Well, I had a very busy and routine week last week. I taught the same two seminars over and over again to the point where I wasn’t entirely sure what I had said in any of them. I am not complaining about this; it is the day job, but it did leave me close to brain dead by Friday evening. So, I made the decision to do some creative work over the weekend (teaching is creative, but you know what I mean), and there will be plenty to post about. But, I thought I would start with a project that I thought was finished. This is the mourning quilt that I made a while ago, using the fabric from one of my longest standing quilting friends, Peggy, who died a couple of years ago. Those of us in the little quilting group, St Andrews Quilters, all had a small bag of her fabric. I decided to make mine into a memorial quilt so I made very simple patchwork and then put on a frame of black beads, like Victorian jet mourning jewellery.
It has been hanging about for some time, but I took it out for another look, it being All Saints Day and All Souls Day last week. It looked like a frame without a picture. There was a big gap where something ought to be. So, I took it up to my workroom. It would have been nice to have had a picture to put in there, but in the end I went back to the death theme and a line I remember from Shakespeare:
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
It’s from Twelfth Night, one of those A-level books you never forget for the rest of your life.
I put in the sad cypruses using black silk and spray adhesive and then I stood back. What would the Kemshalls do? I wondered. I have been given a massive sheet of gold foil by the wonderful Davina, artist and walking work of art. It came from the Scrap Store. In craft shops it is violently expensive, but this sheet was leftover from photographers putting very fine gold lines on their mounts – I could tell from what had left its ghostly form on the sheet I had. So it was free. Such a bargain that I could be liberal with it. I gilded the trees using bits of bondaweb and then stitched a leafing pattern in to the quilting.
In the end, I rather like it. The existing embroidery picks up the evergreen foliage theme, and the black and gold lifts it out of being a miserable piece.
It’s a nice way to remember Peggy.
More on the weekend’s activities later.