Ever since I got home from the fantastic art retreat at Lake Tahoe I have been challenged to resume the hand-stitching. I don’t quite know why but sense technology may have something to do with it! Why should I sit with needle and thread in hand, stitching away when I could be playing MahJong on the computer?! Finally I decided in order to move forward with the series I need to get these hand-sewn pieces near completion. Now it seems there will be at least two handcraft heritage pieces.
This is the first panel of the first piece. The remaining panels are finished but need to be trimmed and then sewn to this one. This is my father’s christening dress which is sewn to two pieces of handwoven yardage.
The neutral yardage on the left was a shawl woven by my great Aunt Lucy who was a weaver extraordinaire. The piece on the right is my own handwoven silk which was a scarf given to my mother as a gift. When she died I re-aquired this piece and it has been sitting in a drawer for 20 years waiting for a purpose. In the center are a couple quilt blocks in neutral colors.
I did cut both pieces of handwovens but there will be other places for the ‘scraps’ in this series. The dress was pretty hard to sew in that it is very fragile. It was ripped in several places and had blood on the back which can’t be seen here. It was hard to decide where to stop stitching, how much was enough, etc. The heart is a piece of my own nuno felting. There is more of this same felting in the section soon to be attached.
I also decided to finish the bottom asymmetrically with the dress flowing free just above the fringe of the handwoven on the left.
Finally I hand stitched the backing fabric edge to the woven selvages so that I could preserve those.
I still have not developed a mojo with my hand stitching. I have looked up stitches in books, online and printed out my own photos of incredible hand-stitching. I have a feeling though that if I just quit thinking about it so much it might just happen.