Monday, January 10, 2011

a woman with a past


i once had a job where i had to power dress, paraphrasing isak dinesen's first line in out of africa.
the job was no big power, but the places i had to go were. not one who would conform to the regular pinstripe business suit, i'd sew my clothes  especially tops and mostly in silks . and thus i ended with a bagfull of lovely scraps.

i wanted to do something with the only self imposed restriction that  only the silk scraps were to be used. at that time i did not know much about stitching, stabilisers, fusibles, crazy quilts or that world in particular. and it shows. i just happily patched the scraps together in a very spontaneous way.
 at that time i was starting on shibori and had been seriously dyeing for some years, so i  could confidently dye scraps to shift the colors and do some shibori on some to liven up the pieces. there was a vague idea to make a kimono with the pieced fabric, so i was working on two panels . but the kimono  never happened.

and the pieced panels were put to rest. and laid dormant in a bag in the studio until this weekend when they resurfaced. there you have it, in all its naiveté, with fabric scraps puffing and bulging  out and even some scraps still attached with pins. that in particular was addressed immediately  if i was going to work on the panels without bloodshed. i removed the pins and   pieced  the scraps using wunderunder. 
boy! have i learned over the years!

this is going to be a yearlong project. but i figured if it has waited so long for its moment to come, it can wait a little longer to be finished. i am using zigzag stitching to attach the fabrics to the muslin background, changing colors frequently to emphasize or minimise an area. i have to think about whether to do some hand stitching or not. the stitches to be used, the weight of the stitching thread, whether it will be boro-like or crazy quilt-like without buttons and bows.i'm not a quilter and this is not going to be a quilt. it's more of an exercise in frugality, or so i'd like to think.

neki desu


  1. Anonymous6:23 PM

    Will this become a kimono? Whatever it becomes will be gorgeous. I had something like a patchwork kimono in mind using all my handwoven scraps - which are mostly from the ends of silk scarf warps. I have always woven off every little bit of the warp as samples so there are alot of them!

  2. Anonymous7:00 PM

    sounds like an exploration. some hand stitching sounds inviting but i'm sure you will know when the time comes.
    power that when you DON'T wear jeans and a tshirt?

  3. Aha! You have Department of Unfinished Projects, too!

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.


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