February 2, 2023: “The running stitch” and other odds and ends

Greetings dear readers! They say the groundhog saw his shadow this morning and that we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. We’ll see…..that would be usual for northern New England anyway. What I can say for sure is that we are headed for brutal cold this weekend. I’ll be waking Saturday morning to 9 degrees below zero and winds of 20 mph, making it feel much colder than that. Needless to say, I won’t leave the house unless I have to!
The “running stitch” seems to me to be a good metaphor for what this Saturday will be – and many of my days at home are – like. I am “in and out” of my sewing room all day. I pop in there and work on a project for “x” amount of time, then break to read for a while, then back to the sewing room, then a break to practice the accordion, then back to the sewing room, then a break for a walk, then back to the sewing room, etc. all day. Sewing is woven into my day – in and out; off and on – like the running stitch. It’s a satisfying way to live and the stitch itself is a comfort to perform. I still enjoy these Sashiko pillows I made several years ago using mostly the simple running stitch:

No need to get fancy to make something beautiful!

I recently came across this lovely quote by Cecile Lewis which Jen Hewitt used at the beginning of her book “This Long Thread; Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection” : “The stitch is a human invention that binds us. It is an old, expressive, and universally understood language. The stitch is ubiquitous in its application. It mends tattered garments and surgical incisions. It holds together the precious elements of haute couture as well as the blocks of a quilt that welcomes a new baby. The stitch closes the winding sheet. Humans have employed stitches throughout history. The stitch is made with a thread that encircles the globe. It travels through continents, cultures, and eras. I am just another hand that touches this long, long thread.”

I am grateful for and love being part of the stitching community!

For today’s post, I want to show some photos that I just haven’t gotten around to sharing yet. First, 3 more kimonos from the New York exhibit. These are modern in style. I can’t imagine actually wearing the spider one!:

Two more quilts from the exhibit of Log Cabin quilts at the NEQM:

It’s not common to see purple block centers! And there are definitely some “renegades and sparklers” in there!

And 2 more quilts from the Tomie Nagano exhibit:

This weekend I’ll be working on my own log cabin/ Sunshine and Shadows which is now up to 48 completed blocks – pretty sure I need at least 120:

And I’ll be continuing to read Barbara Kingsolver’s new book, which I’m half way through and liking very much even though it deals with some tough subjects:

Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm this weekend and that you enjoy some stitching!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

9 thoughts on “February 2, 2023: “The running stitch” and other odds and ends

  1. pamdempsey February 2, 2023 / 8:26 pm

    Your Sashiko pillows are so pretty! I like the huge spider 🕷 kimono but probably wouldn’t want to wear it either. Not my favorite insect for sure! We have been having ice storms here in north Texas and now back to rain. We are a bit squishy to be outside. Hopefully you have plenty of snacks during your winter 🥶 confinement, enjoy 😉

    • gladiporsche February 3, 2023 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you Pam! I’ll be OK with these low temps as long as the power doesn’t go out!

  2. Cynthia February 3, 2023 / 4:02 am

    Oooo I just love this post – starting with your running stitches metaphor! Your sashiko stitching is beautiful, striking. When I’m doing a sashiko project (it has been awhile) I find the stitching to be addictive, and meditative. Those old log cabins at NEQM are awesome inspiration.

    • gladiporsche February 3, 2023 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks so much Cynthia! Those old log cabins have truly inspired me! Wish I had time to do some more Sashiko, but way too much else to get done first!

  3. Tazzie S February 3, 2023 / 1:18 pm

    Ohhh my word, those sashiko stitches are just gorgeous, I can’t believe how perfect and even they are. Bravo!

    • gladiporsche February 3, 2023 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Tazzie!! I really enjoyed doing them but that was 8-10 years ago. I’d do more, but there just isn’t enough time in the day!!

  4. marissthequilter February 3, 2023 / 2:46 pm

    Ah, yes, the running stitch. Thank you for sharing that quotation by Cecile Lewis. It struck a deep chord.
    Your shashiko stitching is so accomplished. It doesn’t look simple to me — all those perfect stiches, perfectly in their place.
    Keep warm!

    • gladiporsche February 3, 2023 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Mariss, as always, for reading and commenting!! We’ll get through this cold spell as long as the power doesn’t go out!

  5. barbvedder February 6, 2023 / 12:17 pm

    Beautiful Sashiko stitching. Thank you for sharing the Kimonos. They are a work of art, function and design. I like the one with circles.
    I’m so glad I got to see the Log Cabin quilts at the NEQM and I was happy to see you photos here.
    I started Demon Copperfield on Audible. I had to put it aside for awhile. I had recently rewatched David Copperfield and the book seemed reductive. It is an interesting literary approach to a classic.
    I’m going to start Mad Honey next.

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