Bible study · essay · history & philosophy · spinning · textiles as fine arts · textiles in literature

Red Threads & the Feast of the Annunciation

As a scholar of literature, I find rich meaning in Mary's engagement with her Book, but I can't help mourn the disappearance of the spindle. While Mary's reading calls our minds to the invisible work of the Spirit as we hear the Word, her spindle affirms that the Incarnation transforms the daily work of our hands into worship -- work with eternal consequences.

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history & philosophy · quilting · sewing

Texts & Textiles: Utility Quilts

I found this wonderful line in a book on Mary Lee Bendolph and the Gee's Bend quilts. Like the improvisational nature of utility quilts themselves, this quote captures the tension between wanting to create something beautiful and craftsmanlike, while bearing the burden of urgent family and work needs. Where do you feel this tension? What… Continue reading Texts & Textiles: Utility Quilts

history & philosophy · poetry · quotations · spinning · textiles as fine arts · textiles in literature

Texts & Textiles: St. Distaff’s Day

Partly work and partly play You must on St. Distaffs Day: From the plough soon free your team; Then cane home and fother them: If the maids a-spinning go, Burn the flax and fire the tow. Bring in pails of water then, Let the maids bewash the men. Give St. Distaff' all the right: Then… Continue reading Texts & Textiles: St. Distaff’s Day

history & philosophy · quotations · spinning · textiles as fine arts · textiles in literature

Texts & Textiles: Traditional Proverb

Get the distaff ready, and the Lord will send the flax. This traditional proverb, which I first encountered as a teen reading Louisa May Alcott's Jo's Boys, is an example of a saying which once illustrated its wisdom with everyday experiences, but which is now more or less opaque. A distaff is a tool used… Continue reading Texts & Textiles: Traditional Proverb

history & philosophy · quotations · textiles in literature

Texts & Textiles: George MacDonald

Law is the soil in which alone beauty will grow; beauty is the only stuff in which Truth can be clothed; and you may, if you will, call Imagination the tailor that cuts her garments to fit her, and Fancy his journeyman that puts the pieces of them together, or perhaps at most embroiders their… Continue reading Texts & Textiles: George MacDonald

book review · ethical fashion · history & philosophy

Book Review: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

Rivoli, Pietra. The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy. 2nd ed. Wiley, 2014. {Direct Link} Over the past year, I've been part of a "local fiber" study group through the Weavers' and Spinners Society of Austin. The purpose of the group was to explore current systems of textile production, to learn about the concept of… Continue reading Book Review: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

essay · history & philosophy · quotations · weaving

Weave Truth with Trust

I've seen weavers tackle all kinds of interesting materials. Beyond the traditional linen, wool, silk, or cotton, you can find weavers creating fabrics from paper, wood, metal, and more. But what in the world does it mean when someone claims to "weave truth"? The injunction to "weave truth with trust," however, stands as the motto… Continue reading Weave Truth with Trust