For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .







''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007







Thursday, September 8, 2011

for Helen




Pieces in process...two. Pieces finished and damp stretched... two. The progress of my cloth for Helen as of this morning. I must tell you that I can't take credit for the beautiful flower, bottom right, top picture.....If only! That is part of a vintage cloth that I have cut up to include in the work. And before I have the ''preserve vintage everything'' police knocking at my door, this piece was unuseable, would have been put in the bin by somebody less in awe of its qualities than me so in a way it is reborn...to live another generation. I did get a very angry and rude comment once from somebody, (anonymous of course) who berated me for cutting these things up, I justified it then and would do the same now. 
When this is finished I like to think it will be a fabulous heirloom for all the little embroiderers who come after me....if they ever come that is. Even if they don't I like to think that someone like me, a hundred years hence will find it in a charity shop or similar and appreciate the way it was made and the love and care that has gone into it.
That's me off my soap box...I have edges to square and tacking to do...

12 comments:

Flaming Nora said...

Its a tremendous compliment to who ever first embroidered the flower that some one would think so much of it to save it from land fill and recreate it in to a new work of beauty.

Coach Tina said...

I agree with Flaming Nora's comment completely! I love the flower and the cloth!

Miss 376 said...

beautiful

connie said...

Some just don't get it Karen. Your work is incredible and I love how you incorporate these little bits of embroidery whose time has passed... Your pieces will be cherished forever. :-) Have a great day!

Suztats said...

I was drooling over that flower, and thinking oh! Karen has done more magic. Well, you have, you've rescued it, so it has a new life where it will be enjoyed and loved.
Love also the circles with lace. At first glance, they looked like sunbonnets, and the frill is lovely.
Lucky Helen!

deanna7trees said...

better to be used to make something new and beautiful than to sit in a drawer just because it's old...i love those little flowers with the ruffled edges.

Rachel said...

I don't like the idea of cutting up pieces which are still useable, but if the alternative is the bin, then of course you should salvage what you can!

Raggedy Angel said...

Hello Karen,
It just breaks my heart sometimes to see a piece of work discarded, that someone has poured a lot of work and creativity into. I'm glad that there are people like yourself who are willing to salvage what they can and extend the lives of such beautiful items. Wherever possible, I re-use textiles, buttons, jewellery etc. and try to give these lovely items a new lease of life.

I'm glad to see you ignoring such critics and producing such adorable work.

helena frontini said...

that's gorgeous!!!
white! always!!!

fabriquefantastique said...

I showed your blog to my 8 year old granddaughter....she said it was perfect for faeries. (thought you might like to know that)

stitchinglife.com said...

It's beautiful, Karen. I have no qualms at all about cutting up something old. My only rule is that someone else must first have discarded it - so anything I find in a charity shop, or anything someone gives me, is fair game. I feel the cloth is happy about this too. Sometimes it's the only way to preserve something very fragile.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I hope that soapbox of yours is a big one, because I'm climbing right up there beside you. I would MUCH rather see unloved textiles repurposed into something useable rather than stuffed in a drawer or (the horror of the thought) thrown out!