Making connections

I’ve been having a go at designing next year’s stitch journal template. A bit early to be thinking about that, I know, but the way this year is speeding by I thought it best to make a start.

It will be slightly different from the last two years, in that next year’s daily stitching will be a big square (ish) rather than a long strip. I’ve designed it across twelve pieces of A4 paper that all have to fit together to make the whole thing, so it’s a reasonably complex task that is still very much in progress. I’m imagining that it’s a map of the coming year, in the form of an aerial view of fields.

I *think* it will work. I have yet to print it, to try cutting and re-assembling the separate pieces for myself, but once I’ve done that I’ll aim to make the template available before the end of the year.

As I was looking at all twelve pages glued together to make the 36″ square, I found myself imagining how it would look in fabric as patchwork.

These things often start out as idle wonderings but sometimes they gather momentum while you’re looking the other way and before you know it, you’re cutting out tiny bits of green fabric and the thing has begun.

patchwork shapes

The thing about English paper piecing (piecing fabric over paper) is that you can do it with any tessellating shapes, however irregular they might be, and I had a whole tableful of tessellating shapes waiting to be something.

I took a photo of the master template and added colour on Procreate, a digital drawing app. I envisage this as fields through the seasons, so the outer edges will be greys and browns, while the central area will be more vibrant greens and golds. That’s the plan so far, but the best thing to know about plans is that they can change completely at any moment.

patchwork in progress

I used to do a lot of patchwork, and it’s still one of my favourite things. I love the way it holds the connections between fabrics, time, and memory. I can identify every fabric here as the old friend each of them is – some from clothes that wore out; some from an old bed sheet that became a dust sheet and was later torn up and dyed; some vintage fabrics, found and dyed.

birdie is slightly startled by the sudden change of plan
progress so far, about one-sixth of the whole

What started out as a map for next year has gone sideways into a whole new adventure.

It will still be a stitch journal template as well, but what fun to make two different things out of the same design.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

19 thoughts on “Making connections”

  1. Ooh, I like this idea. I’m seeing a rich tapestry of the English countryside developing through the seasons.

  2. A lovely reminder of how creativity works and the importance of letting the mind/heart/spirit roam freely to encounter the new.

  3. Lovely, lovely ideas brewing. Looking forward to 2024 stitching. And I am glad for the “early” planning. Puts my mind at rest.

  4. I am so in love ❤️ with the stitching you do! I very very much wish I could stitch along as that was my intention… but I find myself trying to finish up things to clear my way and end up down another rabbit hole. Keep the inspiration coming please.

  5. Reminds me of what you may see from an airplane window. A landscape from above. Great idea and love how it evolved.

  6. Ooh …. this is so exciting Karen and inspiring. The possibilities are endless. Can’t wait to see your finished stitch journal and your “field” pp patchwork. Love your reuse of old fabrics with a history.

    1. I thought about doing it that way too, but I’ve decided to stick with just stitching for 2024. Maybe 2025 though… 🙂

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