lately i've been drawn to simple patches, old linens, hand embroidery - making things up as i go
there's sometimes a plan, albeit a loose one, but sometimes there isn't
i've learned i can waste a lot of time trying to figure out a project, beginning to end, before i've even taken up a needle, much less a pair of scissors
nowadays i just jump right in and get started, making it up as i go, hoping for a brilliant idea or two along the way
we're making "patched pockets" over in karen's latest class, and in honour of her being both an exhibitor and an instructor, at the amazing "pour l'amour de fil" in nantes, france this april, i thought i'd make a pocket with a french twist
red and blue, new cloth and old, designs by french general and liberty of london
i'm in heaven
i started with an old tablecloth, lovely linen, all neatly hemmed with faded blue embroidery transfers in each of the four corners, but not a stitch taken
there were several stains on the cloth, so i took a deep breath, and cut off one whole side, leaving the hem intact on the three remaining
my plan is for an envelope-style pocket, with a fold-over flap
not having any designs ideas, as mentioned above, i decided to start on the back
in not much time i'd appliqued the first four squares - then i sat and looked at it, wondering what to do next
i wondered for a long time... days - winging it wasn't working!
in the absence of a better idea i started making red cross-stitches along the hemmed edge and while doing that i was reminded of laundry marks... the whole thing was immediately cast aside and an internet search on laundry marks began
there isn't a whole lot out there readily at hand but i found an issue of piecework magazine from 1999 that was available for digital download that had a very good article - it was a beginning...
an etsy search revealed french laundry tape - white, with red letters, monogrammed by machine
they looked awfully familiar so the ipad was dumped on the cast-off embroidery and upstairs i went, pulling out boxes and drawers, and a half hour later held up a 5" white strip with lovely little "J.A."s embroidered in said red - a little gift tucked into a textile order from long ago
"J.A." not "J.W." but it will do just fine
back to work again, this time embroidering some of the faded transfer lines on the cut-off piece
this will in turn be cut up again i think, and appliqued on to the pouch in some fashion, but just how hasn't quite come to me yet
while waiting on that idea to develop, i turned to the next thing i knew for sure
i embroidered a tiny white flower on a scrap of the cut off material and then darned it to the main piece in the open space between groups of the "four-patches"
there was no tear here, no stain that needed covering, just a desire to bring some of the cut away part back home, darning it, connecting it in a way that is somehow as close as it can get again to being part of the whole
and that's as far as my thinking's taken me...