Have you ever thought of …

Have you ever thought of …

Gerry Krueger has embroidered her Biography on a Jacket quotes and text describe her love of needlework and gardening. (Thanks for link goes to Pat of Gatherings) People have journalled on garments before take a look at these journal skirts

Of course these types of jackets which I wrote about here, are a type of biography as they record places visited.

Also it s now quite common to make quilts, crazy quilts, journal quilts and journal fabric postcards which are either autobiographical in nature, or are a journal. Samplers often display family trees or are made to mark main events such as births, marriages and deaths. I have not seen any autobiographical samplers however or samplers kept as a journal. I always date my samplers and once when I was doing so I recorded something of that moment. I was watching the news and simply added this to the bottom of my sampler.

You could argue that the work of Tilleke Schwarz are all autobiographical samples. Many artists work with autobiographical material but can’t for the moment think of others.

Has anyone else seen any autobiographical samplers? I am also wondering if anyone has made or kept a journal or created an autobiographical piece on other formats such as bags, jackets. Have you ever seen journals and life stories told on unusual fabric formats (other than quilts, fabric postcards, and fabric journals) and thought Gosh that could be fun? If so what format? What attracted you to it? What would put you off working your story on a garment? Would you use text? Would you stitch or print? Would you work a sampler? If not why not? What would attract you to the idea? Just pondering here and wondering about the possibilities… Leave a comment I would love to know what people think


  1. Sharon – I really think that it’s a shame that people don’t memorialize more of the everyday. My wedding is one day – my relationship with my fiance is much more and much more important. That’s part of why I’m planning to design my own sampler for my wedding – I’m not as interested in memorializing the date as the relationship. I find memories of day to day life to be more compelling than special events, but generally we only have pictures of the special events.

  2. I just started a series on my blog about a work in progress that might relate. I’m making crazy quilted Christmas stockings for my family. Each one is different and is a reflection of the person it is made for, or my view that reflection. I’m adding a new stocking to the project this year, so scrutinizing the techniques I used on the others is turning out to be very helpful.
    I don’t know if I would wear anything so personal, but I like the personalized stockings.

  3. Nic thanks for the link to Tracey Emin’s tent it is very interesting particularly since it is the inside of the tent ie the private rather than the public area of the structure.

    I think journalled clothing is something that some people would enjoy while others would not. I love my daughters jacket and she does too as it opens conversations about where she has been.Something to be valued if you travel alone.

    Christine I smiled at you comment about changing three times before leaving the house – I sometimes do tht but it is when I am not sure how people will read me.

    Juli yes I think journal samplers are interesting and I am considering doing one – but I am not sure myself yet and since there is no defining moment (like a wedding) coming up so it seems a bit self indulgent. So I am just pondering at this stage.

  4. In college, I made a couple of sweaters and a shawl with motifs that were meaningful to me relative to what was going on in my life or the world at the time. I never finished one of the sweaters and never wore the other or the shawl, so I gave up on that line of inspiration.

    I’d never thought of, but really like the idea of doing journal samplers though. It is very much in line with the subjects of many early American samplers. I will have to think about how to do that – although the TAST sampler I started mid-summer probably falls in that category, since TAST has been such a defining thread of this year. It should blend well with my desire to design something special as a sampler for my wedding next September.

  5. Just wanted to elaborate a little. I don’t have a problem being approached by people while costumed, I’ve been photographed by people from all over the world while re-enacting bushrangers battles, and appeared in several papers, magazines and even on the nightly news “in disguise”, its just showing my true colours to the world that seems difficult. Am I the only one who changes her outfit 3 or 4 times when leaving the house to ensure just the “right” one to wear, depending on the function? I can do “businesslike” in skirt, buttoned blouse and jacket, “arty” if going to a craft show or craft event, “sexy” well “trying to be sexy” might be more correct, lol, do you see the pattern here? In character all the time!! Must be the frustrated thespian in me, lol. I would LOVE someone to sit me down and analyse me so I could produce a true reflection, but even at my age (over 50) I’m still not sure who “me” is? Do I sound Really Tragic?
    Hooroo from scorching Sydney

  6. I just had to answer Debra’s comment. I wear items like my garden jacket because they make me approachable. Gardening, needlework, grandchildren, and pets transcend language and cultural barriers. You don’t have to speak Chinese, Thai, or French to communicate with a women who stops, points to things on the jacket and produces pictures of her grandchildren, garden, etc. I have met countless interesting women worldwide who felt they could stop and ask me about my jactet. How great is that?

  7. Was delighted to see my garden jacket linked on your site which I visit often. That jacket was my first CQ project. It’s a character flaw. When I learned to knit I started with a dress on size 2 needles and when I started to crochet my first project was a tablecloth. You’d think over the years I’d learn to think small!! Thanks for the link.

    Gerry p.s. I’m just starting your encrusted class.

    p.p.s and who says your clothing has to be practical. I go for fun all the time and always with a hat!!!

  8. I think that journalled clothes draw attention to the wearer & not everyone is comfortable being the center of another person’s attention. It takes a certain amount of time to stand still while someone reads your jacket!

  9. Tracey Emin has done a number of works on this theme, I guess the one that fits most closely with the subject matter of this blog is “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With”, in which names were appliqued onto a tent.

    Of course, it caused the usual controversy – is it art? Personally, I think it is. I also think that had she painted each of the people named, there wouldn’t have been an issue – I wonder if it was because it was done in a medium that is still regarded as “craft” by most people that it caused such a fuss?

  10. Ever since my youngest child sat behind a large woman in church who was wearing a sampler type jumper, and counted the number of houses across her wide back, I have veered sharply away from wearing any sorts of images, autobiographical or otherwise. Just in case a small child behind me whispers loudly to its mother ‘what an awful lot of houses that lady needs to fill her jumper, Mummy’.

  11. Gerry’s jacket is just beautiful and very appropriate. Isn’t it funny, I tend NOT to wear anything I make except for costumes, and then I’m portraying someone else. Freud would have a field day with that, perhaps I don’t want to show my true personality, whatever that is? The whole psychology of clothing and ornamentation has always fascinated me, perhaps that’s why I’ve gravitated to costume and embellishment? Another thought provoking posting, Sharon. Now I’ve procrastinated long enough on this PC, time to get back to some work.
    Hooroo, Christine in scorching Sydney

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