Tag Archives: textile arts

Elemental Quilt

Formerly known as Very Moorish ….

And because quilts change character as you work with them, and as the intention becomes more clear … so too does the name change. It might change again.

I’ve attached on the front panels, and the backing, and the wadding is nicely tucked in between. I wish I’d know when I started stitching that it was a quilt, then I wouldn’t have to work tucking the wadding neatly up to the joins so much, but it’s a minor niggle.

I love the way the stamping has turned out – I love this pattern. It’s called ‘Breath of the Compassionate’ and as I stitch I can feel the infinite inhale/exhale balanced between the stars and crosses.

I’m hand sewing … of course!! (You didn’t really think I was going to machine quilt anything, did you?!) Hand quilting takes much, much longer, but is so much more satisfying than the quick thrill of a machine buzz. I’m using single strands of alternating dull pale gold embroidery silk, and a metallic thread in the same shade of gold … I’m loving the way the two interlace with each other. Although it’s more difficult than I expected to properly manage the geometrics on this fabric, I’m still happy with the way things are going:

In the meantime, the quest for more squares of script goes on … if you know a good arabic calligrapher, you will let me know, won’t you ๐Ÿ™‚

And for those who are as interested in such things as I am, here is the back view. I couldn’t bear to cover up the silk I used to back the piece, so I’ve worked the backing cotton around it.

Slowly, but surely, I am getting there. It is very happy-making … this quilt is fast becoming one of my favourites.

Tribal Textiles

The magpie has been out collecting again …

I had a glorious weekend away, and one of the highlights was a trip to Healey and James near Alton in Hampshire. It is an aladdin’s cave of glorious, beautifully hand-crafted oriental textiles – scarves, throws, quilts and clothes –ย in an out-of-the-way little business estate … if you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it by chance. Rachael Healey, in addition to being an incredible artist, is hugely knowledgeable and wonderfully enthusiastic about the textiles, so I had an amazing hour pulling out and caressing any number of beautiful pieces.ย 

I was brought up in the middle east, and I think my love of tribal textiles stems from there …. I always remember being surrounded by vivid colour and texture, and all the reds and oranges. And so I have always collected – a little bit here, a little bit there.

Last year, I acquired this horse breastplate:

I just adore the detail of the embroidery with the shisha mirrors, and the beading and fringing around the edges.

So this year, I added to my indian textiles with this:

I adore the vibrant colours, and the detail on the stitching is incredible … I wonder if I would have the patience to sit and work something as complex as this?

Last year, I had a covetous moment over a huge sami quilt … but the price put it out of my reach, and the size wasn’t practical for anyplace I could use it. So I was delighted that this year there were some smaller sami quilts …. the only problem was choosing which one I adored most. In the end, I made a departure from my usual colours and went for this vivid green:

I think it works well with all my reds, and I kind of like to be a bit on the eclectic side ๐Ÿ˜‰ The colour drew me (even though it is a rayon), but the stitching was what sealed in for me …. the layers and layers of running stitch, with those spashes of intricate repeated detail … just glorious.

I’m already looking forward to going back again, next year.