I have been working on a project with the wonderful Paula Hyde at Manchester Business School which has involved making pieces together. This is the second stage of the one Paula started:
Hers is the lovely latticed ribbon square in the centre. I put some very luscious silk around two sides and included two quotations: ‘To know the history of embroidery is to know the history of women’, from Roszika Parker’s foundational text, The Subversive Stitch, and ‘Stitching assuages touch hunger’ which is my own idea based very heavily on Eve Sedgwick’s thoughts on craft and work with the hand in A Dialogue on Love (not for the faint-hearted, this one, brilliant passages on suicide).
Anyway, I wanted to sew my quotations over some heavy quilting. I started out with a design that I have used a lot in the past but not so much recently:
I love this design and this time I did it using a full complement of rubbery thimbles which helped me push the fabric about. I had never used them before but they really worked, although when I tried to get them off after using them for a while there was a rather peculiar sucking noise and I thought I had dislocated a finger. More about them, probably, in another post.
When I came to the second panel, I started with the frondy, swirly design, but suddenly thought about a design I had used in zentangles. Most of the patterns have cringe-y names with a ‘z’ on the end, and I think this one is called ‘krownz’:
It’s usually used as an edging, like this:
See the bottom right-hand corner.
It turned out to be very simple to quilt as it is a continuous line and the variations in size and shape give it its energy:
I will use it again in a context where I am not stitching over it, but I wanted a really heavily stitched effect here and I am pretty pleased that it worked out well.
BTW, the writing, of course, was a less happy experience, with a broken needle and a large amount of tutting.