Hearing Voices

May, 2006 to April, 2015
I was hoping I might have something new and amazing to show you, as this marks my 800th blog post and it would be nice to have some pretty decorations to add to the festivities. But alas, I am in that dull between-projects phase, so will have to make do with a selection from the archives.

But I do have a story to share with you....

Yesterday, as I was walking through the Village parking lot, I heard a young female voice utter the remarkable question, "What happened to my life?" The words just floated into my ears, and I looked around, but no one could be seen. That was it - there was no reply, no other voices to be heard. The question was asked without a tone of frustration, or anger, or sadness. The inflection, if I had to say there was one, might have fallen on the word "life", but overall the voice was soft and gentle, the intent ambiguous.

My first thought was "Good question!", followed by the impulse to emblazon "What happened to my life?" on a giant neon billboard that would loom over the Village, sort of a all-encompassing thought bubble that would represent the inner dialogues of so many island residents. (Gabriola has a distinctly senior demographic.) Not that I think too many people would complain about their lives - retirement on Gabriola is about as close to paradise as most people could ever hope for. It's more of a rueful observation about how quickly our lives flit past.

This blog has been going since May, 2006. I started it because I knew a couple of other people who blogged, and the form had an appeal for me as I could put words and pictures together. At the time I lived in Vancouver and was more involved in community events, and I thought the blog would be a useful way to document what I was doing. Over the years it has brought me many unexpected rewards, particularly in the form of connections with people all over the world, who are interested in many of the same things I am. True Stitches has actually been a pretty comprehensive account of what has happened to my life, at least for the last nine years.

The blog and I have been happy together, for the most part. There have been lots of ups and downs, at least one husband, several boyfriends, five dogs and a cat, way too many houses and several changes of creative direction. Looking back, it hasn't just been one life, but many. No wonder I am starting to hear disembodied voices!


The world has changed in the meantime, as worlds do. There are so many other platforms to share on these days, but I am fine with good ol' Blogger. I do wonder though, how many new blogs are being started up, especially ones that are not intended as promotional tools for commerce. When I think back to the blogs I read back when I started, many of the writers I followed have either disappeared, or gone on to write books and star in Craftsy videos. Where are the interesting newbies, the next generation, as it were?

I'd love it if you shared a favourite new blog or two in the Comments section. Or your thoughts on the continued relevance (or not) of blogging. Maybe there are other forms of communication you prefer? I'd love to hear from you. And thanks, everyone, for checking in on True Stitches, over the years. You make it all worthwhile.


  1. Heather, thank you for continuing to blog. Like you, I've been at it since 2006.
    I like blogs more than I admit. I like your blog because of all the reasons you outlined in this post.

    I like to blog because of the form of it. It gives me a way to share images and text. It allows me to journal my life and see for myself the wider connections that come over time. It is a file folder. It is a connecting device with others of like minds.

    You might like to read Amy Meissner's blog. She is a new blogger.

    Many of the bloggers who were active when I started writing have dropped out in favour of facebook or instagram, - but there are a few of us who are hanging on. Thank you again. I love your Canadian slant and your appreciation of the feminist / activist / art and tetile historical slant that you have in your blog. And congratulations on 800 posts!

  2. I cannot express it better than Judy Martin has, Heather. Congratulations on 800 posts!

  3. lindachilton7:20 AM

    Hello True Stitches, I'm a textile artist/gardener in the south west of England, and have followed your blog for a while. I have especially enjoyed your stitched codex pictures. Do keep blogging!

  4. Big congrats on 800, Heather! I've been with you pretty much since the beginning I think. I too prefer the blog format and I really don't care if all the cool kids head to Instagram where I can't join them (no smart phone). Here's to blogging as much as you like, when you like and about anything you like. I'll be here to share it!

  5. Yep, I'm sticking with blogging too. Melody Johnson is a great blogger who also chronicles what is going on in her life--gardening, art, etc. http://www.melodyjohnson.com

    And I was going to mention Judy Martin's blog, which I just found and LOVE--I think she was featured in the SAQA magazine. And I see she is already your friend.

    My friend in Australia also has a very good blog about her quilting and other pursuits: https://quiltingismything.wordpress.com

    I really enjoy your blog, Heather. Congrats on 800!

  6. Anonymous11:35 AM

    congratulations, Heather. without our blogs we may never have met - and gone on to meet in real life, too and I treasure our friendship. not sure this is a new blog and it's not about cloth or stitching but I find it enjoyable - a man and his (borrowed) dog, wildflowers, critters and butterflies. www.atrampinthewoods.wordpress.com

    HUGS :)

  7. diana4:31 PM

    I am a fairly new follower from Alabama and I really enjoy your work and process. Don't stop!

    Needle and Spindle from Australia is a favorite.

  8. Hey, eight hundred posts is impressive! I like the blog format because it allows but does not require detail and elaboration...something the other platforms seem to want to pare away. Its more like a personal journal and therefore can be deeper, more intimate and more interesting. Please keep going.

  9. Holy Cowls...I have been blogging since May, THIS month, 2005...freaking amazing. I started for most of the same reasons...a place to post what I wanted, all the crazy, wild and wondrous things I come across in my own LIFE. I don't know if I have ever posted the statement, "get a life"....where? are they being handed out on the corner? can I choose any one I want? do the 3 I birthed count? and the 5 I have gotten from those 3, do they count as getting a life?

    thank you for letting me post this in your comments. I haven't come across any new blogs lately, tho I do try to explore and broaden my horizons.

  10. My favourite blogs are by artists who record process, one that I have only recently discovered is Still by Mary Jo Hoffman


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