Warm womb of a place
Red tapestries hung richly
in a forest green
The Red Thread Project is a stitching together of many women and girls voices and stories who have spent time on the land at Sladebank Woods, Stroud.
Red Thread stitches help
stories of all kinds to warm
us through winter nights
It began for me as a practical task to insulate the roundhouse when I was donated a huge bale of many pieces of woolen felt. The idea was daunting to tackle alone.
When Patricia Brien (see her website Liminessence for latest projects) approached me in the summer of 2017 to work on a project with the Red Hearth community for her PhD focusing on Stroud ‘scarlet’ textiles, I suggested the woollen panels and the Red Thread Project was conceived. It started on the Sladebank Woods Open Day in October.
From the sheep came fleece
Factory felted scarlet
Warming the house round
Woven to the land
Red Threads trail through the tall trees
Weaving in and out
Red Threads connected village
touching dear hearts deep
We estimate that 40 women and girls have participated, in total 5 beautiful and lush hangings have been created. The panels have been mainly stitched together at Atelier Stroud on Monday evenings during the winter months by Patricia and myself.
A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed.
The Red Hearth well wrapped
round in red threads gathered in
Sister’s stories heard.
yarns, their fingers threaded red
wild stories are told
I am grateful too for the reflective process of sewing, sparking my imagination over the winter months. It has coincided with a sense of completion, of the end of a phase in the life of the Red Hearth House for me. My imagination so sparked that I wrote 14 Haikus about the Red Hearth and Red Thread. I now begin a new phase in my own personal journey.