Friday, April 1, 2022

Spontaneous Stitching: Spirit Cloth

This piece is the result of itchy fingers and an overwhelming urge. It combines scraps of eco-dyed fabric, fabric printed with pounded flowers, and fabric from random projects. The scraps are connected using sashiko stitching, and some are hand-stamped with my current thoughts regarding the meaning of life, death, and the universe. It is 3 inches wide and 21.5 feet long.

I have no idea what it is.

A friend came over when it was close to completion and after fingering it thoughtfully said, "This would be perfect for wrapping a dead body." In the past she created a tasteful shroud for her own mother, so in my immediate crowd she is certainly the expert on such matters. It is an idea rife with possibilities. I pictured hearing of a death and then discretely sending them a lovely small bundle of spirit cloth (see first photo above).

My own vision, as I stitched away until the scraps ran out, was to drape it artfully over the branches of some large piece of gnarly, picturesque driftwood on the beach and set it alight. My 10-year-old grandniece was so horrified by this idea that I dropped it, at least temporarily, out of consideration for her sensibilities.

So currently it hangs in my dining room from vintage French wood sewing spools while it awaits its ultimate, unknown fate.

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