Finding Community Through Slow Stitching in a Fast Paced World


A Paper

written by Ruth Souza


2016 - 2018


This personal account of my practice, Mending as Metaphor, has evolved over many years. The original illustrated talk was given at the Textile Society of America’s symposium in Savannah Georgia in October 2016.

Mend and amend evolved from the old French word amender to alter, remedy, cure, revise.


Highlights of the Paper:


In light of the immense, complex, and overwhelming issues of our world, I find myself asking: “What can I do to add to the repair of the world?” I realized that we need to mend what we can in our immediate life; to truly see what needs our attention and to assess what is broken and see beauty in the repair and the story it holds.


This reverence, which I thought was Granny’s way, was deeply rooted in the worldwide traditions of reuse and stitching. This slow stitching connected us invisibly to the kantha makers in India, the Sind woman making ralli quilts, the Gees Bend quilters, and the boro traditions of Japan.


The Upanishads believe that “Thread connects this world to the next and all beings to one another.”