I grew up watching my mom create beautiful works of art using only a sewing needle and the colorful threads and yarns that she stitched into amazing designs on fabric.
She showed her stitcheries in a few museum textile art exhibits, but mostly they were an artistic outlet for her and a joy for friends and family.
One hot, slow summer day Jamie mentioned it would be fun to make another Oak Street Garden Shop Mandala (designs using blooms, leaves, and other materials around the shop.).
I agreed and mentioned the pieces of driftwood we’d gotten in reminded me of my mom’s stitcheries. She displayed them hung on pieces of driftwood found at area lakes where I grew up in Michigan and Wisconsin.
So we decided to try to make a mandala in the same manner as one of my mom’s stitcheries and started out by laying fabric onto a table and positioning a piece of driftwood at the top.
Jamie began gathering colorful blooms and leaves, and I laid out stones to create the lines and forms we could work from. I remember my mom saying it was the relationship of forms that she enjoyed most.
I did mention it was a hot summer day, right? Of course that’s why it was a slow day too, perfect for a project like this. However I have to say that it might have been even hotter than normal on this particular afternoon in the greenhouse.
The table was set up up by the front door to take advantage of as much air as possible, but we had to eventually close one of the doors because it was too breezy and nothing would stay where we placed it.
A few people came in looking for things here and there, and it was easy to tell the ones that didn’t really get it. “What is it?” was the usual question. “It’s a design”, we’d answer, “using leaves and things.” “Ahh…” they’d say uncertainly and slowly walk away.
But one woman and a group of young girls were intrigued and asked what various things were and why we were making it, exclaiming that it was beautiful.
Here then are pictures of our “tapestry project” using my mom’s stitcheries as inspiration. And, whether you “get it” or not, we hope you enjoy the idea! If you like this one and would like to see some others we’ve made, look HERE. You can also click on Blog Posts, go to Archives and use the Search feature. Just type in mandala.
By Kris Blevons