Sunday, January 5, 2014

Year of the Horse Cloth, first steps

The windhorse I'm making is like a giant flag, a tablecloth-size prayer flag. I've decided to design this whole cloth like a prayer flag, with the windhorse in the centre, and the four corners each one of the four directions. That is, each of the corners is reserved for special reflection on specific ideas, qualities, aspirations, etc (more on this later...). Each of these four corners I've decided will be pieced from found cloth and applied to the cloth as a whole. The spaces between these corner elements will be cloth woven, as per this little map:
And so here are the first stages. The base cloth is a much-bleached linen damask table cloth. It is still a very beautiful and supple cloth, but the lustre is largely gone. The damask pattern is sprays of flowers. I think it may have come from a restaurant because there is a faded laundry mark in the one corner. 

Above, you can see the centre that right now is the windhorse itself, the central axis of everything. And, yes, it is a beautiful linen napkin appliqued onto the table cloth, with an astonishingly beautiful (ten cents from the Mission store) linen handkerchief appliqued on top of it. So, yes, in this picture you are looking at a hankie appliqued on a napkin appliqued on a table cloth.

These are beautiful fabrics. Every moment of putting these cloths together was a pleasure, they are so easy to sew, so nice to have in your hands. And because of this, I've decided to stick with linen to do the woven sections, pinned here. Here you can see parts of two different napkins, and below that the whole section woven.

It feels wonderful already. I wondered about cutting up the napkins, but I really wanted to see the whites woven together like this. And I really love it. More on this decision later, too. But for now, it's starting. And it will take a year. Wish me luck.


  1. It's off to a great start! I will be watching as you move through this one. No 'luck' needed, I you have ideas, cloth and talent! have fun with it.

  2. Yes i do wish you luck with the work on this beautiful piece........
    Take your time and enjoy........

  3. i am
    "receiving" Horse energy. Will be watching here....

  4. Absolutely wishing you luck! What an interesting process... Love your gathering of rags and sewing meaning into them.