Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Travel Project

Apologies in advance to those who have seen me wear this a few times and heard the story ! In Helen's blog, she was asking about holiday/travel projects other than half square triangles so I thought I'd share mine - hand quilting a pieced black silk stole. I started it several years ago inspired by the wonderful hand stitched textiles of Austrialian artist Jane Whiteley that I coverted in Perth and some very expensive kantha stitched scarves in Libertys
It was pieced by machine from a wide variety of black silks of different weights and textures interspersed with some strips and stars of purples and pinks. Many of the silks came from old shirts - some of my own, some from charity shops, a lot of the black from a skirt and pair of trousers that no longer fitted! I backed it with a wool 'pashmina' (again a charity shop find ) which dictated its final size - 45 x 200cm. How to join the 2 together was a pit of a puzzle until a friend suggested sewing them face together along the long edges and turning them the right way round , Doh ! so obvious ( anyone else have these 'Homer moments'?) As you can see the stitching is still in progress as it only gets done while travelling! The stole is useful as a lap warmer, to smarten up an outfit very quickly and only requires needle and thread. It packs up quite small as it's only 2 layers of silk and wool and as the stitching is intentionally large the odd jolt is not a problem and doesn't require too much concentration while talking (it generates a lot of interest!) Only problem sometimes is the black fabric in poor light but as I'm mainly using contrasting thread it's not too bad. I love deciding whether I will sew stars or spirals.

It's been stitched on in several countries - a lot done in a snowbound hotel in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. It's most recent trip was to Iran but only a few stitches were added. Who knows , when its finally smothered in stitches perhaps the fringe will get some attention!
PS Just have to watch that the needle is removed before wearing! (found out the hard way)


Helen Conway said...

Thaks for sharing this - a very interesting idea. made me think about combining it with another comment about making a cushion - if I got my designing act together soon enough I could kantha quilt a cushion cover and get one of my C&G projects out of the way. Hmmmmm....!

neki desu said...

not only a beautiful stole,but also all the travel stories embedded in it.how's that for a travel brochure :)

neki desu

margaret said...

What a brilliant project - and so useful along the way! Plus it's layers of history - the fabrics used and the places it's been. Somewhere I have a beige, thrift-shop "pashmina" which just needs overdyeing, and there are all sorts of silk garments waiting to be "repurposed" ...