I have been stitching my way through May and now it’s almost June! As I sew these meandering patterns on silk organza leaves, I work through my worries and my fears. I read an article in Hakai magazine that was written a few years back about the die-off of salal and it really triggered me because I have just seen the bees in the salal on Galiano Island. Some of us who were participants of the 2023 Bioblitz were staying at the Galiano Island Conservancy property. When I emerged from the tent in the morning to take the bleary-eyed journey to the outhouse, I passed clumps of salal criss-crossed with trailing blackberry. These places were buzzing with industrious worker bumble bees collecting pollen for their sisters back at the nest. Losing salal would be catastrophic for west coast bees, especially bumble bees.
I think, worry, fret, and stitch. Then I tie a knot in the
end of the thread and leave those concerns behind like a ghost trail of
thoughts. I like to start and end the day with meditative stitching. I even
found that I could embroider on the bus. (I mean, since you’re sitting on your
butt you might as well do something productive, right?!) As I create a collection of these translucent
leaves I also start imagining what item of clothing I can make with
them---perhaps a cape and a hat. Maybe I can make a corset and skirt that
looks like the bark of an arbutus tree. I was also thinking of stitching fine
wires into some of the leaves so I can bend and shape them and give them some
body. That way they can be adjusted and look slightly different every time it is worn.