An ongoing series of textile collages inspired by vintage hand-written text. These pieces are meticulously hand stitched with vintage threads using ‘gatherings’ of old fabric scraps all used, washed & worn. They’re my ‘go to’ whenever I need to simply stitch without thinking, allowing a beautifully slow process of creating to take shape and reveal itself.
I start with written text – an old letter, postcard or pages from a handwritten recipe book or old domestic science jotter. I copy this onto fabric and this becomes my beginning. Hunting through my stash of vintage cottons, old embroidered linens & garment pieces, I then gather together a collection of ‘bits’ that speak to me, pieces that I connect with at that moment in time. Using ripped vintage fabrics as a ground to work on, perhaps old woollen blanket, vintage mangle cloth or a piece of patched linen, I’ll spend hours happily tearing apart and piecing together.
When I’m ready to start stitching, I select a small collection of vintage threads. This is unplanned but once I have made a start, often by simply making a running stitch around a patch, I know where to go and what to do next. The stitches are far from perfect – they go from large to small, sometimes deliberately, sometimes not. They wander about or they fill in spaces, they highlight words, they become words, their purpose can be to hold together or to embellish and decorate. I carry on stitching until it feels like time to stop.
These collages have become good friends of mine – stitching them pleases me. I very happily share this way of working with others and they inspire several workshops.