Another month seems to have disappeared in a whirl, leaving just a few stitches behind to prove it was there.

May. It fairly whizzed by.

I went back to the grid formation for this month, which I like because it always feels like a more accurate representation of days: a few patches of time with no spaces between. I like the other layouts too, for different reasons.

31 days in May

Lots of flowering and new growth in the garden. Some days brought less happy news, but things seem to be looking a little brighter now.

Sunshine and shadows

Earlier in the month we found time to go and see the bluebells and wild garlic in the woods.

May flowers, wild garlic, and bluebells

The front shows where you go, and the back shows how you got there. Two sides of the same story.

the other side of May

The stitch journal is becoming a book. I’ve stitched the first few completed pages into the spine of the cover. The music is Menuet from Bach’s Cello Suite no 1 in G major, expertly played by cellist Steven Isserlis.

it’s a book

Still a lot of the year still to go, and a few feet of linen waiting to unfold. June will be vertical stripes. Long days.

the rest of the year

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

35 thoughts on “May”

    1. merci beaucoup 🥰 (I’m afraid this is the extent of my poor French)

  1. Absolutely stunning and as always incredibly inspiring! I would only ask that you please name the cello player performing the Bach in your video. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous work 🙂

    1. Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve updated the post, it’s British cellist Steven Isserlis.

    1. Maybe later. It’s very simple, just concertina-fold the pages and stitch a line where a valley fold meets the spine of the cover. If you google concertina books that might help with visualising how the folds work.

  2. This is a wonderful book. Your representation of May is so very pretty. Off to google concertina books….thank you

    1. thank you 🙂 The difference with mine is that the valley folds are stitched to the spine of a cover. Most concertina books unfold to open out fully – and you could easily press the page sections with an iron to do it in that format instead.

  3. Do you know what each day represents? Meaning, do you keep notes on why you had different stitching in different places? I know that’s probably not what this is all about, but I am just wondering.

    1. No, not at all. It isn’t really important to me to record what happened on a particular day, it’s more about generally noticing time passing. I don’t always know why I’ve stitched what I’ve stitched, but I don’t really feel the need to know or understand, as it’s more about just ‘being’ in the moment. It would be interesting I think to keep a written log alongside the embroidery, if that appeals to you.

    2. I did something like this in 2016 and again for the first half of the year in 2021 … stitching a small patch of cloth each day with a story to go with it on my blog … then stitching the patches together into cloths that I named Remember 2016 and Remember 2021 … many of the patches remind me of golden days, some evoke sad memories, others I don’t recall at all … much like life

      1. what a lovely idea. I sometimes think about young people growing up now, where it seems every moment is captured in a photo. I wonder if they will remember more than we do. I didn’t take many photos during my youth (film and development was expensive in the olden days 😆) and consequently I have huge swathes of time that I just don’t remember at all. I love the idea of stitching memories and then joining them together.

  4. Beautiful as ever! I so look forward to seeing the progress of your year as you complete ezch day in stitch form Karen. Thank you

  5. Beautiful and inspiring.
    Looking through your posts has rekindled my slow stitching bug 🙂 I’ve mostly been crocheting for the last few months.
    I started a daily stitch practice a couple of weeks ago and drew up some blocks for May, I did have to do 3 or 4 some days but I did finish today and have June ready to go for tomorrow and it’s very true that the act of just showing up opens the creative mind. I have so many ideas for stitch projects!
    Thank you for taking the time to show us your work x

    1. How lovely, thank you so much. Yes, you have to start in order to start – I often surprise myself by stitching something I probably wouldn’t have imagined. Enjoy your June stitching 🙂

  6. Your stitch book of days is stunning and inspiring. I’m mulling over your comments as well…yes, often just taking the first tiny step, or stitch or brush stroke starts the creative ideas flowing…and leaving something undone, so I’m looking forward to adding it the next day often works well for me. 💜

    1. yes, it’s really interesting how time is a huge component of what we do – not only the time to create it in the first place, but also the percolation time that we need in order to see whether a thing is finished.

  7. Your stitching is so beautiful and the journal pages are stunning. Love the little silver bird pincushion. Happy Stitching.

  8. This is a beautiful book in the making. This is very much an in the moment thing like life. Some moments become meaningful memories others drift off into the hemisphere. I love this idea and will try it one day when I have less of a workload. Lovely stitching.

    1. thank you so much 😊 Yes, the meaning is mostly in the doing, I find.

  9. I do like “the front is where you go, and the back is how you got there” – that’s a lovely way to express it, making the back rather less something to hide!

  10. Looking fabulous. I’m a little behind now but hoping for a catch up session and then keep going!

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