Sunday, July 31, 2011

Professional Fiber Artist JUDE HILL- Spirit Cloth

I have another favorite fiber artist that I'd like to showcase before the end of this month, Jude Hill, the maker of spirit cloth.  She, like Morna Crites-Moore, I happened upon in Quilting Arts magazine last year and have been following her blog ever since.   Jude inspires me with the incredible amount of hand stitching that she puts into each of her pieces, and I especially love how she incorporates weaving into her quilts by ripping various fabric strips apart then weaving them back together again to form her quilt bases.  Afterwards she embellishes over top with very special images and lots and lots of hand stitching.   I also appreciate how she documents her process and includes her thoughts thru notes she jots down. Jude also has an amazingly diverse flower and vegetable garden and is a fabulous photographer (even though she doesn't think so) and includes those photos into her blog.  Harry Trieu, Mary Pinedo and Gary wait till you see her garden full of goodies!   Thank you for allowing me to feature you on my blog.


"..... 60 years old ...born and raised in new york currently retired and financially stressed, residing on the north shore of long island in the woods with my husband , WAS (the cat) , a lot of fabric and a partial water view. love of sewing started with making doll clothes and then my own clothes.

..... studied children's book illustration at SVA ( school of visual arts) in new york city... quitting before completing in order to get a job and pay my rent... landed a job as a trainee hand weaver for a large manufacturer, the beginning of a love affair with woven fabric design.
.....designed woven fabric for the apparel industry for 25 years, a full time career that required commuting to new york city on a train, 4 hours in transit a day.

.....began sewing during my commute, made my first full sized quilt in 1979. unplugged. queen size.
.....gradually, because of my access to fabric and my understanding of fabric structure, my drawing skills and fascination with story telling... i became obsessed with telling a story with cloth.

.....unplugged for convenience of portability and my dedication to energy conservation. i don't buy much of anything and i hate all the "gunk" that is applied to fabric art these days. it interferes with the nature of the fabric and pollutes the earth. i believe in recycling and re-purposing and my work is mostly given away but i have opened a shop for smaller pieces. hand sewing is meditative and beautiful. i do occasionally plug in but machine stitches are just not the same. pieces evolve through a process of thought catching and what-iffing. each one is a sampler of a kind, containing new techniques and ideas, each a study for the next. i use them as metaphors for change and life's journey. my style is based on layers, the nature of fabric, redefining traditional techniques, unconventional cloth construction, mending and the relationship of sewing to weaving. i call myself an alternative quilter and a folk artist. i would love to be a teacher someday. 
.....started my blog  to record the process of making a spirit cloth, which is always a gift and usually takes one or two years to complete. because these are such long term projects i thought that the process could be interesting enough for posting.
i have been published in quilting arts magazine, artful blogging, and art quilting studio.
.....i enjoy comments although i am sometimes too busy stitching to catch up right away. thank you for visiting.
it seems i might be able to communicate something through cloth making. i hope so. this blog is a personal journey into gift giving and story cloth. one step at a time. and diversions along the way.
The quest.
i have recently experienced a transition where my hobby has become my life. in order to explain this transformation to myself i have set up this blog to record my thought process as i create what i no longer call a quilt but a spirit cloth. my approach is always very scattered and i hope this journal will help me in my quest to understand the nature of my creative thought and the magic it seems to conjure. i am not a good photographer or a writer, but it seems i might be able to communicate something through cloth making. i hope so. 
bear with me if you are reading along. i am likely to make multiple posts per day to keep up with my thoughts."


  1. oh, well thank you so much... it was good to read my own words again. ha!

  2. a wonderful blog post. Jude has inspired so many of us and has a large community of stitchers that are so grateful for her sharing spirit.

  3. Great post, Jude is such an inspirational teacher and her generosity is boundless. Her sharing of thoughts and what-iffing help to find the creativity within each of us.

  4. Jude has given me the confidence to wear the purple hat and smile while wearing it....thank you thank you

  5. wondering what's up over there...jude has a lot to offer doesn't she? a good trip back in time.

  6. Hi Jude,
    Just want you to know how much I appreciate your daily posts. I'm a former Chicagoan and so, I know a whole lot about that "white stuff". I really enjoy reading your comparisons, and thoughts on-line. For me a little goes a long way. Wish I could meet you someday, (person to person). I love February's 5th post. Gorgeous textile. Perhaps your thoughts about the color "pink" means that a beautiful Spring with lots of pink flowers is not too far in the distance. thanks for letting me share,,,,,,,Lynne Sward

  7. Your work is the very most beautiful I have ever seen!!!Thank you so much for the inspiration!
    Carol MaHarry

  8. So beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your talent ..

    1. Jude really is a remarkable artist. Her daily blog is amazing. I'm glad you enjoyed her work.