Tuesday, 11 October 2011

'Wish You Were Here' postcard

For September's Quilters; Guild Regional Day in Perth the challenge was to make a postcard with the theme 'Wish You Were Here';.  While for most people this had them going in search of farbic for beach scenes, the phrase means something very different for me.  I wish that people I have lost were here, I still miss my grandfather who died when I was 3, and my grandmother who died about 10 years ago.  The latter was a watercolour painter and fierce spirit, she adored all four of us grandchildren and would solve any crisis with mountains of sandwiches.  This postcard is a copy in fabric of a photograph given to me by my aunt, her daughter, who is also an exceptional artist and spirit.  I wanted to give her something I could do, I feel more and more that for the people I care about who appreciate hand work as I do giving of my time in this way is more valuable than a shop brought gift.

I first drew the picture onto white polycotton (never using that again, it's the real thing all the way from now on) using Inktense pencils, I just got myself the full box set of these and they are wonderful.  I then layered two pieces of the cotton with a piece of wadding and free machined the yellow field of oil seed rape and the grasses to either side of the patch.  Then I hand stitched the river before doing more free machining over the top to build up the greens.  I increased the intensity of the blue in my grandmother's smock using the Inktense pencils. Finally I dotted white / beige french knots slong the right side of the path where the cow parsley is in the phtograph and created the oak tree to the right of the picture with french knots using several shades of green DMC floss in my needle.    The other trees are created with short seed stitches in various shades.  The last few reeds and my grandmother's hair were created with single stitches.  Finally I did the border using satin stitch.

We have just lost another friend, only a year older than us, and it reminds me of the importance of keeping records like this one.  I keep a diary on a daily basis, and unless I diarise what I'm creating those I leave behind wont understand my drive to create.  My aunt was astounded when I gave this postcard to her, I find it hard to see my work through other people's eyes, to me it seems uninteresting, but I have to accept others see it differently.  I guess when I create especially when it is for, as in the case of the lap quilts, or of, someone I love very much, that love goes into every stitch in a very karmic way.

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