E for Evolution

Evolution: an evolving cloth

I pick this cloth up from time to time, usually when I don’t know what else to do or, in this case, while I’m thinking about how to start some new work. I started this one a couple of years ago, as a kind of map. Then it became a kind of journey.

Then I looked again at the embroidered E in the corner, and renamed it Evolution, since it never seems to know what it wants to be.

E for Evolution. Hand-dyed vintage handkerchief.

It was always intended to be a very lightweight bed cover for those awful hot summer nights when no one can get any sleep. The backing is a large vintage tablecloth, onto which I have randomly layered pieces of hand-dyed lawn, cheesecloth, and muslin – all ultra-lightweight, semi-sheer fabrics to add colour without adding too much warmth. I made it a bit bigger at some point by adding a 10” border of brushed cotton to either end so it’s now about the size of a single duvet.

This is the reason it used to be called ‘Map’

At some point I applied a ragged row of circles across it and then realised they looked a bit heavy. I’ve cut the centres out of the bigger circles and am stitching the edges under to form rings. Better, I think.

From circle to ring

It has a long way to go, and there is no plan. I often think life should come with some kind of handbook so we all know where we’re supposed to be going. I think most of us haven’t a clue what we’re doing here and are making it up as we go along. Some people manage to make it look as if they have everything under control, which can be quite unsettling for the rest of us.

Empty space, ready for the next adventure

I’m guessing this isn’t going to be finished in time for this year’s hottest nights in a month or two, though it is functional in its present form. In an emergency it would do.

In progress

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

9 thoughts on “E for Evolution”

  1. The colours are just glorious. The evolution of the stitching is interesting but your words resonated deeper than either. No handbook in life and even if it looks great from a distance no one has a white picket fence in reality. I wrote a post called that because people think my life seems perfect and it’s not. Bernie

    1. Yes, exactly that – I like your analogy of the picket fence. We’re all just muddling through really as best we can.

    2. PS I’ve tried to go to your blog Bernie but the link doesn’t seem to work for me

  2. I’m sure it will tell you when it’s finished, and you may after all be surprised and find it will be ready for the hot weather – if it comes!

    1. Oh the hot weather will turn up eventually I’m sure! Although I won’t complain if it doesn’t…

  3. I love the idea that it’s actually usable as is, so there’s no pressure to formally finish it. A wonderful project to pick up “whenever”. As always, your insights are marvelous.

    1. Thanks so much Linda. It could be years before it’s finished so it’s probably just as well that it’s useful in the meantime 🙂

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