slow cloth

slow cloth
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I want to go on the record here – just because I use a sewing machine doesn’t mean it isn’t slow cloth…

There’s been a lot of discussion around the idea of Slow Cloth in the fiber art/ quilt community. The idea is derived from the slow food movement which was itself conceived as the antithesis to fast food. The idea with slow food is to enjoy the preparation of real food, and the the time it takes to eat it with enjoyment. I think the idea behind slow cloth is to take the time to do what it needs to finish it, not necessarily by hand, although handwork is certainly one way to take your time over a piece.

When I think of slow cloth I think instantly of spirit cloth and the astonishing work that jude accomplishes on the train to and from work every day. When I think of not-slow cloth, I think of any of the fast&easy kits that have a low threshold of competence and produce uninspiring results. Everyone’s work falls somewhere on that continuum.

There I was today working on a postcard and this lovely piece (it is scales, can you see it now?) and it occurred to me that it was slow. Peaceable, engaging even, but slooow.

3 thoughts on “slow cloth

  1. yes, scream it. you are right on target. engaged. that is the key. i have so often tried to explain this. the slow thing is taken so literally. it is being there. how ever long it takes. and you…have always been there even if a lot of others haven’t joined you. and actually, when you ARE there…it doesn’t really matter, does it? nope. no nada. oh yeah!!!


  2. ha! if i sewed any slower i’d be pulling stitches out! that’s how it feels anyway.
    hey, you just commented on my blog post about staying engaged and now i’m commenting on yours. queue the scary music!


  3. I think “fast” has gotten a bad rep, because it’s so often a nice way of saying “meaningless” or “crappy” or “mindless.” It overlooks the fact that it”s possible to make something lovely in little time, and to make horrible things with painful slowness. I know; I’ve done both.


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