Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Patchwork Mania!!

I'm a bit, well erm, besotted with patchwork (particularly patchwork clothes) right now.  I think it's one of those things that's been with me forever and just emerges from time to time.  When I was little, in the 60s, my nan had a little bundle of pinked flannel nursery squares which I played with and stitched together for dolls blankets.  If I remember rightly they were samples from a time when she worked in a small local department store.

I loved this faux patchwork cotton print dress that my mum made me c1972/1973 .........

For many decades patchwork eluded me.  The angular symmetry and often dowdy colours in abundance had no appeal whatsoever.  I bought some templates and Laura Ashley pre cut squares back in the 80s but ended up stitching them together as they were to line a toy basket and have never used the templates.  I did the obligatory pieces for C &G and a few more recent bits that I've blogged about but nothing much.  I seriously thought about doing a patchwork jacket for my large scale C&G piece but knew I would make the embroidery so involved that I would never finish it.  I was going to use my Indian jacket for the main pattern.  I haven't worn it for years .......... it had an accident in the washing machine when a viscose velvet patch came away at the seams.  I'm sure I can find something somewhere, dyeing if need be, to make it wearable again.

Sitting round the kitchen table a couple of days ago coversing with my husband, mum and dad, my head was full of "what to spend my birthday money on".  Saying that I'd ordered a pattern for a coat mum remarked "patchwork I expect".  No, but I do intend on making a patchwork jacket at some point.  "Ah, Dolly Parton and her Coat of Many Colours" said dad who proceed to tell of the story behind the song.  I didn't even recall the tune let alone know that it was true.  I'm well and truly hooked on the song at the moment and I AM going to make my patchwork jacket!!

It's the domesticity and resourcefulness of patchwork that is so appealing.  A short while ago we visited a local quilting exhibition where there was some very nice stuff but most of it would have been made for the "show" and, although very nice and well made, had little appeal to me.  There was one quilt that stuck in my mind and it's the only thing I can remember much about .......... worked by a WW2 Canadian war bride in whatever fabrics she had to hand.  It was stitched with love and care and for a real purpose ............ the emotion almost weeping from the fabric and stitches.

I absolutely adore Jane's dress at the Museum of Childhood, lovingly made by her mother who sat up all night stitching these pieces of fabric together so Jane had a dress for a party.

I've kind of been losing my way a bit for quite a while, longer than I care to think about actually, but I'm sooooooo excited about this patchwork thing at the minute I am going to explore further and get the stuff sorted for my jacket!


Gina said...

Love the idea of a patchwork jacket and look forward to seeing where you take this idea.

Connie said...

I know the song "Coat of Many Colors". I used to cry when I heard it. I've been planning on making one of those jackets from a sweatshirt for a couple of years now. Maybe one day I'll get to it.