Common Threads

This seems like an amazing project. I’m sitting in a room that has a Hmong embroidery/applique of massacre. And a war rug from Afghanistan, or maybe a camp in Pakistan. I’ve been obsessed with the textiles of survival for a long time.

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Remarkably, the ancient and widespread practice of making story cloths offers a road to recovery that is consistent with insights from current brain science. In coping with adversity, women in many diverse cultures have gathered to support one another, and to sew that which they cannot speak into narrative textiles.
Those who have practiced this powerful form include the Chilean women who used potato sacks and scraps of clothing of the “disappeared” to sew story cloths during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Outlawed by the Laotian government, the textiles of the Hmong people provided a way to narrate their painful history. Amazwi Abesifazane (Voices of Women) is an archive of more than 3,000 story cloths made by South African women, showing their experiences under apartheid. The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been a massive effort by those who lost loved ones to pay tribute and to grieve — in textile form.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/27/some-trauma-really-is-unspeakable-so-these-women-are-sewing-their-stories-instead/?arc404=true

“We Are the Ones Who Are Bathed in Blood,” by a Pakistani refugee in Nepal, describes a terrorist attack at a mosque in 2010.

https://commonthreadsproject.org/

Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

Angelee sent this to me on reading the post “A Healing Stitch.”

Haibun :Threads

It is cool and the Autumnalis is in bloom. We are expecting visitors and will need new quilts for them. The old ones, embroidered rallis handed down from generations are now threadbare, translucent in places. I remember being wrapped in one of those quilts, tracing its floral designs as my mother read me a bedtime story…now I have to share the warmth of a new poly fill quilt with my ten month old grandson…

a kayak moves into
the distant shouts of children
and honking geese

Previously published in Haiku Canada Review Feb 2014

*Ralli quilts are traditional quilts made by women in the areas of Sindh, Pakistan, western India, and in surrounding areas. The rallis come in three categories of design: patchwork, appliqué, and embroidery. The designs are not written down but are held in the women’s memories and are passed down from mother to daughter.

A Family of Poetry Dresses

I’m deep into a rather unresolved process of putting text on textile, in this case clothes. I started off with seven pieces, and a working title something like “Synesthesia: 7 Days a Week.” I was looking at unfinished embroidery, and either adding stitches or words. Three of the pieces were garments, and they seem to have become their own set.
IMG_1189 4
Actually, they are a kind of a family. The “mother” is a pink nightie I bought second hand.
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I had the embroidery put on professionally, and although the embroiderer was terrific the old material was so worn it tore. We decided to leave that tear in, because it reflected the text, with its warning against assault or even rape.

Pink Gown

I said, more
than once
never
get in a car
with boys

I also realized today that the tear could be an image of breast-feeding, or nurturance. For there is the “baby” in an antique gown.
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Child’s Gown
 
smell of milk
indoors
swollen womb
     of possibility
blue jug
outside
     grass dunes the sea

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And finally, the child. This was done on a dress that was actually mine, circa early 1960’s.
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Dress With Tags
 
I was like a package
going nowhere
a dress with tags
like decals
on a steamer trunk
but I
was never sent
 
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SO–here is the question. What should I do with these?
Make more?
Make a clothesline?
Leave as is?
Create additional but self-contained pieces?

AND–where should they go?
Gallery? (Such as?)
Textile Bomb? (How? Where?)

All advice appreciated.

Starting a New Embroidery and Text Project (and looking for advice): 3 Garments

It looks like I have found someone to embroider these garments with text. The working draft is below. Your thoughts?

Pink Gown

IMG_1096

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I said, more
than once:
never
get in a car
with boys
 
 
***
 
Child’s Gown

IMG_1095
 
 
smell of milk
indoors
swollen womb
     of possibility
blue jug
outside
     grass dunes the sea
 
***
 
 
Dress With Tags

IMG_1099

IMG_1100
 
I was like a package
going nowhere
a dress with tags
like decals
on a steamer trunk
but I
was never sent