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Stitching My Sketchbook

At the top of our neighborhood is an intersection of two roads. One is named Silver Dapple Lane. It is one of my most favorite places on earth. Down this road lies a beautiful farm with cows grazing on fields of clover. In another direction from this intersection is a field of wheat leading to another farm and a tranquil neighborhood. Yet another direction leads me home. On my daily walks I go through this intersection and I think how very much this is my life as an artist. I am forever walking down new paths of creativity as well as the older, well-trodden ones. I’m endlessly curious and fascinated by color, texture and line. Finding a way to blend my loves of drawing, painting, stitching and textiles is fascinating and enchanting.

Who knows where this new path will take me? I have no idea. Nor do I know how long the path goes on for, or how long I will choose to stay on it. For now, I’m stitching up fragments of textile art…pieces of collaged fabric held together by both machine and hand-stitching. The hand embroidered lines are taken directly from the drawings in my sketchbook. Florals, landscapes, still-life and more from over 10 years of sketchbooks filled with drawings of my daily life.

I appreciate your presence here. And your patience. If you follow my work on any of the many blogs or podcasts I offer out there, you are justified in a good chuckle as I embark on another tangent. It’s really all the same thing, just different mediums. I’m holding to that! And stitching my way through life.

-Jennifer Edwards

jenniferedwards.com

Benediction

If I could say with words what colors and textures depict, then I suppose there would be no need to stitch with fabrics and threads. They are a language of their own, speaking to each of us in similar and yet separate ways. Blues and greens often harken to us of ocean and sky, rest and renewal. I certainly felt this as I joined together the layers of cloth using hyphens and dashes, knots, and blanket stitch.

Ordinary and ancient, these stitches are something like heiroglyphics, telling a story all their own. I am surely the one working the needle, tilling the soil, planting seeds. But the harvest is its own thing, and I’m only here to listen as the crop comes in. Beauty and grace…it swirls around me as I draw thread through the joined layers. It tells me of blessing, despite the fraying of days.

Benediction

It rains down

like manna from heaven

amidst the tilt and tumult 

of frayed and fractured places.

We work daily

to join things together

all the while

more falls apart.

And yet…

…blessing descends

and we feel its strengthening grace

from Him who is able.

-jpe

I’m grateful for this stitching practice through February. I’m already dreaming of going on into March, into Lent and through to Easter. Perhaps I’ll take my needle and thread on a long lenten walk to listen to the benediction that has been spoken over my life. We shall see. I want to stay in this for February, just here and now.  Then I’ll let March show me what it has for me then.

*The last line of the poem hints at the benediction in Jude 1:24: “Now to Him who is able to keep you, Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless, with great joy!”