Slow Cloth

Yesterday I completed a piece for an upcoming show. It’s a quilted applique wall piece with looping as a surface embellishment. In addition to several pieces that require some finish work, I have two pieces for this show that are barely started. I have the designs sketched and the fabrics painted, and today will start stitching the first.

While I was painting fabric, I’ll admit I thought about altering my intention to make every stitch by hand. It wasn’t just the barrier of all the stuff piled around my sewing machine that stopped me. I’ve been making a conscious effort to hold to the principles I use with my students, because I know they work. And I don’t let students do work like this on the machine.

I have great respect and admiration for the skill and artistry of people who do use sewing machines. But I can’t think that fast. And since most of the work is done in my head, it’s easier to get too far ahead of my thoughts with a machine than with a needle and thread.

While stitching the piece I finished yesterday, I began to see some relationships beyond the ones I intended among the pieces for this show. I can’t wait to see what develops today.

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin