STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Suggestions welcomed....

My friend Gail tells me I've been much too quiet on my blog lately, and she's right! I guess I've been enjoying some quiet "downtime" or "me time" after all the hubbub of Christmas. I'm always exhausted after the holidays. In my house it's "holidays" for everyone else, and I work harder than ever. Why is it that the women get to do 95% of the Christmas related "work"? Each year I vow it's going to be different , but it never is...
Anyways, I've been "resting".... But Gail is right- it's time I got back to blogging. So I thought I'd show you this little gem. Back in October a pair of women from Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia brought their business to Fredericton for the first time: Alleson Kase and Ellen Aggers presented a fair trade gift show and sale. These two women founded a business two years ago called Tammachat, which means "nature" in Thai . Today they have a fluorishing business which sells handwoven items such as silk scarves, shawls and wallhangings and cotton and/or bamboo hats and bags. Tammachat is a fair trade social enterprise; Alleson and Ellen travel to rural Laos and Thailand for several months each winter to purchase beautiful high quality hand woven goods from local women in weaving guilds. By purchasing from groups, they can be sure that the individual weavers will be paid fairly and receive benefits.
As well as the beautiful woven goods, there were other items for sale, such as placemats, runners and a few pieces of applique. Being a quilter, I immediately was drawn to these small appliques which were done by Hmong women. (The Hmong migrated from Southern China in the nineteenth century to the mountainous areas of Laos, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam.) The women do incredible handwork, mostly cross-stitch embroidery, surface embroidery, reverse applique and applique. Their designs are usually one of two types- geometric or pictorial. I chose this small purple geometric applique piece. The stitches are very fine and the back is as neat as the front. So now I'm wondering what to do with it? It measures 7 1/2" square. The purple applique lines are 1/8" wide! Should I just frame it? It's too small to make into a cushion... Originally I was thinking I would make some small quilt blocks to border it with, but the more I look at it (and admire the handwork in it) I think that would almost be sacreligious! My work would pale in comparison...
What would you do? I welcome your comments and suggestions.
You can read more about Tammachat here and you can follow their travel blog here
Piece,
Linda
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." ~ Einstein

4 comments:

GailM. said...

If I have a piece of fabric or something that I really really love, I get the most enjoyment out of using it. How about a nice table centerpiece, or the front of a bag that you would use for a specific purpose, like carrying your music books, or how about a small quilted wallhanging for a bathroom. It's a very nice piece.

Lee said...

I bought one of these geometric pieces too! I thought about making a cushion front but I didn't think it would stand up to wear. So, at the moment I'm just admiring the lovely handwork. Let us know what you decide.

Pat Winter said...

It is a neat piece and I would make an accent pillow by sewing wide vintage ecru lace to all four sides to make it larger then cover a pillow form with it.The design paired with the texture of lace or even crochet would compliment each other.
SMiles,Pat

Anonymous said...

I have the perfect batik to coordinate with your piece. Well, I have it, but it actually is part of the batik pkg that IOU. It is that same purple, with greens - I'll mail it to you. Consider it a spot of sunshine in the middle of winter. I thought a simple border to make it into a wall hanging, but I love Gail's suggestion of the pocket on a bag.

SandiMac

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