I’m currently working on a large quilted hanging to be hopefully on display at the Festival of Quilts in NEC Birmingham this summer. All made from antique and vintage textiles, mainly 19th century, it follows my inspiration of the Japanese technique of “boro”. It is all hand stitched in a running stitch, densely in some areas.
The main fabric is a indigo dyed hemp from 19th century which had been patched and darned. These lovely areas show the passage of time and evidence of unknown person’s handiwork, a dream for any textile enthusiast! I have mixed vintage quilt pieces with Japanese patterned fabric also vintage, some appliquéd, others reversed appliqué.
All the stitching is by hand as it gives such a lovely texture and randomness using linen, silk and cotton threads. It is an important part of the overall look of the piece and part of the “boro” aesthetic to have a human element and irregularity about it.
I love having flashes of colour so have used a 19th century red cotton that was originally a quilt backing. Now it’s back to be used in a quilt again!