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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pulling the scraps together

In keeping with the boro inspired theme, I'm sticking with a simple patchwork of strips and squares for my giant floor cushion. On to the basic patchwork I've added a bit of pleated linen, and a square of silk shibori. I've deliberately left the raw edges exposed as I quite like the feathery effect of frayed silk. I'll add more layers and other bits of manipulated fabric later, but first I want to do some stitching.

For a while, I've wanted to try my hand at shashiko, but was nervous of doing so–perhaps learning a new skill felt too daunting? Somehow though, shashiko seems right for this piece, so I've taken the plunge (I have Cynthia at aquilterbynight partly to thank for that!). The front will feature straight lines only, but lots and lots of them. I'm hoping that as I add more layers of fabric and stitch over them, the result will not only give an interesting texture, but also, a visual depth to the patchwork–we'll see. The back of the cushion will have a more intricate design. At the moment, I'm leaning towards a hemp leaf design, which feels appropriate since boro textiles were usually made from indigo dyed hemp.

Rather than use traditional shashiko thread (see, I can't even start off by following the rules!), I thought I'd try a variegated cotton perle instead. I had a lovely dark blue/white spool of thread, but rather foolishly left it within Willow's reach. My cat has little love for embroidery but does appreciate how a reel of cotton rolls along the floor, and can be batted under sofas, and into all sorts of nooks and crannies around our flat. So now, I can't find my blue and white variegated thread, and Willow isn't letting on where she left it. I'll just have to use plain white instead!



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