August 7, 2013
Jack in the Pulpit -- Work in Progress, Update 3
Next it was time to pick the supporting fabrics for the patchwork. I love this part of the process; it’s fun and exciting. For this work I decided on four different colorways. Above are the pinks. I am often asked about fabric choices, so I will try to break this one down. From left to right I have a patterned textured silk, a French silk/cotton blend , a gold silk, two pink silks from Mysore, India, a artisan dyed mottled silk, and a striped silk cotton blend.
Next is the pale blue colorway. L-R is a pfd (prepared for dying) off-white silk with a satin strip, a silk stripe, a “shot” blue silk from Mysore, a heavy patterned silk cut from a men’s shirt, and a silk tweed that I hand painted. I seldom buy fabric specifically for a project, as I have a pretty good stash, but I will handpaint things as needed.
In the green colorway, there are two of my hand painted cottons (dried on a family heirloom mid-century modern lawn chair for the patterned effect), a finely woven wool, a silk-cotton small check, some pale olive silk from a woman’s suit (that is reading too peachy in this snapshot), a dark green twill cotton, two more hand painted cottons, and an artisan dyed mottled silk.
The dark colorway was my favorite to assemble. L-R is a check patterned black silk and a striped burgundy one, an artisan hand dye, a burgundy print from the 80’s, and two dressmaking scraps from the 40’s. I really wish you could all feel these scraps in person. They were probably purchased through a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue, and my mother used them for dresses. The fabric is tightly and smoothly woven, from a very fine gauge cotton, and the hand of the fabric is marvelous. It would have been expected to hold up through countless wearings, washings, and ironings. I literally cannot find fabric this nice anywhere anymore, so I mete out what I have judiciously. The final fabric on the right is a shagbark from the 70’s. Again, it is very finely woven, and the stripes have these wonderful little nubs in them. I made myself a blouse from it, back in the day.
The fabric was all pressed and then I cut random width strips, all of similar lengths, to prepare for piecing.
At the last minute I added a few pale pinkish cotton floral prints into the blue set.
The contrast looks a bit garish in these last two at this point, but it will all work out ok once it is stitched, sliced, and stitched again. If it was all bland and matchy-matchy it would end up boring.