Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ta Da!

There's a category of my ongoing work that I haven't exposed on my limited posts so far. Time for my shirred surface/chenille textile work.

Many years ago I saw an article in Sew...???? on making a chenille vest from layered voile, stitched in channels, slashed and washed, probably authored by Nannette Holmberg. I haven't been able to find the article since, but I liked the idea of the technique. I didn't have any voile fabrics to work with but I did have brightly colored flannels. So I stacked them up, stitched in channels, cut and washed the sample and was instantly hooked on the raucus results.

I made piles of pillow-size squares from assorted flannel solids, prints and plaids. I loved the density of the surface and the complexity of the colors. The pillow size samples grew to bed size pieces to footstool covers to chair covers and stand alone soft sculpture. I have a large body of this work, due in part to it's bulk, but also to my obsessiveness.

In January I received a notice from Lark Books that a chenille piece I had submitted last spring was accepted for the soon-to-be-published, 500 Chairs. (Yay! Insert Cuba Gooding Jr dance here.) Previews of that as May approaches. Within days of that notice, emails from Lark reminded me to submit work for possible inclusion in next years' 500 series---what else but, 500 Tables. I worked myself into a tizzy to complete a table and came down with the flu, but I got it submitted. More about this later too.

The flannel is flying, flannel is taking over it's time to post the evidence. How about a rug I started last year? I resigned myself to the obvious colors that flannel is merchandised in the stores in (I can't make myself use too many pastels---you'll see that). My strategy is use all colors so the piece doesn't have an obvious "colorway". It's not complete yet, maybe a few more bands of color and then back into the washing machine and dryer for a final fluff up.