Traveller’s blanket

I’ve finally made a start on my traveller’s blanket for the last ever class with Dijanne Cevaal. It took a while to think about the right foundation for this quilt, and in the end I decided on a piece of tea-dyed silk noil. Soft but textured, lightweight but warm. The back is hand-dyed silk noil, and the middle layer is brushed cotton (also known as cotton flannel).

A slight stumbling block in the thinking process for this quilt has been that traditionally these quilts have been all about travel and recording experiences, and I’m probably the world’s worst traveller. I’ve never ventured beyond the UK, never been on an aeroplane, and have never had a passport. I don’t even drive. I get seasick just watching boats on TV. What could I possibly have to say about travel?

And then I thought of course we’re all travelling constantly – through time, through life, through experiences. And so my blanket has ended up being about a journey through winter, my favourite season, which will be with us very soon. I’m thinking greys, dark blues, sludgy/grey greens, browns, whites.

I’m starting in the centre with this beautiful piece of antique embroidered cutwork, a mystery object. Does anyone know what this would have been, originally? It seems to be a discrete piece, and doesn’t look as if it’s ever been part of anything else – at first I thought cuff, but it’s not long enough, and there is no evidence of unpicked seams. It’s about 2.25” x 6”. Dressing table mat? Answers on a postcard please.

The beginning. A very pretty start.

I’m using a few fabrics expertly eco-printed by Jane Hunter together with some vintage and antique pieces that I’ve been saving for something special.

Collecting treasures – eco-printed silks by Jane Hunter, fragments from an antique silk christening dress, various vintage cottons and scraps

And in the blue and grey corner:

More eco-prints, new and old silk and cotton

This is going to be really enjoyable, I think.

Laying out and looking

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

12 thoughts on “Traveller’s blanket”

  1. That’s going to be quite beautiful. I would suggest that the little piece of cutwork may have been a sampler piece, perhaps by someone to show they have learned the technique (plus, of course, the beautiful hemming).

  2. I look forward to winter also–time to sew, cook, read, watch the fire and regenerate. I have all of the printouts for the original class of Travelers Blanket–but never even started. I might do that now. Janet from the Northwest USA

    1. Oh I hope you do! There is also a Facebook group if you’re a FB (Meta, whatever it calls itself now) person. But yes, winter is the perfect time for some lovely home comforts like stitching, baking and a good book or three.

    1. Yes, I wondered about a bookmark too but I think it might well be a sample. The interesting thing is that I’ve just reminded myself (by accidentally finding them) there were five of these. They turned up in a bag of mixed antique lace/linens. They’re more or less identical, and the needlework is incredibly fine. I wonder if it was a school project, where several girls were given the same template.

      1. Perhaps it was a much-treasured cloth with a shared history … cut and hem stitched to be given to each of five sisters …

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