Thursday, February 3, 2011

a little birthday cloth to lift spirits

it takes a long time
to grow young.
- pablo picasso

okay, so it's not such a "little"'s about 17" x 32".  but it started out as something much smaller! this cloth is the result-in-progress of many things.  a very dear friend is having a birthday and i wanted to do something special for her. since she has admired the crazy things i've been creating lately, i thought i'd make a cloth for her. she loves cats. the background fabric for the top half of this cloth is a piece of plain weave i did many years ago and was left over from a blackwork project. the fabrics in the woven lower half come from my old shirts and boxers, and a strip or two from old quilt projects. the kitties are cut from a couple old re-purposed fabrics (the lower kitty from napkins given as a housewarming gift in my first apartment; the upper kitty from curtains from that same apartment). i still have a lot of stitching and embroidery to do to finish the applique' and bring out the details. this one is going to be hard to gift because i can so see it in my home. but it will be even easier to gift because i know my friend will love it and it will bring such joy to her day!

beyond this, i have little to add today. it's been a strange week. colder than cold outside, even on sunny days.  more so during the dark nights with lows as low as -19F and wind chills of -30.  i have friends in town to help parents in hospitals. valentine's is at hand and brings its own heart ache. so i am trying to stay focused on stitching and working with the elders at the cottages.  wrapping my body in the warmth of cloth and my heart in the warmth of compassion.



  1. Hello again,

    Your posts always leave me feeling calmer. THANK YOU! I LOVE your cloth. From the heart it will make a wonderful gift! The quote from Picasso resonates. i took a class with Janet Boton and blogged about a story she shared about Picasso in the 60s where she was going to University for art. It's at the end of the posting "Following my passion" at Enjoy!!!!! And keep warm!

  2. (salo) now using my last name, someone else with "helen".. anyway. Great gift! I haven't seen you on the cwb blog are you working on anything for that? I have so many ideas I have to just try to tackle one down. I see your hands have not been idle (not like I thought they would be)

  3. According to the Picasso quote I am there...or perhaps I have always been.
    What a lovely and generous gift.
    I had to laugh when you said that the fabric came from old shirts and boxers. We had a boxer incident here. I innocently said "I love the fabric in these boxers" he said "They are not Boro yet"...My husband is contemplating a locked safe for his boxers and shirts.

  4. i wish i was the friend receiving this piece. she will love it. i love the head tilt on the lower kitty and also love that woven lower cloth. lucky friend.

  5. thank you, stephanie, for sharing the picaso story. how wonderful and what great advice!

  6. yes, helen, i have been working on some things for cwb...just been somewhat sidetracked with a few others as well. will have something posted there soon... will be commenting later this evening...i see i have missed a couple new lectures already!

  7. ha! mo'a, that is too funny! fortunately, for me, i don't have to worry about locking my boxers up. i raid my wardrobe quite frequently for fabrics. i guess i wear things that i like in garments and in art cloth!

  8. lol, deanna! truth to tell, i wish i was the friend receiving this one, too! it's going to be really difficult to give up when the time comes. maybe i'll have to make another one... ha!

  9. I love your posts, Joe... new that I am to your world. The cloth is lovely with the calico kitty... We, too are in the throws of strange weather. Everyone is shoveling off rooftops because many have collapsed due to so much snow.
    Snow usually comes sliding easily off my red metal roof, but so consistently cold this year with little wind and I have to shovel the roof, too today before the NEXT storm tomorrow. Climate change or just one of those winters, who knows, both maybe.

    Warmth and compassion - yes, I;ll remember that as Valentines rolls around.

  10. LOVE this so much! What a beautiful gift to make for a dear friend. I wish I was receiving this for my birthday. It would make celebrating another year much more beautiful. I'm a cat lover also, in fact, my nickname is Cat (for a variety of reasons). My husband nick-named me that when we were dating. He says I was a cat in a past life!