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.


  1. I am struck by the co-incidencs of the length of this spirit-cloth (21.5 inches) and the weight of the humnan soul: 21 grams
    Despite its rejection within the scientific community, MacDougall's experiment popularized the concept that the soul has weight, and specifically that it weighs 21 grams. › wiki › 21...
    21 grams experiment - Wikipedia

  2. it wasn't in 2011 when you made the post but i believe i found your blog years ago because of the survival doll post. Your blog is so unique I had to bookmark it. This is my first time commenting, and it's because I was reading someone else's blog and enjoyed it so much i was reminded of how much joy your posts brought/bring me. I'm feeling inspired to make a blog myself <3 This art piece is wonderful, and the spools doubling as hangers creates a joy that is similar to seeing glitter or bubbles. How raw this piece is reminds me of bob schuler's Tethy's project. So blessed to see the art floating around in this world of ours. p.s. even the comment above about 21 grams is super interesting to read about!


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