It was my intention to take a blogging break this week. But a series of happy coincidences got me thinking about material for yet another post about scraps. The clincher was when Facebook showed me that I had posted this photograph a year ago:
You’ve guessed, I am going to tell you about the scraps that came from the making of this quilt. It’s a long story, which also has its genesis in the wonderful tutorials and inspiration being offered by TextileArtist.org. This week’s Stitch Club tutor Susie Vickery urged us to embroider in the Jacobean style using plastic. Yes, she did. And hundreds of us have done just that and been surprised and delighted by the results. I decided the time had come to cut up the Liberty of London bag that I accepted against my better judgement (it being plastic) when I bought a roll of fat quarters from that iconic shop. The fabrics were then used to make Honky-Tonk Blues and I stored the scraps in the Liberty Bag. These offcuts were dumped on my cutting table while I stitched Susie Vickery’s challenge.
After that bit of plastic fun was finished, the fabric scraps started talking to me. The previous week, Stitch Club tutor and artist, Merill Cormeau had shown us the trick of stitching small pieces of fabric onto netting in order to make a collage. Given this newly learnt technique, the pile of scraps, and half a metre of newly purchased grey netting in petticoat weight, this is what happened :
The next step will be to stitch down all the bits and then to applique on top of the background (there are still the tiny squares and slivers of scraps waiting to be used up!). I know this will means hours with a threaded needle. I also know that any non-quilters reading this will think I am a little crazy. So be it.
While Liberty Lily was a quick stitch, the piece I did from Merill Cormeau’s prompt took a lot longer. The brief was to create a collage as a background for a flower of significance. I chose a plant called Crassula perfoliata (aka falcata) which is endemic to South Africa. It occurs on rocky outcrops in grassland and on inaccessible cliffs. In the wilder parts of the botanical gardens near to where I live it blooms spectacularly every February. Its common names include airplane plant, Buddha’s temple, propeller plant, scarlet paintbrush and sekelblaarplakkie. I could not find any reference to its significance in our personal plant books or on google, but feel sure it has folklore behind it.