A few more thoughts

A few more thoughts

I am not so chatty this morning as life is busy but I wanted to follow up a bit on my two recent posts on Slow cloth. Over on Red Thread Studio Elaine Lipson has responded to me about her ideas for slow cloth.

Obviously I have jumped on this because it is something I have been thinking about for a while and wondered if others had been thinking along the same lines. Fiona of Love Fibre confirmed this and in her comment posted two great links to like minded blogs. The first is to Frost Art which is the blog of textile artist who speaks about slow making in her work and Slow Making describes itself as “aims to be a starting point to encourage makers and designers to discuss and consider the implications of Slow philosophy in our areas of design, craft and art.”

Linn of the Embroideress has responded in very thoughtful manner point out that her process is shaped by the intended usage of a piece. Other responses are over on Magpies wanderings and another on Reading and stitching in IL Aurora of Foxy Art Studio also written about her thoughts.

Late edit: Jerry has just written a very thoughtful post and raised some interesting qustions about slow craft over on his blog


  1. Once again you have raised an interesting topic. As I didn’t know much about the slow movement I didn’t feel qualified to comment, but now that I have taken the time to read the comments on this blog and the posts that you linked to I have put together some thoughts on my blog.


  2. Just catching up on my blog reading, so today is the first I have heard of the slow cloth debate.

    Sharon, I think your thoughts are valid and have meaning. I don’t think I can add anything in the way of generalities, only my opinion and something specific.

    When I was a child and bedding only came in white, my grandmother embroidered and crocheted lace to decorate the pillowcases. 23 years after her death, the ones she made me were wearing out, and I was unhappy with the whole idea of naked pillowcases. The only solution was to do the work myself, and I have. I have been making them for other people in my life, and I have given some to shelters.

    I think I am giving these people my love in the most tangible manner possible in this world. I am giving them my time. Each pair of pillowcases takes me a couple of weeks, you see, and during that time I am weaving in thoughts of caring and love, whether I know the recipient or not.

    Isn’t there a native tradition somewhere that you say a prayer while you are creating a particular piece of work? Isn’t that what we are doing when we say that we are going to take two weeks to do something which the world deems to be unnecessary?

    There is a time and a place for whipping up something quickly. But there is a need in my heart for the slow, as well. I think that is what you are saying.

  3. I come from a family that has always spent time making things, growing things, reading, all things which take time, so I don’t really comprehend not having that background. It’s so utterly alien to me to think of not having a base knowledge of home cooking, or of needlework, or any number of things I take for granted because someone in my family has always done it.

    I have noticed over the years, in talking with other people who are creative types, that we each tend to have some outlet that is more “hands on” and “slow”; but that for other things we use tools and machines and whatever we need in order to just get it done and over with.

    My mother quilts by hand. She sews all the little pieces together by hand, sews the blocks together by machine (so they line up nicer she says, heh), and then hand-quilts the quilt. I would go stark raving made trying to do that.

    I, however, cross stitch and embroider by hand. Some things go quickly, others take months (or years). She has said that she wouldn’t ever have the patience to do that.

    So I think really, we’re all alike in that regard. And there’s no point in the quarrels I see among crafty folk about what method is better. If the pleasure is there, whether in the process or the result, and the item created is of good quality, that to me is what matters.

    The thing is, that hand-crafted things (whether you use a machine or not) take time. I read the Yarn Harlot blog, and she remarked about that very issue. It’s a gift of time, even if the item isn’t generally viewed as “special”. Time that could have been spent on anything and anyone, but was used to create something which was given to the receiver.

    When we craft for ourselves, the things we make are a gift to ourselves. And I think we deserve to give ourselves the best we can manage.

    For someone with no background in crafting, with no connections to others who could give them pointers, I think those 15 minute craft projects and kits are a starting place. I would hope that a person who starts with these kinds of things, doesn’t give up, and instead moves beyond that level into something better. I do see that many of the so-called “lovely projects” are truly ghastly crap. It would be interesting to look into quick & easy projects that produce something nice (though I don’t have the time to pursue that tangent). Because most people are used to hearing that “handmade shows you care” and many people are truly very short on time.

    For instance, I barely have time to cross stitch at all, much less to stitch presents for all of my family. They won’t be getting stitched gifts from me this year. As part of the fun, they will be getting things like pillowcases (which I can whip up in relatively little time). So there is definitely a need for the quick craft. I just would love to see only the stuff that results in something one wouldn’t be ashamed to admit making be published, LOL!

    When it comes down to it, there are some things we create that are “nice” and some that are “special”; and I think the difference between the two is often one of time and the accompanying memories.

    And now, I am out of time to keep editing this comment, and must dash off to get things done. πŸ™‚

    Deb L

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