Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weaving and Cross Stitching

I love a trip to a used bookstore. Earlier this week, I came across a copy of Weaving a Legacy: The Don and Jean Stuck Coverlet Collection by Clarita S. Anderson (1995).
The book details 356 nineteenth-century handwoven coverlets in the Don and Jean Stuck Coverlet Collection at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. This collection is the largest public collection in the U.S. Have I mentioned, yet, that books like this one make me drool? The photos are fantastic, and the historical details provide background information that bring the weaver and the work alive.

I've been fascinated with textiles for as long as I can remember. And I recall seeing my first loom at the Smithsonian while in grade school and on a family trip to D.C. My response is still the same. How can single strands of thread create such a beautiful work of art?

The only weaving I have done, besides the requisite potholders (which I loved to make!), was a small tapestry piece of a landscape. Believe it or not, I can recall buying the kit at our local JC Penney's when I was in high school. I wonder if Mom and Dad still have that around? I'm fortunate enough to currently live in an area with an active weaving studio, so one of these days . . . !

For now, the "fix" is cross stitch.
I bought the pattern for Blue Ribbon Designs' Red Velvet Building Blocks prior to Christmas last year. The coverlet look and feel is what attracted me to it. I loved the overall design, as one of my cross-stitch fantasies (do you have those too???) is to have a collection of alphabet samplers. Yes, I have samplers with alphabets, but I've always imagined an area in my home with just cross-stitched alphabets. But I also loved the design because I envisioned small alphabet blocks either framed or made into hanging sachets.

So . . . last Christmas season I began with a couple of small blocks.
These are worked on 28-ct linen, and the small motif is worked over one. The coverlet design is actually comprised of at least four hidden alphabet letters. Pretty cool. I've enjoyed the design so much, that this is one chart that may very well become the chart that brings my alphabet fantasy to life!
Here's to fiber fantasies and a week of happy stitching, hooking, weaving . . . !


Kim B said...

I love the alphabet blocks you've completed! They are so interesting to look at. And I think textiles are incredible as well - to make something so beautiful and ornate out of thread is truly remarkable!

staci said...

Love those blocks! I've never seen that pattern before. Can't wait to see how you'll finish them!!!