Sunday, November 5, 2017

Primitive Stars jacket, part two—hand stitching

Detail: running stitch on jacket back.
Did you read Part One about my Primitive Stars ikat Jacket? It was about the machine stitching/quilting part of the jacket-creation process. This post is about the hand stitching—or slooooow stitching—process.

The running stitch
On the front, back and sleeve, this jacket is embellished with a mix of fabric scraps—ikat, yarn-dyed wovens and commercial cotton prints. I was following a color palette and was not concerned with the fabric type. These patches are raw edge and attached with a running stitch by hand. I guess you could identify this technique with any or all of the following terms: boro, kantha, appliqué, or quilting... depending on your point of view. 

For this hand stitching, I used Spaghetti and Fruitti [WonderFil Threads] 12 wt. cotton threads. They come in a broad range of beautiful solid and variegated colors. Thread colors were chosen to complement the color of the fabric patches and the color scheme of the jacket.

Stitching on yarn-dyed fabrics
Hand stitching is a dream with the yarn-dyed wovens! You've gotta try it. Really.
Detail: running stitches with 12 wt. cotton thread from WonderFil Threads,
 ikat, and Primitive Stars yarn-dyed wovens from Diamond Textiles.
The thread color for stitching on the cream-colored ikat is Fruitti FT17, a variegated color story of soft lavender, pale periwinkle and a subtle hint of magenta, called "Mountains." 
Jacket pocket with hand stitched decorative band.
The jacket pocket fabric is from a Riverwoods fabric collection by Janine Burke. Looks like a hand-dyed, doesn't it? It's actually a printed fabric, so it's a "hand-dyed look at an affordable price." Quilters and quilt shops—please ask me about availability of this fabric line.

This shows the hand stitches from the lining (inside). It might look like a lot of stitches, but the process is quiet, rhythmic and relaxing—and a nice break from machine quilting.
Hand stitching on jacket (lining side).
This jacket has two buttons and button loop closures. You can see the streaks of raspberry color in the variegated thread in this photo [YLI 40 wt. cotton, color 15V Vineyard].
Button loop closure.
The sleeve detail—machine and hand stitching. I like the juxtaposition!
Sleeve with ikat fabric patch.
My completed jacket. It's a little boro and a little blue.
Primitive Stars jacket with ikat and slow stitching.

Make a jacket, make a friend
And here I am at the International Quilt Market [wearing my jacket] with Maria Shell, quilt artist and newly-published author with her first book, Improv Patchwork: Dynamic Quilts made with Line and Shape. We met in the Houston airport waiting for the Super Shuttle. We both knew immediately where the other was going (wink, wink). You can usually tell someone's a quilter by the clothes they're wearing. (My ikat jacket was a dead give-away.) We struck up a conversation in the shuttle van and in no time found ourselves at the hotel.
Me with Maria Shell and my autographed copy of
her new book, "Improv Patchwork."
Make yourself an artwear jacket. Patchwork... appliqué... kantha stitching... boro with beautiful threads... whatever techniques and materials satisfy your current afflatus (creative impulse). It will start a conversation and you might make a new friend.
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