Mad In Pursuit Notebook

hand-pieced, hand-quilted (sashiko method), with indigo dyed edges and back

Patchwork Scarf: Kitty Mom's Roses -- Revised

10.8.2014. [cont'd from 7.29.14] I loved my rosy scarf but it turned out shorter than I intended. A couple people said what a nice table-runner it would make, which was not what I was after. If there is anything I learned from my coursework with Jude Hill, it's "as ye sew, so shall ye cut asunder." Or as Bill Cosby said, "I brought you into this world; I can take you out." So... I laid my ruler across the center point of the scarf, picked up my rotary cutter, and (with apologies to King Solomon) sliced my baby in half.

Then I made a center section with a 15-inch length of indigo-overdyed, rose-patterned fabric, joined with my indigo-dyed eyelet lace. Added a rose applique. Backed the new section with a scrap of indigo tie-dyed damask tablecloth. Quilted it all together with big sashiko stitches.

The engineering challenge came with joining the new center section to the slashed halves. My project had to remain as delicate as cotton and linen would allow. No lumpy joins! No resorting to the sewing machine after my countless hours of handwork!

So, the front was joined with a slightly lacy ladder stitch (see glimpse at bottom center of photo above). The back sections of damask were joined with a nearly invisible overcast. The side edges were finished like the original two sections -- the backing folded over twice and overcast-stitched.

I was SO pleased that it all managed to blend nicely. And my little overcast stitches were very couture.

I really appreciate artisans who rejoice in their off-kilter wonkiness, who make mismatches and asymmetries their loud stylish Voice. But if I did that, it would look like careless incompetence and somehow I would not be my mother's daughter.

Anthropologist Alfred Gell wrote an article on "The Technology of Enchantment..." where he says that artists create magic by the power of their craftsmanship. Real magic. Real magic that bedazzles the beholders and alters their consciousness... and occasionally changes the way they see the world forever.

Yeah. Craftsmanship counts.