Sewing: wall hanging

Sometimes, work comes out of the remnants — and maybe it’s more important work than the primary work you intended to do.  A few weeks ago I produced a panel for a wall hanging in honor of the Peacock Angel, Melek Taus.  The story was sticky in my mind, for a variety of reasons, and so it resulted in the creation of a banner or wall hanging for this … deity? messenger? prophet? conduit? between the Universe and a people on the fringes of Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.

And so the banner was made.  And Kalagni, over at Blue Flame Magic, admired it, but indicated that maybe it wasn’t for her.  However, she opined that it should be a banner or wall hanging, rather than a quilt.  And I decided she was probably right… because does anyone really want a Peacock Angel who creates and destroys the universe wrapped around their dear little newborn?

Probably not.

On the other hand, the process of making a quilt of that size and shape and complexity usually involves the creation of a lot of odds and ends, a lot of complex, pieced bits and bobs that don’t actually become part of the finished product.  The question of what to do with them always weighs heavily on me, and I debated throwing them away.  But I didn’t.

And then I went on vacation.  Over the three weeks away, I happened to visit a bunch of fabric stores (without buying much, because I had many projects on hold at home at the moment!).  In a lot of these stores, there are banners and wall hangings and finished quilts on display.

Some of these wall hangings were quite narrow, and I found that I liked the look of it.  When I came home, I pieced together a plan of how I might use my odds and ends together effectively, to produce an interesting quilt or hanging of some kind.  And this runner — 7 1/2″ by 48″ long — gradually emerged.  It’s not a complicated piece. It has no interior batting, so it’s only about four layers of fabric thick at its thickest, and only because of seams. And it’s made out of odds and ends rather than being formally pieced together to produce a specific pattern… But it does appear to work quite well!

So, I think I like this format of the banner or narrow strip of squares or pieces or elements or structures or strips or stripes.  I’ll have to try making a few more of these to be sure.  But it turned out well, in this case, with the blue and the black/gold fabric contrasting heavily with one another, and the cosmic and peacock colors emerging as details and accents rather than as the focus of the piece.
It’s a reminder that nothing that we create is ever really wasted — and that if a piece of fabric is wide enough to sew on both ends, it’s probably wide enough to turn into a piece of a quilt.  This has two effects of course — one of which is that I now need to save more scraps, and smaller scraps, than I ever really intended to save.  On the other hand, there’s a new possibility for different kinds of work and different kinds of commissions that emerges from this experiment — and I can see the work becoming far more interesting as a result.

I don’t seem to have a gift for production work, really — but I do enjoy creating one-off pieces like this.  I’ll have to do it more often.  For sale on my Etsy site.

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