weeks after finishing my latest quilt i finally came around to take proper photos.
the quilt top is an antique linen serviette from france, bought from La Grosse Toile, used, mended, stained. the backing is merchant & mills linen renaissance. i hand quilted it with vintage embroidery thread that i hand dyed with indigo, tagetes, onions, pine and sequioa cones.
many of my ideas come from interacting with materials, often with no specific direction or predetermined goal. this usually means keeping textiles out and near me, handling them, folding and unfolding them, touching them every now and then, looking at them up close, spending time with them. when i received this antique french linen serviette, i immediately knew i did want to keep it intact and not cut it into pieces. it had small stains, mended areas and it had clearly had a history of everyday use, but the fabric was still strong. while i had intended to use it for a stitching or embroidery project, i was pondering a quilting project at the time and after spending some time with it, i found the size (100cm x 80cm) really fitting for a lap quilt.
the serviette spoke to me about rural surroundings, the last days of summer or the first days of autumn, where the sun still warms the land but the evenings are chilly once the sun has gone down, resting after a hot and long day of work, the golden light in august and september, terracotta floors, simple food, the smell of fresh sweat on human skin, goosebumps on sun-warmed arms, that time of year where your body still stores the heat of the summer but there’s a hint of autumn in the air and you try to hold on to those last moments of summer and light.
this quilt is meant to be put over your lap or wrapped around your shoulders on those kind of evenings. or to curl up under while listening to people talk, blackbirds singing their evening song and crickets chirping in the grass and the land slowly letting go of the day’s heat.
the linen serviette gives the quilt a wonderful heaviness, the fabric cool to the touch and immediately warming up to the skin. the plants i used for thread dyeing all carry the warmth of summer in them in one way or another.
i’m really happy with how the quilt turned out, and always and again suprised of how my first idea and the final pieces are often so far apart and still connected.
here are a few more images so you can see the textures and quality of the textiles: