an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 8 December 2013

crazy shirt

Not quite a 'crazy quilt' because I've not done any padding/quilting on this shirt. But it is 'pieces' I've stitched over the shirt; the purple cotton underneath. I started it last winter; as part of my plan to keep warm throughout winter/s, and also an attempt to reduce my heating bills; in this country we have people having to choose between eating, and heating. So; having come across sashiko stitches, and learning from Saskia about 'Boro' and the way fabric and stitches are used in traditional Japanese working-class communities, I decided to 'just sew' and patch a shirt that I could pull on over my clothes, and layer up to keep warm. Because it's so random, and un-designed, it won't matter about keeping it clean, or neat, or tidy. I can just chuck it into the washer when it needs washing; I can just put it over layers, and put a fleece over the top of it if I want. It's cotton, so it's not too bulky; I can use it in the studio; in the garden; camping; it will be useful in all sorts of situations.  
And it's on the final push! I've stitched almost all the way round the shirt, and am onto the left-hand front side. Gonna leave the sleeves as they are. The patches are a mix of bought fabric; gifted fabric; and fabric hand-dyed by me.
The stitches strengthen the fabric; they create increased insulation; they add texture; and each one made by hand!

As I'm typing this, R6 Tom Robinson show is playing music in tribute to Nelson Mandela, to mark his death. And tonight is the anniversary of John Lennon's death. Feels a dark time, as we lead up to the longest night.
Dusk fell early. I was out in the garden pottering about; watching a stunning sky of orange clouds illuminated from below.

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