As some of you know, I finished Sky Horse and sent in my application to try to get it into IQA Houston this year. I am not posting a full photo of it until after its first show debut, but thought since I had spent many hours archiving the old blog and figuring out the new blog that I would celebrate by posting a picture of the horsehead itself.
I also decided not to use the start I made on my little Jacobean birds-in-a-tree that I am using with opening words to Chaucer’s prologue to The Canterbury Tales embroidered around the border. Now I am fully aware that the two periods of history in which Chaucer lived and wrote, and the Jacobean period are separated by several hundred years, but somehow the birds in a tree with all the flowers embroidered on silk seemed just right for Chaucer’s “Whan that Aprille”, which is the name of the quilt. And besides, I am embroidering and appliqueing the quilt by a modern high-tech computerized sewing machine, and plan on adding buttons and beads and maybe some hot fix beads. It’s going to be quite an elaborate little quilt. It clearly is way away from my normal style of quilting, but will be using the same techniques. You have probably seen my design before, but here it is in case you haven’t:
You may not be aware, or perhaps you are, that decades ago I had my own fashion design business during which I designed and made a number of elaborate wedding dresses and special occasion dresses. I worked a lot with silk, and embroidery, and beads. I would have LOVED to have had the equipment I have today to work with. So in its way, this little quilt is a nod to that period of my life when I lived in Ithaca, New York, my children were little, and I did a lot of singing, sewing, gardening, and fashion design.
Well, let me tell you…that first piece of silk that I embroidered the vine on was just poor quality. I washed it and found it ran and ran and it had way too many slubs, so that it looked almost like raw silk, and clearly was not going to take the heavy amount of work I have to do to accomplish this quilt. Plus, I decided I wanted a darker shade of red. So I put it aside and am starting afresh on a gorgeous dark red dupioni that I already tested for color fastness, and even though all dupionis are slubbed, this one is much more refined. Besides, that other fabric was going to fight me the whole way. You know, you can tell these things when you start to work with a piece. You can’t tell the problems in this picture, but you can see it is not the darker red I wanted:
Sew sometimes you have to start things over…blogs, quilts, plans for the future…either to keep moving forward or to make things come out right in the end.
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Sew happy everyone!