Common Threads explores ideas of artistic identity and memory contained within the narrated stories of ten textile artists. It reveals how individuals bring a sense of linearity to fragments of memory and create a cohesive sense of self through telling their life's story. By employing a systems model, the author constructs new ideas of interrogating identity and art practice. The model, "Constructing Personal Narratives", brings into focus the hermeneutic circle of learning, and identifies the importance and need to provide opportunities for lifelong learning. The stories told by the participants who returned to the formal education sector later in life reveal the profound effects adult learning had upon their lives. The writer reveals how the model generated the interview questions that provided the rich biographical content that emerged within dialogues. The common threads of experience and feelings of the ten participants and the author are revealed, and from these emerge deepened understandings of both the place of stories within our lives and how stories can further an understanding of what it means to be an artist. Emerging from these stories are implications for teaching practice; these are presented as observations and questions in terms of how educators should be part of the learning experience with those they educate.