During quiet moments in the bustle of preparing for a family Christmas I have been stitching on a small piece (31 x 29 cm) and thinking nostalgic and grateful thoughts.
This design is Gustav Klimt’s and comes from a small detail in his painting Portrait of Fritza Riedler (1906). The patches are from a set of taffetta decor samples, which are appliqued onto a cotton background. The photograph hopefully shows how much stitching fun I have had during this past week in our rustic family shack on the Hogsback mountain. Before we left, I baste quilted the piece and attached the binding with my sewing machine. The remainder of the stitching has been done by hand.
This is not the first time I have worked with taffetta. This fabric responds beautifully to being stitched, probably because it is shot (different colours used in the weft and the warp) and because it is a shiny textile. In anticipation of this I took photographs to document the effect of the stitching.
To explain the title and the reason for my grateful thoughts : I would never have seen this small gem in that Klimt painting if I had not been given a calendar containing twelve reproductions of his works. The calendar hangs above the kitchen table and so I spend 30 days worth of mealtimes looking at the image for that month. And this is how I came to notice and study and then want to copy this block of eight patches nestling in the background of the splendour of Fritza Riedler. The calendar was given to me by my son-in-law’s mother (my mother-in-common) because, she said, it made her think of me when she saw it. And for this I am grateful.
Seeing as I was so “snap-happy” during the making of this piece, I also photographed the back before I stitched down the hanging sleeve.
Answer. The first photograph in the series is upside down.