in my pocket, and have it ready to try to add it somehow to the front, kind of a shisha fragment but in a sliver shape. I'll let you know how it works out.


  1. Your stitches look great! It's fun to see what everyone is up to in Arlee's class :)

  2. Grace, this is so beautiful. I really want to reach through the screen and touch the stitches. I love the texture you are building with your stitches.

  3. Wendy..wonderful to see how you are translating
    what you're learning into your own sense of the
    cloth, the thread...
    it's so beautiful and so because of attending
    closely to the nuance of the cloth...i am
    paying more and more attention to that too...,
    trying to
    i love the veined shirt

  4. Hi Grace, this work looks wonderful. It is new to me and i like it a lot.

  5. Hi Grace,
    Love your stitching, beautiful piece of work.