I came across the organisation, Guldusi, in a recent edition of Embroidery. The project aims to help women in Afghanistan earn a living by selling their beautiful embroideries. The current projects encourage fibre artists in Europe to purchase an embroidery to incorporate into their own work. So, when my husband asked what I’d like for Christmas, I sent him to the website to choose a piece for me. He was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of choice but he selected well. I don’t think a bad choice was possible. The work is exquisite and characteristic of the region with its Persian eyelets. I’m not quite sure what to do with it yet. I don’t want anything I add to overwhelm the original design. Watch this space…
He also bought me a book of the latest exhibition, Gardens Around the World. A fascinating look at how each piece of work evolved. It was started by a European embroidery, sent to a woman in Afghanistan who added to the work and then returned to the European woman, who started it, to finish the piece. You can see how some partnerships let the work evolve, whilst others took charge and reordered the final piece. I’m hoping to get working on something for the next project, Keep Your Eye on the Planet. Perhaps you’d like to get involved too?
Finally, 20 months after I started, I’ve finished my rag rug! It looks lovely next to the Victorian fireplace on the dark red carpet in my bedroom, but I won’t be making another. If you need something to keep you warm over the winter, then its a great thing to work on but if, like me, you have a dust allergy or you’re just very house proud, I wouldn’t do it. The technique I learnt at Penelope Davis’s workshop using an anti-slip mat for the backing was much better than using hessian, in terms of dust. I just can’t believe how much fabric it took though. Thankfully, my husband gets through lots of sweatshirts – the benefit of working over a longer period of time, you get to collect more clothes and remnants. I just hope the dog doesn’t take a fancy to it. He loves all of my handmade rugs but this one will malt forever!
Spotted an advert in the local newspaper wanting artists to support Ventnor Botanic Garden‘s horticultural apprenticeship scheme. Work has to be A5 and fit in a C5 envelope. It can be in any medium and will be sold for £50. If you want to support this cause, all pieces should be received at the gardens by Friday, May 19th. Further information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the design can be of any subject, I thought flowers would be appropriate. I chose the beautiful book, Fabric of India as my source of inspiration and decided to work a simple motif in stranded thread on calico. It gave the opportunity to make another piece of patching and piecing which is useful for so many things including framing small works. The biggest challenge for me, as ever, was working to a fixed size, I just about managed it. It fits successfully in a C5 envelope anyway!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year with much inspiration!
Instead of sending cards this year I have decided to give money to Isle of Wight charity, Bus Shelter, whose mission is:
“To provide safe overnight accommodation for people sleeping rough on the Isle of Wight”