Stitch Club: Collier

Saturday, November 21, 2020

TextileArtist.org‘s eighteenth workshop was hosted by Jennifer Collier, who married paper craft with sewing for our workshop. She provided us a glove pattern with many ideas on how to create our own. Originally, I didn’t feel that strongly about the workshop and so set out to complete it today to sort of “get it over with”. I was more interested in practicing the Cinq Point de Venise (or Venetian Needle Lace Edge) stitch than making a glove. But something happened in the process, and I really like this thing!

I first reached for an old book I picked up back when I oversaw the Anthropology Used 1$ Book Sale, the History of Europe: Ancient and Medieval by Robison and Breasted. It was first published in 1914, but this is the 1920 edition, with plenty of evidence of school children’s naughtiness graffitied throughout. You can see, it is in terrible physical condition as well! I was drawn to it for that reason; I hold books fairly sacred so I could never deface one that hadn’t already been abused so badly.

When flipping through it, I fell in love with one of the few color prints, a page depicting a plate from a Book of Hours, at actual original size. This page set the stage for the rest of the piece. As it was religious in nature, I found a page demonstrating the rigorous work that early scribes went through to create beautifully calligraphied Bibles. The authors here discussed how even “perfect script” was corrected – you can see that in all the little addition bits added to the calligraphy. I later needed a third page, so I selected a black and white image of The Gates of Paradise, designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti¬†for the Florence Bapistry in 1401.

I pulled a scrapbook paper to set off the orange in the colored image. I still needed something to fill a gap so I pondered for a bit, flipping through some old scrap papers. When I came across the faded music sheet, it was an instant match, representing the hymns in church.

Per Jennifer’s directions, I added stitching around the glove in orange. I like that the thumb is only partly attached. Then, along the bottom, I used some Sulky Petite thread to do the fancy decorative stitch. I added three dark blue buttons with little clover imprints to finish it off.

I had decided to make this a single sided glove, rather than a 3D piece with a proper backing. But I still wanted to do something on the back to hide all the stitching. Somewhere in the process, I had decided that this would be sent to my gramma. I couldn’t really picture how she might use it though… it’s a paper gloved-shape thing, after all.

I considered some ideas I saw about junk journals, and they often have tags that can be written on. I though maybe she would use it as a bookmark (until I added buttons, of course), and maybe even in her Bible. Along this line of thinking, it occurred to me that she could write her favorite verse, or a prayer, or any such momento on the back of it so I pulled out the banana fiber paper I used before and added lines to write. It isn’t nearly as pretty as the front, but it will get the job done.

I’ll be mailing it to her the next time I get to the Post Office (which is rare, I’m afraid, especially since I avoid places like the plague, thanks to our current ongoing plague). I’ll be curious to see what she thinks of it!

 

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