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





Would that I could rise

from the layered fray

strong and sure

bloom and sway

marking the way with grace and joy

a petaled peace

in life’s demise.


 How I love making these little stitched patches. I enjoy the process of creating them – the assembling and arranging of bits of cloth, the choosing of thread colors, the point of beginning to stitch and then following the needle as it goes along the surface, diving down into the layers and coming up ringing with it a line, recording where I’ve been.

Every patch is a little journey of grace needling ever more deeply into a multi-layered mystery, marking the path as I go.

Each fragment is like a topographical map. I have never been very good at maps, or rather at understanding how to follow them. It is with some surprise then, that I can find my way with a map of fabric and thread. The terrain shifts and alters under my fingers, buckles to the point of needle and the pull of thread.

In this map-making work I can hear my life, understand it’s history, and settle into now with soothing and steadiness for what lies ahead.

I’m reminded that descent always precedes rising. With each stroke of the needle I must plunge it into the fray and then watch for it to appear again on the surface. Such is the way of all things…a going down before going up. Winter to spring, seed to sprout, death to life.

I resist this with everything in me. I want it to always be spring and never pass through winter, for flowers to never die in order for seeds to replenish their blooming, and certainly not for loved ones to leave this world.  Yet I know in the end we will rise. Death must precede this. Then life everlasting.

For now we continue to stitch, daily working into the fabric of our lives this death to resurrection process in innumerable tiny ways. We are called to die…to plunge into the abyss of dying to our agenda, to our demands, to our rights, so that love would blossom, forgiveness flourish, laughter shine and sparkle with depth and authenticity.

The stitches are reminding me. My needle is poised for the descent. I know that beauty is being wrought.