One of the things I most enjoy about this series work is I am continually challenged by how to convey my message or tell the story. The piece I have been working on (#16)¬†these past weeks is about our marriage. A couple months ago I began the¬†prep work by dismantling my wedding dress, which my mother had sewn from heavy cotton pique, lined with cotton flannel. This dress was so well constructed & sturdy, I could have gotten married in the Arctic in January, instead off spring in the Bay Area.¬†After I took the dress¬†apart, I made Thermofax screens of¬†our¬†vows from¬†a fill-in-the-blank book gifted¬†by the preacher.
I printed not only the dress fabric but some of the flannel as well. Additionally, I had retained one bridesmaid dress which was also made by my mother. The wedding theme was based on my Russian heritage. The¬†bridesmaids and I wore headscarves and their dresses were of a flimsy, but lined,¬†cotton voile in a red/white/blue paisley print.
The dresses were ‘granny’ style with a wide ruffle at the bottom. Initially I thought to incorporate the ruffle into the new piece but nothing about that spoke to me. I decided instead to fuse different size squares onto the now pieced wedding dress background. That gave¬†the entire piece a bit of a whimsical feel which certainly was not my intention, but worked!
I hand-stitched a piece of the dress lace vertically to the piece. Then I basted my great grandmother’s hand crocheted lace headscarf to the base and hand-stitched that down. Only in doing so did I find a few areas of disintegration that previously were invisible to the¬†eye.
My idea was to then layer and hand-stitch my headscarf on top; but something was missing. It didn’t¬†quite feel right as the¬†headscarf was a large triangle bound in trim and¬†essentially blank¬†in the middle. So I decided to hand-stitch¬†the image of hubs and I walking down the aisle onto the headscarf before I stitched it to the base.
That became my challenge. I didn’t want to trace it and potentially ruin the one and only priceless heirloom. I thought of several options but none seemed right, so I asked an¬†artist friend and a mentor for their opinions. And voila, from that came the solution. I printed the image onto silk organza which I pinned onto the back of the headscarf heirloom. Then I gingerly placed it into a hoop and stitched the image through to the headscarf. Only after I lost the light when the sun went down did I realize I could perfectly see the image from the reverse side, so I flipped it over and stitched from the reverse, remembering to knot accordingly. Ah success.
In today’s morning light I cut away the printed organza on the back side and voila! I have exactly what I wanted.
It’s the little things that bring so much joy!¬†Onward to the next layer…