Sunday, June 13, 2010


The underside of blanket stitched islands

This is the last glimpse anyone will ever have of the back side of Antarctica, now completely straight stitched onto its blue-green sea. After finishing that stage I clipped the whole thing to its board and propped it near vertical to see it for the first time from that angle. It looks good and all, but the main thing I noticed was the dangerous pressure that the continent puts on the relatively loose weave of the background blanket.

Together with its board, the whole piece is extremely heavy, right at the limit of what I can lift alone. Just the stitched continent is the weight of nearly four whole double wool blankets. Try sleeping under four old fashioned woven blankets and you'll feel how much that weighs.

My Antarctica's future is going to be all on the vertical, and the last thing I want is the ocean-blanket to tear. Figuring out a solution to this interesting problem took me a day or two, and another few days to collect and prepare the materials and tools I need to implement it.

By the weekend I will have started quilting a strong linen weave sheet onto the back, completing an entire bed-making theme. I trust that a sturdily stitched sheet will provide adequate support, though I expect to spend many hours hand sewing to ensure it is strong enough.

Once finished, all this structural support will be invisible, but I'll be sure and share the process here.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Having reached this point it's really important to get the support right. But what a huge job it will be! Antarctica is looking wonderful, a tribute to your imaginative eye and your skillful hands.