Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Stitching News

I started a new daily embroidery piece on New Year's Day. Inspired by Rilke's  poem "Abend," it's starting out with deep blue cross stitches surrounding the silhouettes of trees:

I'm astonished that today is already Day 7! Slow down, time! I usually stitch first thing in the morning, but I haven't yet today. A little thing called work got in the way. Soon, though.

I'm still stitching a wrinkle embroidery piece that I began last summer. The daily work on that faltered during December, what with traveling to my mom's, the holidays, and getting sick. I'm glad to be back at it.

If you'd like to see one of my embroidery pieces in person, please come to the Open Call: NNE (North-Northeast) exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. It opens this Saturday, January 10, with a reception at 11 am, and continues through February 7. I am honored to be one of 38 New England artists chosen from among 475 applicants for this show.

The juror, Richard Klein of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Center, chose my piece titled 55 Days (Begin Again), which features the words "begin again" stitched in seven different yellow hues worked in succession, one color each day for 55 days.

My daily embroidery pieces are first and foremost a way to make my creative work a priority in my daily life. By committing to doing at least some stitching each day, I make time for my artwork no matter what other tasks and responsibilities the day holds.

To me Begin Again also has a bit of a Zen meaning, something like the saying, "Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood; after enlightenment, carry water, chop wood." Humble, mundane daily tasks can be meditative if we let them, a way to stay present and be fully aware in each moment.

I chose yellow because it is the color of the sun (not to mention Van Gogh's glorious sunflowers), which each day brings new opportunities to begin again. No matter how wobbly or uneven our stitches of the previous day, it is a good spiritual practice to accept these imperfections and each morning begin again with renewed hope and optimism. 

If you're in the area and can attend the opening, I'd love to see you! I'm not sure what time it ends, but I expect I'll be there until at least 1 pm or so.

P.S. For the curious, here are a couple of posts showing sources for the fonts used in the piece: September 7, 2012 and September 30, 2012.


teabird said...

These are wonderful!

Betsey said...

So interesting-love it. Congrats, and can't wait to see the show.

knitterbeader said...

You are so creative!! These pieces are beautiful. I used to embroider, but it seems knitting has taken over. However, after seeing your pieces, I might just have to dig out my needles, thread, etc. and find a counted cross-stitch pattern. I don't have the "creative" ability you have. Thanks for the inspiration and I'll be following your pieces of art!

Bonnie said...

Thank you all for your nice comments and for reading my blog. I hope the New Year brings you many creative joys!

Andi said...

Your needlework is always so beautiful. Proof can be found in my Flickr favs, as every time you post a pic I add it to my favorites.
Your work whether it be knitting or stitching is always inspiring.

~ Dixie said...


~ Dixie said...

Beautiful work!

Brenda said...

Congratulations! The piece is lovely. Do you have any recommendations for the yarn and linen you use? I would love to start a similar piece.

Bonnie said...

Hi Brenda. I don't use yarn for embroidery. I use perle cotton, both DMC and Valdani. Places to get them online are,, and Purl Soho. As far as linen goes, sometimes I get linen at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics, and I also usually look at linens whenever I happen to be near a fabric store.

Brenda said...

Thanks Bonnie! I can't wait to get started. It's such an inspiring phrase.