Close up of "Boot"
Close up of “Boot”

It’s like I went to sleep a few weeks ago and woke up in another world where everything is a little off. It’s those familiar things that keep me grounded and feeling safe in all the unknown. Walking is a touchstone and my work helps me make sense of it all.

I don’t know why I got the urge to hand stitch a tiny boot, with a needle and thread on a doily this morning.  I haven’t had a desire to hand stitch anything in years.  I do know there’s something cathartic about sewing by hand for me, so I imagine that has something to do with it.   An unconscious reaction, a form of healing.  It was also probably inspired by the 18th century samples I saw yesterday at the Williams College Museum.  One from 1799 perfectly preserved, perfectly stitched.  I thought of the girl who made it when I was haphazardly stitching my boot, free of someone’s elses idea of perfection.

And when I got to the laces, they didn’t want to fly, bows up and ends out, like usual.  They wanted to hang.  Anchored and weighed down at the same time,  by safety and the unknown.

Boot is about movement, being grounded and safe, and the unknown.

This is all very small.  The doily is 5″x5″ from edge to edge and the interior space that the boot is stitched on is 2″x 2″.  The boot itself is 1″x 1″.   From the top of the doily to the bottom of the safety pin it’s 10″ total.  I attached the doily to the wall with six straight pins.

Boot is for sale.  It’s $45 + $7 shipping.  If you’re interested in it, you can email me here or at [email protected].



“Boot” from top to bottom
Key and safety pin
Key and safety pin




9 thoughts on ““Boot”

  1. Once again: that’s very cool. I really like your experimental pieces, as much as the more functional ones.

  2. Maria, I find it cathartic as well to sew by hand but I so admire those who sew with machines and the beautiful stitchery they can make with them. I’m not a machine person. My mind doesn’t work that way. As a child, I was given, during a prolonged period of illness, a tablecloth to embroider, with floss and directions and I taught myself how to embroider this tablecloth. An unusual gift from a neighbouring mother, I’ll always be grateful to her giving this to an eleven year old child. I sat in bed, listening to the soaps, Ma Perkins, Pepper Young’s family and I can remember the comfort working on this table cloth brought me. It helped pass the time when I was not well and in bed. Working with my hands, thanks to this mother, is a gift that has remained with me for life. I recently mentioned this to her daughter, whom I met at a funeral service for a mutual friend. She was surprised and somehow pleased to hear this about her mother, now long dead. We never know where a seed may be planted in a young child’s mind. But I do admire your skills with your sewing machine,
    Sandy P in Canada

    1. I’ve never done any embroidery Sandy, although I’ve done a lot of sewing by hand. That’s how I think of “Boot” as sewing. It what I do on my machine only by hand.

  3. Must have been something in the air yesterday. I haven’t sewed anything in years, though I have a sewing machine and learned to do all kinds of sewing and embroidery when I was in the 5th grade (crewel work, stumpwork, etc., etc.). But, last evening, while Roger was out listening to local music (I was too tired to go along), I stayed home and stitched new “feet” for a teddy bear Roger was given on his 50th birthday (wow – just occurred to me that Teddy is 25 yrs. old!). I found some fabric in my stash of fat quarters that would work perfectly, cut out the pads for Teddy’s feet, pinned them in place, and hand-stitched them. Oddly, it was very satisfying. Now I’m eyeing some of the needlepoint canvasses I have in various places around the house. Who knows what may be next?

    1. New feet for a twenty five year old Teddy Bear, That’s something I wouldn’t have thought of Sue. I think you’re right, something in the air.

  4. That something in the air is HEAT. It stops me in my tracks (I’m another heart surgery person) I am returning to two half-sewn dresses begun in the early spring and will finish them off in a few days so that I can wear them this year!

    I am sending Jon’s entries to my son-in-law. he is real stoic who had quadruple bypass surgery exactly one year ago. He’s never said a word about his feelings –to me or to his wife and children. He only talks to me on the telephone as a footnote to my daughter’s calls but a few days ago he sent me a beautiful card with the one word THANK YOU.

    1. I just sewed new straps onto one of my favorite dresses that has needed sewing for years (the dress is probably 20 years old) Getting around to it Erika. And I’ll let Jon know about your message. So good to hear.

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