I am sorry it has been so long since I posted here. This was to do with a technical hitch which was almost certainly my fault, and which now seems to be resolved. There has been a lot of stitching since the last time I posted and so there is plenty to catch up with. I’ll start today with something straight off the thimble, as it were.
This is a small sampler piece, although it could be framed in one of those IKEA box frames. It’s about twelve inches/ 30 cm square. I made it for my upcoming workshop on Boro (still two places left if you would like to come). This is an example for the afternoon session on Boro and beyond, by which I mean working with Boro as inspiration and seeing where it takes you. This piece was based on the sort of work that Jude Hill does. She makes what she calls spirit cloths which have Boro-like stitching but are quite ethereal and just look meaningful. It was a bit of a lost cause as my attempts at the very delicate washed out, odd stitch here and there suggesting a seedhead never seem to work out. While I was making it, though, I had a moment where an inner voice said to me, ‘Just do what you want to do. Why are you trying to be a pale, second-hand Jude Hill when you could be a good first-hand you?’ So, I took Jude Hill’s design element of quilting a big circle round a central motif although I did not complete the circle:
This is using a variegated Madeira Lana thread, which is an acrylic and wool blend and which makes a really nice mark. The fabric all blends because it is from the cloth I have dyed for the workshop:
This piece, for example, is IKEA fabric. The stitching is with some very old Sylko thread that I found in a junk shop for 10p a reel. I think it might disintegrate, the thread that is, but that would be fine in a Boro piece: I could just stick another piece of fabric on top.
This is a not very good picture of the central emblem: a radiant heart. I thought it might be nice to have something resilient like this given our current world context. The very dense long and short stitching round the heart is highly representative of a lot of contemporary Boro stitching. It is also done in Lana in a maroony-red and pale pink, although it looks like gaps between the threads in this photograph. You can see the pink in the little colonial knots on the bottom right-hand side.
This final picture, which does rather wash out the colours of the original which are a sunny lemon yellow, shows a range of stitches: the overlapping Boro style on the left, with the quilted circle lines running through, some gold-coloured colonial knots and some straight stitching over a seam line.
The patchwork squares were cut free-hand in a liberated quilting method, and I didn’t iron the fabric to approximate the surface of Boro. This jumping in technique meant that I completed this, more or less, in an evening.