Meditative or Mindful Stitching

Welcome to my blog page on Meditative or Mindful Stitching. 

I have taught 2 in-person classes and one zoom session so far. This page is to show you what can be done with meditative or mindful stitching. 

4" blocks

I learned to do mindful stitching (see Slow Stitching, Meditation Style) by reading an article in the October/November edition of the Quilting Arts magazine. The article, Stitch Meditation, by Liz Kettle was the beginning of an important journey for me. I definitely need more mindfulness in my life.

I started making 4" blocks on pieces of hand-dyed fabric backed with flannel from a well-loved blanket. This, essentially is my process. I pick up the main fabric, some fun thread, extra pieces of fabric and embellishments and start stitching. Sometimes I use a running stitch and other times some fancier stitches. It all depends on what I feel like at the time. Many of the blocks have elements of the projects that I'm working on at the time.

The first four 4" blocks that I made using meditative stitching

In the above picture, the bottom green with a rose (called Shining Rose) came from an embroidered napkin that I hand-dyed. I just cut up the napkin and used it in this block.

Here are a few others.

Pieces of my heart

Star light

Impressions of dried flowers

Traveller's Blanket

After making these lovely blocks, I wanted to do something with them. I took an online course from Dejanne Cevaal to learn to make a Traveller's Blanket (see Journey of many paths aka Traveller's Blanket). My blanket is very different from Dejanne's but it was a perfect way to present my blocks. It also involved a lot of meditative or mindful stitching 😊

I attached the 4" blocks to the blanket and added many embroidery stitches. When I was done, I quilted it with a large running stitch. The whole project was very mindful.

Attaching blocks and embroidering around them

Another lovely block

Journey of many paths aka Traveller's Blanket

At the Fibre 15 show, "Conversations"

Teaching my first class

Poster for the first Meditative/Mindful Stitching class

Mindful block made during the class

Working in a series

The base fabric of the block can be anything, including a pieced block that didn't make it into a quilt. Using the practice block that was too big (see image below), I cut it up in 4 pieces and used it as the foundation for these blocks. I ensured that each block was as different as possible and used various techniques.

Wonky Star practice block

Tule, beads, velour and lots of stitches

Scraps of felt, organza and stitching

A flower from a lace piece, scraps and stitches

Organza, velour, and stitches

This is the final piece that I attached to white backgrounds.

Commemorating Special Events

Since I'm also making many hand-made journals, I decided to commemorate special events and inserting them into one of my journals. 

Mindful / Meditation Stitching Journal

Here are a few of my mindful stitching pieces that I haven't blogged about (most are on Instagram).

Cabane à Sucre (Sugar bush Cabin)

Made during a Fibre Fling demo on mindful stitching

National Art Centre (NAC) Gala 2022

Meditative fabric book

This fun, meditative book was made during a course with Emma Freeman, through the Handmade Book Club.
Meditative fabric book - see details

I've used some gelli printing of natural elements and mark making with thread to create this meditative book. This was based on a course with Emma Freeman.

Nature printed fabric book with Emma Freeman.

Snippet Roll

In Out Of The Box Fibre Artists group, I participated in a Snippet Exchange. A snippet roll is generally a long piece of fabric that is embellished. It's often rolled around a piece of dowel or wood. This would be a perfect project for mindful stitching.

Snippet roll - top

Snippet roll - centre

Snippet roll - bottom

I started working on a snippet roll during my train trip to Agawa Canyon. Unfortunately I haven't touched it in a long time.

Agawa Canyon snippet roll - beginning

Agawa Canyon snippet roll 
to date

Introducing Natural Elements

While taking more classes with, I learned to embroider with natural elements - aka plants and leaves! Of course I had to try it on a couple of meditation blocks. Here they are.

Leaves, flower petals, fibres and stitches

A second meditation block using natural elements and fibres

Hand-made card using one of the blocks

Larger piece

I haven't blogged about this piece but it's a great way to use meditation stitching on a larger scale. It starts with a piece of fabric that has been painted, dyed, etc. After the addition of all of the scraps, the background won't show very much.

I used a piece of sun printed fabric. Since I was using the wrong paint (it needs to be translucent, NOT opaque), the fabric turned out ok but with no sun prints.

Finished piece - Scrap Happy

Each piece of scrap is added and stitched on meditatively. It is very slow stitching.

You can see the background fabric between the scraps

Figuring out what will show on the canvas

Daily Mindful Stitching Project

In January 2024 I started what I hoped would be a daily mindful stitching project. It didn't take long for me to realise that I don't really do daily when it comes to stitching or quilting 😊. However it is a great ongoing project, a little like the Traveller's Blanket, but on a hand-woven Turkish tablecloth as the base. There are over 300 blocks, each 2¼" x 2". 

A lot of space to stitch on this Turkish hand woven tablecloth

I've learned that it's not always easy to come up with interesting designs, either on a daily basis or in spurts. Sometimes I try out new stitches, or combination of stitches, or play with one stitch in particular. 

For my daughter's 30th birthday

Trying out new stitches

Playing with different stitches

Some of my experiments are pretty awful, but that's OK. When the cloth will have over 300 blocks stitched, they won't stand out (and if they do, I can always take them out!). Trying out new things, whether they look good or not, is how I learn.

Using eco-printing fabric as a base

If you have done eco-printing, the fabric lends itself well to mindful stitching. There is no need for backing or scraps - just stitch!

Using an eco-printed piece
for mindful stitching

I hope that you've enjoyed seeing what can be done using Meditative/Mindful Stitching. The final products are lovely to see, but the magic lies in the process

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