elettaria: (Gay penguins)
I've just finished reading Carol Shields' Happenstance, a novel written in 1980 which features a woman who is attending a quilting conference in Philadelphia during the course of the novel. During this conference, a psychology/art history lecturer who has obviously never picked up a needle in her life gives a Freudian interpretation of quilting which is even funnier than the Freudian analysis of Alice in Wonderland in Atwood's The Edible Woman. Apart from being hilarious, it does give a great example of what happens when academics get too far away from the reality of their topic.

Quilting Through the Freudian Looking-Glass: A New Interpretation )

Joking apart, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about textiles, gender and meaning. Working with fabric is a sensuous pleasure, and I've seen a few rather sexy quilts, though generally not the traditional geometric patterns discussed above, not to mention that quilts are practical things and often intended for general family use or for children. (My grandmother, on the other hand, made a number of weavings which are quite ridiculously vulval in shape.) I'm keeping an eye open for literature which discusses needlecraft, for example Atwood's Alias Grace which manages to combine quilting and murder, Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of her Peers" which combines the two even more strongly, or Donoghue's Slammerkin, this time about dressmaking and, er, murder. (And sex!) There's a lovely Carol Ann Duffy poem I've managed to dig out again (a former tutor ran off with my copy of the volume it's from, The World's Wife) on Penelope ).

I occasionally wonder how someone could have done what Penelope reputedly did: promised that she would remarry when she'd finished making a tapestry, sewed in the day, and unpicked her work at night. I can't think of anything more frustrating than constantly destroying your own work, never allowing it to progress - and tapestry is slow, slow work, you might cover a few squares inches in a day. Perhaps she would unpick a part of the tapestry, then sew something different in its place, so that the work was constantly shifting, motifs leading to first one thing then another? A lovely image for multivocality.

cross-posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] quilting and [livejournal.com profile] literary_theory
elettaria: (Gay penguins)
I've just finished reading Carol Shields' Happenstance, a novel written in 1980 which features a woman who is attending a quilting conference in Philadelphia during the course of the novel. During this conference, a psychology/art history lecturer who has obviously never picked up a needle in her life gives a Freudian interpretation of quilting which is even funnier than the Freudian analysis of Alice in Wonderland in Atwood's The Edible Woman. Apart from being hilarious, it does give a great example of what happens when academics get too far away from the reality of their topic.

Quilting Through the Freudian Looking-Glass: A New Interpretation )

Joking apart, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about textiles, gender and meaning. Working with fabric is a sensuous pleasure, and I've seen a few rather sexy quilts, though generally not the traditional geometric patterns discussed above, not to mention that quilts are practical things and often intended for general family use or for children. (My grandmother, on the other hand, made a number of weavings which are quite ridiculously vulval in shape.) I'm keeping an eye open for literature which discusses needlecraft, for example Atwood's Alias Grace which manages to combine quilting and murder, Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of her Peers" which combines the two even more strongly, or Donoghue's Slammerkin, this time about dressmaking and, er, murder. (And sex!) There's a lovely Carol Ann Duffy poem I've managed to dig out again (a former tutor ran off with my copy of the volume it's from, The World's Wife) on Penelope ).

I occasionally wonder how someone could have done what Penelope reputedly did: promised that she would remarry when she'd finished making a tapestry, sewed in the day, and unpicked her work at night. I can't think of anything more frustrating than constantly destroying your own work, never allowing it to progress - and tapestry is slow, slow work, you might cover a few squares inches in a day. Perhaps she would unpick a part of the tapestry, then sew something different in its place, so that the work was constantly shifting, motifs leading to first one thing then another? A lovely image for multivocality.

cross-posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] quilting and [livejournal.com profile] literary_theory

More craftiness

Thursday, 5 April 2007 05:32 pm
elettaria: (Llamas of Troy)
I decided to give tapestry a try, and made myself a cushion. Here it can be seen reposing against my green sofa with one of the slightly larger light green cushions I have. Fun and soothing to do, but it takes forever to cover both sides of a 12" x 12" cushion, so a tad boring at times. The first picture is four-sided Florentine work, a really basic pattern, and for the other side I did it as a sort of sampler and tried out various different stitches, including making up one or two.

Pictures )

More craftiness

Thursday, 5 April 2007 05:32 pm
elettaria: (Llamas of Troy)
I decided to give tapestry a try, and made myself a cushion. Here it can be seen reposing against my green sofa with one of the slightly larger light green cushions I have. Fun and soothing to do, but it takes forever to cover both sides of a 12" x 12" cushion, so a tad boring at times. The first picture is four-sided Florentine work, a really basic pattern, and for the other side I did it as a sort of sampler and tried out various different stitches, including making up one or two.

Pictures )

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