Hands At Work, Arrows With Feathers

Daily Draw January 7th, 2012

I got word from Amazon.ca that a playing card deck I ordered back in October is shipping. It was only $6 and has photographs of crazy quilting, one of my favourite artistic expressions and one I often use to embellish handmade jewellery and tarot bags.

Somewhere out in the world there are several people who own tarot bags I embellished this way. I have one myself that I made in 2002 as an insert to go on the bag that came with the Victoria Regina Tarot. I like the old-timey feel of my handwork with different plaids, white cotton lace, and a Scottie dog button to symbolize Victorian Balmoral and needlework.

This will certainly be a cheery pick-me-up next week. I still have tons of silk and silk ribbon and thread, as well as raw silk that I can hand dye, so at some point I must create more crazy quilting. It is so relaxing and fun. Juxtapose to your toes.


My eyes keep going to the wheel of arrows stitched on the blanket or tapestry hanging behind the figures. Stitching, revolving, a symmetric pattern, and cozy too.

It’s nice when you have someone to teach you things, particularly if they are dying arts. I know there are people out there, including young people, who are still learning and interested in embroidery, quilting, and textiles but we do seem to be a lost cause. I am self-taught from books but it would have been nice to have a mentor.

After years of fighting to be seen as artists, quilters have zoned out on photographic, machined perfection and the emulation of painted art instead of the handwork I enjoy. It’s great for some but I like hand stitching blocks together; I like the geometry of a block, and doing hand embroidery and hand appliqué. In coming around the circle there is now a subtle denigration of those who don’t make “art quilts.” This is one reason I am discouraged in life. However, there are cycles to such things, much like on this card.

Here’s to feathered arrows, and feathered stars, and to the feather stitch in hand-dyed silk!





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