I have begun working on my Houston Quilt Festival Submission for 2014. This project should prove to be a rather monumental undertaking. I will be using several different techniques for each of the elements that will embellish this piece and my goal is to report on all of them and, when possible, give you all a tutorial or (GASP!) a video on how these elements come together (I promise nothing!). I will also be trying out some new techniques on this one, so hopefully you’ll get some of my craft disasters along the way.
So, what’s the concept of this latest endeavor you ask?
Yeah, I know, I don’t get it either, but hold on, this one is VERY different and since I’m limited on my explanation to the judges, I can expand upon it here on my blog.
So, as a lot of you know, I have always wanted to do a folk/ethnic piece and at one point got Chaneled by my efforts. The concept of cultural costumes intrigues me, but I didn’t want to do a literal interpretation of it or get mired in lots of exact details that would take the fun out of it. To satisfy my technique A.D.D. and do something original, I made up my own culture upon which the design concept was spun.
I can’t remember if I heard this story before or if I just conjured it up between dreams. I want to say that it was on some travel show a hundred years ago or a reference in a book, but honestly, I just can’t remember. I have done as much research online as I can to try to find the origins of this story, but I’ve uncovered nothing about it, so I think I made it up. Either way, I love the idea.
My concept is as follows: In some colorful corner of the world, a young lady is recently engaged to be married. As is custom in her village, she will wear her best, traditional costume to walk down the aisle. As a blessing for the hopeful bride, all of the women in her life will sew a small pocket to her jacket. This pocket is a representation of how the two women know each other and/or how their paths have crossed. When the bride walks down the aisle to the altar, the wedding guests fill the pockets with coins, trinkets or other mementos to help the young bride start her new life; only in my case, I’m neither a bride nor of this culture
So, as a tweak to this concept, the pockets I’m sewing to my jacket are representative of a few of the women in my life that have taught me something, been a friend or in some way, inspired me.
Now, I can’t make a pocket for EVERY woman I have ever known, but believe me, there are a lot of people represented on this outfit in spirit. Some are old friends and some are new ones, but all are treasured in my eyes. My goal is around 20 pockets, but this number could change depending on how things grow or shrink, so I won’t give you a full list until the end, but I will show you all my concepts when the dust has settled.
I have decided to call this piece Forgotten Traditions. I think the name plays on the cultural aspect and the fact that so many of the techniques I’m using are no longer being taught to the younger generations and will soon be lost to time.
I plan on tackling each pocket individually and, like I said, will try to document the process. I already have the patterns worked out and have selected the fabrics and trims I’ll be using on the finished piece, but I’ll reveal more of them as I progress.
As always, details will evolve so don’t get married (get it??) to anything you see because it might get altered.
I’ll be posting pictures and information on the different pockets as soon as they get done.
In the meantime, here is the shape I’m working with:
After doing research on ethnic costumes, I realized that a lot of cultures use full skirts, so I made my own based on a 3/4 circle skirt.
The jacket is princess seamed with controlled bell sleeves. My favorite aspects are the belted collar and back peplum. I’ll definitely try to do a tutorial for these details..
Thanks for taking this journey with me!
Ask any questions in the comments section.