Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Inspiration - Family

I come from a long line of women (and men) who worked with fibers.  Growing up, we used crocheted and embroidered linens, doilies, quilts, and home sewn clothing.  I viewed these arts as something everyone did and it was only in my adulthood that I realized how wonderful my fiber and fabric rich upbringing was!  I learned to embroider, sew, and quilt early on and always think about my grandmothers and mother and the different pieces they worked on every time I'm creating my own.  So when the professor of the fibers class I took last semester told us she wanted our final projects to focus on communities and how we fit into them, I immediately knew I wanted to do something that spoke of my family of fiber workers.

This is My Sewing Circle.  It's a circle (originally I thought of making a cowl, so it's based on that idea) of felted medallions on which I've heat transferred photographs of people in my family who inspire me in my own work.  These are my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, a great-grandfather, my mother and mother-in-law, and the next generations that are continuing the traditions - my daughters-in-law,  granddaughter, and a niece.  I used the circle design to show how their inspirations are past, present, and future - the traditions continue, connecting many generations.

The medallions are felted alpaca - I found that gave a smoother surface for the transfers than several other wools I tested.  I crochet netted them together with finely hand spun white and black corriedale wool.  This is a technique I've been  learning for awhile now - I'm working on a tutorial on how to do this with a smaller project!

This is my maternal grandmother, Adeline, known to everyone as Nana.  She knitted, crocheted, embroidered, quilted, sewed .... I'm probably missing something!  She was always working on something.  I learned to hand sew from her - felt clothes for my little troll dolls.  

And I made my first quilt with her - a small, tied doll quilt when I was about eight years old.  She made me this appliqued butterfly quilt when I was a baby!

In coming posts, I'll introduce you to other grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and a great-grandfather.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool. If you make a tutorial I'd love to have it. Both my grandparents taught me to be the crafter I am today. It might a nice project to make for my Aunt and Father to remember their parents by. My grandfather was amazing, he was a large man who crocheted the prettiest dollies. Seeing his big hands with the fine crochet hook and thread was crazy. I'm small and can't imagine how he did it. Hmm the ideas you have given me!