This Life – Textile work – Outer frame complete!

A couple of months ago I set myself a deadline to finish this by, the outer couching that is, as it has been with me for some years, although I had picked it up earlier this year and started working on it again.  Part of my journey with Soul Food has led me to rediscover my love of textiles, of stitch to be more precise.  The pure joy there is in stitching, creating bit by bit by bit and I love to work by hand as the slowness of the pace allows for much thought and deliberation.  I find it endlessly calming.

Over the past few weeks, in between a few other project pieces, I have done nothing else but stitch and stitch, determined to finish the outer couching by the 31st October, Samhain…..I am so pleased that I made it.   The pictures are not great sadly but, hopefully, I can get better ones at a later date.   It is very dark inside at the moment, so I resorted to the washing line out back….however it is more than a little windy so the piece is not hanging straight, but you can get the general feel of it I think.   The backing is canvas and the patterns/trails/paths have all been formed by couching hundreds, if not thousands of strips of various fabrics to the surface.    What is to go in the centre?  I still have not decided…originally I was going to couch a spiral…..I may still.   For the time-being it is hanging back on my wall where I can see it when I wake – I will know when I have alighted upon the right way to go.  Oh, and it measures approximately 4ft by 4ft, almost as big as the smile on my face!

Just blowin’ in the wind:

A touch closer:


About Jill An artist inspired by nature in all her glorious guises and the ‘inner’ worlds I have inhabited in the past, present and future; also those of other wanderers I meet along the way.
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16 Responses to This Life – Textile work – Outer frame complete!

  1. steph says:

    *GASP* WOW! You are MY kinda artist, lady! I wish you lived here because I’d have exactly the gallery to hang it in when it’s finished. I may not be a gallery owner anymore but I still have my influence! This is absolutely wonderful, Jill. I would give an arm and a leg to see it in person. Keep going!!!!!!! I’m so glad you showed the progress pictures. It has fired me to keep going on my own projects.


  2. Lori says:

    This is BEAUTIFUL! OMG! Congratulations on finishing this portion.

  3. shewolfy728 says:

    That is spectacular. I love the colors, I love the patterns, everything. Wow.

  4. Its beautiful Jill I imagine that the photos don’t do it justice especially if it measures 4’x4’……… reminds of some beautiful Batik ones I saw at our gallery last week done by Aboriginal women from the Northern Territory in Australia.
    They sit on the ground to do them Jill in the dirt or on a floor somewhere
    I sat last night watching TV and finishing a mannequin (child size about 2’x1′) of my Daughter….I did one of my son’s growing up calling it ” I’ll remember before I forget” and my Daughters I called “Growing up a Life” I covered each with Japanese Rice Paper then proceeded to glue on all little things I have of their growing up…photos,little bits of Jewllery of Janet’s rings and bracelets I have put the photos on beautiful little cards and written on each blank page the story to go with the photo….
    With my son’s I hung a coat of pure wool made in England when he was 2 years old and given to him by his Maternal grandparents and on my Daughter’s a white crocheted shawl done by her God Mother………..I have nearly finished Janet’s and will hang it on the picture rail in the front room with the one of did of myself as the Muse of the Sea all green and with shells and sand…..
    Now when Heather visits I will ask her to take a photo and upload it on to her computer for me as I don’t have a photo
    that is a good enough to put on not having a digital camera it is hard…
    I first did the Mannequin project when I was with one of Heather’s 1st groups way back in the late 90’s called
    ” Writing for Well Being” a time I will remember forever and a day as it brough me full circle to the saying I use over and over….
    I doubted that I would ever come back
    to the woman I was in the fast lane track.
    BUT I DID, full circle and I found ” LOIS”…

    All for now…..its beautiful …Jill………Lois
    ( Muse of the Sea) 1.11.08

  5. paintinglady says:

    Oh, my goodness, its lovely – and I love the aim to finish the border by the Celtic new year – well done for achieving it! Now you can enjoy the centre, which I look forward to seeing as it progresses.

  6. Thalia says:

    Beautiful colors and design. There is such a flow to it. Makes you want to trace each section with your finger to feel the texture and motion. I can visualize a finger labyrinth inside to complete the tactile experience as well as the visual.

  7. Barbara says:

    How beautiful! There’s nothing so satisfying as returning to an abandoned project and helping it evolve into what you had hoped for. Oh, the richness and depth of those colors! Wish I could see it in person.

  8. Linda D. says:

    Ah, so THAT’s why you’re so happy, lol. Wonderful piece, brilliant colours. Even if I could stitch as well as you, I’d never, ever have the patience to fo such a project – small things are much more in my line!!!
    Well done on getting so far, hope inspiration strikes you soon for the next part 🙂

  9. imogen88 says:

    Jill, this is so beautiful! It’s luminous and glowing. You must be so proud, and rightly so!!

  10. Maz says:

    Oh, Jill, it looks fabulous! Well done you! :o) I’m not surprised you have a big grin on your face and deservedly so! Look forward to seeing the centre piece appear! ;o) I’m catching up on a backlog of emails after show week but I will reply!

    Maz x

  11. Heather Blakey says:

    I can but imagine the hours of work that have gone in to this to get it to this point Jill. Your work really is magnificent and you deservedly feel very pleased with yourself.

  12. this is a wonderful achievement. I can well imagine how long this has taken you so far.

  13. vivian09 says:

    Beautiful! I can just imagine a dress or a bag, really lovely…Hug, Shakti.

  14. threadspider says:

    I’m just exploring the joys of couching-very therapeutic. This piece so reminds me of the glorious silver full moon that is shining tonight-only because of the central space, I know, but it was my first thought when I glimpsed it.

  15. Karla says:

    This is turning out to be an awesome piece!!!!! I love spirals and I think a spiral would be perfect in the center (not to sway your vote…lol) Love the colors too. Can’t imagine it in any other color.


  16. Kerry says:

    How did I miss this gorgeous piece before?!?!? Your magnificat in fabric!

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