Saturday, April 10, 2010
Shawl and all
When I was researching Shaker communities and lifestyles before designing the clock canvas, I came across a fascinating tidbit. Not only did they seek perfection in everything they produced themselves, the Shakers also admired objects of beauty and fine quality constructed by others of "the world."
During the latter part of the 1800s, many Shaker communities in the Northeast sent representatives down South to purchase finely-crafted silk shawls for Shaker "sisters" to wear inside the dormitories for additional warmth. What surprised me most was what the sisters did with these shawls: they tie-dyed them!
So when I rummaged through my stash for an appropriate thread to stitch the shawl, I remembered one I'd tried before for a sky, but had discarded because it was too variegated and unrealistic for that purpose--but just perfect for my shawl! Using Vineyard Silk Tone on Tone "Atlantic," I auditioned a number of stitches on doodle canvas and decided that a diagonal vertical oblong cross stitch worked over two threads high would be the right scale for the shawl. I added some looped turkey work for the fringe to add to the 3-D effect.
I guess sometimes it pays to purchase a thread you fall in love with, even if you don't know what you'll use it for--sooner or later, the perfect occasion presents itself!