Thinking in Thread

roots 2

Last week when Mandy and Nancy and I  were having our Tuesday Morning Cappuccino and Tea at The Central House in Salem,  Mandy told us about her plans to have a one day meditation retreat in March.   Setting roots was the theme and she had a visual in mind to go along with it.  I saw it right away as she explained it, then  Mandy asked me if I could do a drawing to accompany her announcement about the retreat.   I thought about using colored pencil or chalk, but it didn’t feel right.    What I really wanted to do was stitch it on my machine.  I knew I had that spring green thread and found the perfect piece of natural canvas to sew it on.    I wasn’t sure if it was what Mandy had in mind, but thought if she wanted a drawing on paper I could always make one.    When I gave it to her she fussed over it enough to let me know she liked it and when I saw it hanging in her meditation room yesterday morning, I was convinced.

So now I see, I’m thinking in thread.  When I imagine creating an image,  I don’t feel the pencil on paper,  I feel the needle dotting the fabric, the see the colored thread magically appearing as I move the material under the sewing machine foot, creating lines, creating patterns, objects, people, animals and words.  My sewing machine is my mark maker, my pencil, my brush.

It’s backwards in a way,  usually we move the pencil or brush and the paper or canvas stays still.   With my sewing machine I’m moving the fabric.   It’s true the needle is moving, but my  control of it is limited to the speed, color and texture.  I realized that this way of working has become the most natural thing in the world to me.  Even more natural than the way  I leaned to create images and have created them most of my life.


10 thoughts on “Thinking in Thread

  1. Love it–ironically watching on a split screen a webinar on Doodle Stitching right now! That’s great, nicely done! Mary Ann

  2. I read Mandy’s blog post the other day (such a nice blog, she has) about the retreat and immediately liked the simple green stitched sprout – and then realized YOU did it. It’s really wonderful in it’s simplicity. Green sprouts are full of such promise.

  3. I do not know about “backwards” – but to me it seems so much more difficult so therefore you are much MORE TALENTED than one drawing on paper – just my view……….. 😉

  4. I love the simplicity of this – that green shoot looks so incredibly delicate, so full of possibilities. I wonder what this will become in your talented hands, Maria?

  5. I wish I was as natural as you with expressing myself in thread. The free form of you stitching and the results that you get are awe inspiring.

  6. Pretty drawing Maria ~ simple and eloquent. And an interesting post! It’s a very special technique to master machine embroidering and you do it extremely well. I never thought about it in the way you have, where you are moving the fabric instead of pencil on paper. I do sew, so moving fabric works for me, but I’m not trying to embroider it. I will have to think of this the next time I make something ~ how it is different from other ways of creating. Nicely put!

  7. This design/plant feels very much alive! I still remember when you switched sewing machines and you were wondering if all these different buttons and programs were all necessary. And you never looked back….it’s wonderful what you and your technical assistant can, pure joy!
    but this lovely green stitch picture would do Steve Job’s sense of minimalism and beauty proud. I am sure the one day retreat will be a great success.

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