Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jude's Stones on the Year of the Snake Blanket

An update on the Year of the Snake Blanket. In the Fall/Winter/Resting section of the blanket, I decided to replace one of the lost plate appliques with a circle of stones. I learned to make these from Jude Hill. If you search for 'stones' at Jude's blog Spirit Cloth, you will find them.

When Jude first showed these, I loved them. I loved that they looked like stones, not symmetrical, but  neither are they just randomly shaped lumps. I loved how much the cloth I've dyed myself is really the right colour for stones. How rusted cloth is the right colour for stones. To make them you have to THINK about the shape of a stone, a river stone, polished by the flowing and just going of water. To make them you really have to THINK about the colours of stones, how different each is.

The circle of stones on the rest/stillness part of the blanket is the hibernaculum we built for the snakes- a deep hole filled with stones, mounded up, a large part of it covered with a bed of flowers. This is what it looked like when we started it. The snakes can overwinter in here if they choose, we cover it up with layers of brush.

Each of the stones one of us carried here, found at the river, by the train tracks, at one or another abandoned building, some from the lake. The biggest stone above, with the rings around it, I found on the Albany River where it meets James Bay in Mushkego, also known as northern Ontario. Each of these stones was chosen. I hadn't thought much about this, about picking the stones, until I decided that I could use Jude's stones for this blanket. I had thought about most of them getting here on foot. These below are a couple of weeks' worth collecting on the porch. With the rock searching companion's white toes.

So it's a circle of stones on the blanket, thanks to Jude. I can't imagine figuring out how to make them without Jude. Thank you Jude.

As a bonus, and thinking of stone, I want to share a true mystery. This is a photo of the base of a tombstone in the rural cemetery where my grandparents (and so on) are buried. This portion of the stone was underground until sometime last year. For some reason the stone was removed, and because the proper, once visible, portion is now so worn it is illegible, it seems no one knows where it goes. So it rests among some other monuments.

Comparing the carving here to the carving on the proper face of the stone (above the soil), this is quite inexpert; as an 'inexpert' myself, I fill up with wonder looking at these sketches, graffiti, experiments, whatever they are. But they are funny and charming and full of some kind of spontaneity.   
Thank you for stopping by- and thank you to everyone who stopped by and spoke to my previous post. I am still thinking about that project....


  1. the hibernaculum really has the texture, color, and weight of stones... and it is great how cloth ideas can echo from blog to blog, mind to mind, state to state... we collect stones around here, too. I like striped rocks, in particular. And I cannot believe that grave stone. It's really incredible.

  2. Those stitched stones look Just Right! Love it!

  3. such wonderfully wonder full stitches stones! a perfect place keeper for the missing plate (though the thought of its real life counterpart actually encouraging snakes to stop and visit is disturbing...not being a fan of snakes or spiders here. ha!

    that grave=stone is too amusing! i wonder at its mysteries!

  4. well, unlike my brother above, i AM a fan of snakes and i think this
    is just Magnificant. stones. rocks.
    i have been watching the stones and rocks here. they change and have changed
    a great deal this year. Wind and water/lack of it, they are different. they are
    NOT static. beings.
    so to think of them in your quilt is really very tender a thing...

  5. Oh a rock doodle! love your stitched stones for the snakes nest & the lovely alchemy of the word hibernaculum