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Tuesday, 21 April 2009 12:52 pm
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
I really am stuck with what will hopefully become a wall hanging for above our bed. I'm not even sure I want a tree on it at all, though I'm fairly sure I want those autumnal tones and Klimty fabrics. I'm starting to wonder about something vaguely reminiscent of a sun, circular shapes shading to a gold centre (though not in the exact centre of the quilt), and I may look into mandala quilts. Meanwhile, I've discovered that making small items is really helping me develop as a designer, it's easier than getting stuck on big pieces, and I've remembered that I promised to make my parents a challah cloth. You can see the one I embroidered for my best friend's sister's wedding the other year here (which also explains what a challah cloth is); lovely work, if I do say it myself, but I'm never taking on that sort of embroidery project again. Also it was rather big (21" x 21"), especially for people like my parents who have one loaf instead of two. I've dug out a challah cloth of my grandmother's which is 18" x 21 1/2", and that looks a better size, so I'll work with that for the time being, plus I'll ring a shop selling them and find out what a standard one-loaf size is.

The idea is to piece the front, probably apply a lightweight interfacing (though I've never used interfacing in my life, so I'm not sure about that), add embroidery or beads as appropriate, then just give it a backing without actually quilting it, perhaps with piping around the edge. A tree of life would be ideal, I just need to work out what I can do given the size limitations. Ideas I may carry across from the previous challah cloth: incorporating their names; text (probably the same) in the border; "shabbat shalom" with one word on either side of the tree trunk. Since they're very lovebirdy, my parents (I painted them a plate with two lovebirds in a tree and a rather odd quotation in Hebrew my Israeli ex suggested around the border - which reminds me that there's no reason why this challah cloth should be rectangular, an oval might work too), it'd be great to put two birds in the tree as well, which I could create with embroidery and beading.

As for the tree, I think I'll try to develop an entirely pieced design first. I may also do something in appliqué, perhaps using Carol Taylor's arc-i-texture technique to create a tree using couched satin cord or similar (the Stoclet Frieze springs to mind for inspiration). If I appliqué the tree, then that does free me up in a way for the background, and it may be worth playing with hexagon-based motifs to create stars of David. I doubt that would look good, though, it would be too fussy to use as background to a tree and I don't think the shapes would mesh. Still, it's something to keep in mind. Meanwhile I'm going to Google Image olive trees and start thinking about tree shapes for this format.

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