Friday, August 27, 2010

Ireland Project

As part of my planning for our trip to Ireland in May I knew I had to include some handwork for those long hours on the plane and on the bus as we traveled from site to site.  Celtic knotwork seemed an appropriate project, and when the chair of our upcoming guild exhibit announced a second challenge to make a 9" x 12" quiltlet to be sent to Ami Simms' Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative auction, I thought this would be the perfect combination.   The title of this part of the exhibit is "Ties That Bind" and we had to include part of an old man's tie in the piece (that's an old tie, not necessarily an old man), but that would be simple.  I had long wanted to design a butterfly in knotwork so I set to work:
After a few day's erasing and redrawing, I had a workable pattern for the forewing and smaller hindwing.

Before we left, I had sewn down one side of the strip on a good potion of one forewing just to make sure there weren't any surprises in the turns or points or the sewing down of the bits of black silk tie in the background.  My supplies would be limited by space and all those airline regs. I could cut thread with a dental floss container, but probably not fabric.  I made and wrapped the bias strips around a couple of empty spools, packed extra needles, stowed my scissors in my checked bag, and I was ready.  Unfortunately, I took no pictures since making sure I packed enough underwear for two weeks with no laundromat was more of a priority at that point.  

I did manage to get quite a bit accomplished on that relatively sleepless night flight over the Atlantic, but I had not counted on a small bus bouncing, hurtling, and swaying down what looked to me like one-lane roads that had two-way traffic on them.  No way to do delicate handwork here.  And the trips were relatively short anyway.   I got a little done in the evenings and on the plane and car trip home. 

With the help of another long car trip to Boston, I declared both wings complete by late July and I threw myself into creating a body (more silk tie).

Although this is not realistic, I kept feeling it needed antennae so those appeared (pearl cotton), and I added some color before I began to think about the quilting.
By this time it was August and I had two other quilts to finish for the exhibit.  Something had to go and so my butterfly, which I have named Feileacan (Irish word for butterfly),  is sitting on top of a pile next to my ironing board.  It will eventually go to Ami Simms but is not going to make it into the guild exhibit that opens September 3.  Sigh. . . .

And if you are still with me, thanks for the company.


Vic said...

That's a very ingenious use of Celtic knotwork, Madalene, and I really like the end result. Did you freehand the pattern? If so, I'm even more impressed!

Anya said...

Oh, come still have 48 hours to finish it! You can do it...

Madalene Axford Murphy said...

@ Vic: I do draw these patterns freehand. This one went somewhat faster than the earlier ones, although it still takes a while, so maybe I am learning some of the tricks. I should probably do another one in the near future so I don't forget whatever it was I learned.

Madalene Axford Murphy said...

@ Anya: Knew you would say that!