MEND Inspiration – Heidi Parkes

I first learnt about the Heidi Parkes when I attended the 2018 Modern Quilters Guild QuiltCon event in California (I know – so lucky!). There were many speakers there who were new to me and Heidi Parkes was one of them. As soon as I heard about our summer MEND theme here at Youngish Quilters I knew I had to introduce you to her.

Image from artist’s website

Heidi is an artist who has worked in many different media, including making beautiful, personal quilts.

Heidi puts so much of herself into her quilt making. She explores things that are important to her – her feelings, her memories – and uses her practice as a way of looking after her own well-being. I think this is perfect for our theme! I have heard her talk about making a quilt during lockdown – including shapes, fabrics and colours that represent her experiences during this time that was so difficult for so many people. Someone else looking at the quilt wouldn’t necessarily know or understand the symbolism but it has helped Heidi. I was very inspired by this and making a personal quilt is definitely on my to do list.

Heidi is also a mending guru.

She does beautiful, often visible, mending which becomes a feature in itself on items of clothing. As well as being aesthetically fabulous, mending is a great way of making clothes last longer. Heidi is very aware of our need to tend to and mend the earth. She works a lot with repurposed fabrics and is super aware of the waste she creates in her practice – she tries to use absolutely everything in her art and throw nothing away.

And finally, Heidi is an advocate for looking after our bodies so we don’t need to mend them later. Sewing can be hard work physically and she encourages us all to take care of ourselves. I have done yoga with Heidi and she’s a wonderful teacher. Recently she posted a series of videos of hand yoga on YouTube. Hand sewing can be peaceful and meditative but it can also be hard on the hands. So that you don’t have to mend anything later, why not practice good habits now. Several of her vidoes are around five minutes or even less. You know the old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’? Why not practice the same with your body?

Hand yoga – Hand Yoga Club – YouTube

For more about Heidi check out:

Her website – Heidi Parkes

Her gorgeous Instagram feed – Heidi Parkes (@heidi.parkes) • Instagram photos and videos

An interview – Modern Mender: Heidi Parkes – Miniature Rhino

And much more – @heidi.parkes | Linktree

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