Stitch journal

It seems impossible that we’re just over halfway through January already, which means I have completed 18 blocks of my stitch journal.

top right, January 2022

I worried that it might be a chore to work on this every day, but in fact I look forward to stitching a daily section. I sew every day anyway, so it’s just a matter of making a separate space for it. I don’t always like what I’ve stitched, but it surprises me to find that I don’t mind that so much. These are days, and some days are great, and some days are not so good. Most days are a mixture of the two.

Top left, January 2022

I set out with the premise that this would be just thread on a single piece of cloth, so no lining, backing, applique, paint, dye, or patching. I hardly ever sew on a single layer, and whereas I usually bury thread ends etc between layers, I really wanted the back to be visible on this one. I’m already finding it challenging that the background is always white, which is also unusual for me. Some days I have wanted to stitch a white thread on a coloured ground, but I said no paint or dye, so the only way to colour the ground is to fill it with stitch and then stitch over it. That has been working just fine.

Stitch journal ready to unroll

I see this as less of a personal diary and more as a universal marker of time, a record of the passing days, the turning of the wheel. We all live through the same day, at the same time if we’re in the same time zone, and the days mean different things to all of us. I find there is something very moving about witnessing the passage of time in this way, and to see it recorded on a roll of cloth.

The rest of the year awaits

I look at the blank outlined blocks and think of the days and weeks ahead, and wonder what they will bring.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

6 thoughts on “Stitch journal”

  1. I confess to having some favorites (that circle of stars!), but the whole is surely greater than the sum of its parts … there is such a sense of flow and ongoingness about it … a perfect record of time

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    1. Yes, I like the way the edges between days are becoming blurred. I’m working on a bigger piece at the moment (more of that later) that is to do with a similar thing: separate fields merging into an overall picture of a whole life.

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