Over the weekend, I started a new version of “Women Meditating on Peace”. This time I decided to try hand embroidery (to practice lessons from the online class.) Using fabrics that I’ve collected from around the world, I pieced a standard nine-block quilt top. I wanted to place these on diagonal as in my drawing, but couldn’t figure out how to do that. As this is a prototype for a larger piece, I just moved on.
I fused the figures onto the top, and then hand appliquéd them, using a blanket stitch (or what I think is the blanket stitch). Then I hand embroidered two more figures, just the outline, using gold metallic floss. I will add more, perhaps with a different thread?
As I was doing this handwork, I couldn’t help but reflect on how women have traditionally done handwork – sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, needlepoint. Also women have a tradition of doing this in community with other women. I feel the handwork on this quilt is following tradition but also representing the tradition of women in community talking, discussing, resolving problems, being witness to our lives, concerns, challenges, celebrations.
Women listen to one another. Women read in community; book groups discuss important issues. In our book group there is one member who shares a different view on our government than the rest. We respect each other; we don’t allow our differences to get in the way of our “work” or our friendship.
This theme of women coming together to mediate on peace is an important one. It is my political statement, along the lines of “If women ruled the world, there would be a lot less body bags being shipped from Iraq or wherever the current battle is taking place.” The execution of my idea of the peace poem as a border proved to be quite challenging. Big lesson learned – print it out in 1-inch strips to allow for seams. The point is not to have the poem presented in its entirety, but elements, key passages, key words.
I like how this is progressing … I may use this as the center of the larger piece??
I'm also knitting this piece. At this point, I'm not sure if it's going to be a purse or part of a knitted wall hanging.