Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Actual Stitching Content

I have not been well enough to get to meetings of the Great Western Embroiderers for some time, but keep in touch with their activities. I knew an exhibition of work inspired by Swindon's Borough Council's Lydiard House and was thrilled to visit there in the company of my friend, Maggie Harris. It is an unexpected treasure of a house and park. Photography is not normally permitted but, for the purposes of exhibition preparation, on this occasion it was allowed.

So much inspiration, but little time and a ginormous roman blind to be made meant I had little time to work on an exhibit. I thought long and hard, however, and revisited through my photographs a number of times. I had noticed a barrel-topped stationery chest on Lord Bolingbroke's desk in the library, which appealed to me for some reason. I wondered about trying to make one in textiles and then decorating it with a design from somewhere else in the house or in the estate church, St Mary's.

Eventually I homed in on the carved oak box pew, which is tucked away within the highly decorated and lovely church, and decided that this could be effectively adapted to adorn my Bolingbroke Casket (readers across the pond: this is not a container for mortal remains! We use the word for a small, ornate container over here).

The Casket is fashioned from a sandwich of dupion silk, pelmet vilene and black felt, and stitched in a combination of metallic and polyester threads.

I traced the design outlines onto greaseproof paper (in lieu of the tracing variety)and then traced the outlines with machine stitching before tearing the paper away. It was then a matter of free-embroidering to colour in the appropriate spaces and emphasizing some of the outlines, before meander quiliting the rest of the surface and satin-stitching around the edges. It was then stitched together to form the shape and a magnetic class was mounted to keep the lid in place

It looked very much at home in the display case at yesterday's exhibition opening by the Mayor of Swindon.

It is a very wonderful exhibition and I was so impressed to see the diverse methods employed to interpret and respond to the house and church, gardens and artefacts to be seen at Lydiard. It is scheduled to last until the end of April, but I understand that there is a possibility the exhibition period may be extended beyond that. It's such an inspiring place - a number of other items and views caught my eye yesterday! It was also wonderful to catch up with old GWE friends.


Carol said...

Beautiful Casket Sue, congratulations,

Sheep Rustler said...

It's gorgeous and it was lovely to see the photos of the inspiration. Great idea for an exhibition, too.

Angelcat said...

Your casket is absolutely beautiful Sue.

Sheila Knight said...

Hello Sue
I hope that you are feeling very proud of yourself following the opening of the exhibition; your casket is just beautiful and it`s good to know how you designed and made it; I trust that you are feeling better and that now spring(!) is here, you will be able to enjoy life more. You really are a clever lady! Regards