This Textile Treasure Hunt here in Varanasi India just keeps on giving. Today we visited silk weaving. This is carried out in the homes of local people in rural areas. I
am in a permanent state of shock, both culturally and dietary. The people are lovely and regard us as odd because many rural communities have not seen “white”faces before, especially the children.
The silk weaving is the main occupation and carried out by the men. It is a patriarchal society.
The silk produced is beautiful, colourful and hand woven. It is mainly produced for Saris, scarves and for dressmaking.
This morning we visited a Hindu village where the looms are hand driven just as they have been for hundreds of years. During the afternoon we went to a Muslim area of Varanasi where the looms are motor driven . We had the inevitable shopping opportunity where a beautiful silk scarf found its way into my bag!
just an example of some of the intricate weaving.
Today is the start of my latest big adventure. India here I come! I’ve packed everything that is important. The most important being my sewing! Oh and my books and just a few clothes!
I’m currently on my way to Heathrow where I meet the group I’m travelling with! Just hoping that they are a good group but I’m sure they will be I am travelling with a specialist textile holiday company called http://www.Colouriciousholidays.com
I will blog all about it as it is going to be bloggylicious!
One reason that I wanted to make the Harris Tweed quilt that I mentioned in my previous post is because I want to improve my embroidery skills. My Grandmother and to a lesser extent my Mother were great needlewomen. I can embroider to a certain extent but there is always room for improvement.
I found this book in my Grandmother’s belongings many years ago. It is a small paperback book first published in 1967.The instructions are clear and simple and it’s a delight to learn from.
I also have another book, not quite so old, published in 1981. So….. back to slow stitching.
I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!
On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.
I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.
I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!
This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.
I couldn’t make my mind up which of these two books is my favourite. The book “A Trip around the Wool” is a great book and up there among my current favourites. It’s a bi lingual book in both French and English and beautifully illustrated. I’m just starting a project titled “52 Happy Memories of 2007”. The aim is to create an embroidered hexagon each week culminating in a 52 hexi quilt. I’m already falling behind so nothing new there.
The second book “Stitched Memories” by Tilly Rose is a glorious book sub titled “Telling a story through cloth and thread” which sits well alongside the other book. I’m using old embroideries and Harris Tweed to create my memory quilt. But lots more about that as it starts to come together.
For the last few days I’ve been busy making a cotton tunic for my forth coming Indian trip. I finished today and am pleased with the result. Well…..actually I like the tiger fabric, the pattern went together fine and it fit well. Ok I confess! I don’t like it. There’s nothing technically wrong I just wouldn’t have bought it in a shop! Which is the acid test for home dressmaking. Whilst I love the tiger fabric perhaps it’s too busy?I like the tunic pattern but it’s just not “me”. Ah well! Lesson learned and all that! I’m sure as Hell trying!
A friend in Craft Group lent me a book that she thought I’d like. She was right! I liked it so much that I didn’t read it. It’s a lovely book. OK I confess. I didn’t read it or even take too much of a peak. I bought my own copy immediately. I put my friend’s book to one side and shall return it as soon as possible! How mad is that? My own copy has arrived and I shall take it away with me next week to study in peace. Whoo Hoo!
Hello again! I thought you might like to visit my craft room again. It’s a very small, but lovely room. You might have noticed the lovely curtains. These featured in one of my first blogs and were made by my Grandmother, known as Nanna Amy. She hand embroidered two pairs of these curtains onto white linen. They were made in the early 1950s and I cherish them. Both pairs are hung in my small Welsh cottage.
I also have a cute child’s chair which is at least fifty years old. I don’t know it’s provenance except that it came from my Mother’s house. A lovely example of a chair to sit a dolly or teddy bear on. Actually to frequently drape my sewing on!