Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Feel of the Cloth of Gold

A new project to run alongside my other quiltmaking: a wallhanging in memory of an aunt, to be presented to the nuns at the care home where she was looked after so lovingly before she died last year. It will, we have decided, incorporate saints - probably St Benedict;  flowers - there must be a blue rose;  birds - including a puffin; and gold.
The rose has proved to be remarkably easy, thanks to a floral cotton print by Fabric Freedom. I duly ordered it, in blue, only to have it pointed out that the particular "Blue Moon" species of rose required is not really blue, more lilac with a mauve tint. No problem. I phoned up the ever-helpful Doughty's Fabrics just in time to change the order to another colourway.

If only everything was that simple. I'm not sure yet how I'll use the fabric, but I feel better for having started to collect my "palette".
Then off to Berwick Street in Soho, the spiritual home of fashion students, dressmakers, theatrical costumiers and other miscellaneous fabric-lovers, in search of gold. If the streets of London are paved with the stuff, this short-to-middling thoroughfare must be a good place to start, lined as it is with numerous independent shops selling shimmering metallic silks and chiffons, lame and sequins. Everywhere the glint of gold. But as so often in London, there is simply too much choice. Some golds were too bright, too shiny, prone to fraying, delicate, thick, stretchy, expensive, floppy, stiff. Amid all this overload, I brought home just one sample which, at the time, seemed ideal. But alas, lovely and soft and tactile as it is, it is too pale. I will have to go back again.
And in the meantime, I have rummaged around in my "Silks etc" box and found a number of golds, none of them usable for various reasons - and some of them showing worrying signs of perishing in a nasty, sticky sort of way.
And I haven't even begun on the puffin.

Visit my website at
Handmade textiles for stylish interiors, off the shelf or to commission

email:; 020 7515 0701 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7515 0701 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting; 07518 885960

1 comment:

  1. Intrigued to know about the puffin!
    But also think this is a wonderful story that would be very interesting to know more about
    Keep posting please!