Communion 7: The Little Cloth that Could

This latest addition to the Communion Series (cloths that visually describe what it’s like to have a conversation with Nancy) comes with a subtitle: “And Then . . . ” or maybe “Well, shoot” or maybe “I Think I Can . . . ”


Things went okay . . . at first.



I tucked all the assorted colorful bits of fabric under the veil then added some that escaped, some that seeped out from under the veil.


Even though chaotic stitches held everything in place, I decided to stitch a spiral down over it all, never once considering that it might turn out looking much like the rocket bra that one never-to-be-named relative wore to Thanksgiving 2004.


Even with the surprise 3-D element, it looked kinda’ plain and unfinished, so I added French knots around the rocket bra-ish spiral . . . only I didn’t have enough black floss and couldn’t find any at the beach, so I bought some black crochet thread and used that (which was hard on the fingers) (but I actually wound up liking the shade and substance it added) (though not enough to take out the knots made with black floss. As it turns out, the blacks were divided kinda’ half and half on the piece, so I decided to pretend that was part of the design.) (Two people in communication and all that, you know.) (I can justify with the best of ’em.)


Ordinarily I like softly frayed, unfinished edges, but this fabric was especially bad to ravel, so I added a healthy coat of Fray Check to all the edges . . . and let me tell you: there wasn’t enough rubbing alcohol in the entire state of Alabama to get rid of that Fray Check after it dried. So I cut the “tails” off and added new ones, attaching them with more black French knots to make it look like it was part of the plan from the Very Beginning, you know.


And eventually Communion 7 is finished (if you don’t count that there’s no way to hang it and no label) (yet). (I’ll get around to that, but right now 7 and I, we need a little space.)


[ ::: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers figures that sometimes it’s not (just) the end product that resembles a conversation with Nancy, but the process itself.


  1. wordsmithtom

    Just you wait and see what I use for “fraying”….will amaze you

    • whollyjeanne

      Of that I have no doubt, Tom . . .

      p.s. I even love the word “fraying”.

  2. wordsmithtom

    Oh, and I like the piece. Reminds me of a two-tailed kite.

    • whollyjeanne

      kite. hadn’t thought of that. that in and of itself describes what having a conversation with nancy is like.
      (i see we keep the same hours.)

  3. wordsmithtom

    The word “fraying” has such negative connotations, poor thing: frayed edges, frayed nerves. A battle is called a fray. Go play in the fray. I like it. Oh, and my hours. Lawd Gawd! I tend to sleep in splatters, starting around 6pm or when I feel like laying my tired ole body down, and ending around 4am. After that, I’m up, frisky as a squirrel. This morning I was in the studio before 5 for a three hour stint. So, yea kite with 2 tails; one long and one short….so conversation is quite apt; takes two to have one.

    • whollyjeanne

      “frayed” is such a tender word, such vulnerability. it’s honest, too. worn. loved. lived. you know . . .
      as for the hours we keep – i love the dark thirty hours when the rest of the world (except for you) sleeps. i call it my thin place, and i love it because anything’s possible, everything makes sense, and there’s not gonna’ be any interruptions for a while.
      good to let your body decide when it needs rest, me thinks. tis good to be at a point in life when we can do that.

  4. Mark

    I love what you do with these and the love you have for Nancy shines through….

    • whollyjeanne

      Thank you, Mark. She’s a special woman, one I’m lucky to have in my life.

  5. tired

    I love the way this unfolds.. like the conversation, even the process around it has frays and memories and movement.. it is beautiful!

    • whollyjeanne

      Hey Sugar. You know frays and movement quite well right about now, don’t you? xo

  6. judy martin

    oh Jeanne. You and Nancy just keep going and going, and it is really nice that you share it with us. It is inspiring and good.
    really good.

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