For over a year now, I've had this idea about layers. About a base cloth with a layer that is a repeat pattern - or fragments of one - stitched over top, or made in a reverse applique fashion. And for some reason, this idea has stuck. And for some reason, in my mind, the form of this layer is like a scrolling flourish and also somewhere between a kind of baroque pattern and a middle eastern tile-styled pattern. And I can't see the exact design yet (unless it's going to develop from one of those shown in the image below). But the idea stays with me.
Sketch book scraps.
And for some reason, I have a feeling that it needs to be constructed with a very thin cloth, because it also needs to be light and floaty.
And I'm sat here looking at all of my recent indigo dye results (note that there are more today) and wondering if this is it. Because these are long, narrow, strips of muslin that would make great scarves, or at least, a great scarf.
My layer on the top of these indigo patterns could be in white, subtle as a ghost. Or in black, which would probably make a pretty bold design statement. Or, perhaps it would be more interesting to use one of these as the base cloth and another one as the top layer, so you hardly even noticed at first. And maybe I could do kantha stitch only over the layered part?... Now that idea has me thinking about ways to add texture to what would be for all intensive purposes a virtually invisible pattern!
Now there's an idea!
Not that I have any time to embark on such an extravagant journey of exploration! Because, lord knows, the kind of thing I have in mind, would be intricate and probably require months and months to piece together, and just as long to stitch!
For the past month, along the country roads, various tree species - particularly those more commonly associated with dry forest areas - have been bursting into flower and the air is filled with sweetness. Now I have to photograph the Jacarandas!
Last Sunday, I worked a little while on my latest cloth. The "bird habitat" cloth. Trying to keep it simple.
Just a layer of gauzy muslin, with a hand stitched outline. Perhaps too simple?
Don't know what I think of it. Whether to let it sit, or keep going, or simply forget about it and move on?
Originally, I had the idea to draw the outlines using a special pencil that, supposedly, transfers the design onto cloth by ironing. That didn't work at all. I tried steam ironing it on. I tried ironing it onto damp cloth. Either the design did not tranfer complete, or the pencil bled. So, back to the drawing board on how to get the design onto the cloth without drawing it out by hand again.
It's all about learning and process. Some things work and some things just don't work! For example, weaving with pure layers of indigo denim, looks and feels wondeful, but is murderously hard to stitch, because of the density of the layers that are created. I broke two quilting needles on the first row.... lesson learned!
On the way back to the farm yesterday evening (the first time I've managed to get home in 5 weeks!) I spotted this bloom on the roadside. How's that for an explosion of color. Brownea macrophylla (?) a member of the family Fabaceae. Makes a perfect center piece for the table.
By contrast, before we came home we stopped off at Playa Colibre (Hummingbird beach). I haven't been to the beach for over a year, even though we live on the coast. It was a bra and knickers affair, since I hadn't been expecting to go there. We swam in the Golf, in the cool of the late afternoon, and the water was very salty and very warm. At one point a turtle bobbed in the water a few meters behind where we were. And on the way back to the car I found this shell. I've never seen anything quite like it. Pale, and thinner than paper. I wonder how it survived the journey from ocean to shore?