Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rainbow Stole--Piecing is complete!

I've had a very productive time--the piecing is finished, and some major design decisions have been made.
The stole is on my wall, and about to be trimmed.
The stole has been trimmed to the final dimensions, plus seam allowances, and is now draped on my mannequin.
The centre back seam has been stitched.
This is the next design decision to to arrange and attach the spiral on the back neck.
I love the way this rainbow glows!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Piecing a Rainbow

I've made good progress with these fabulous colours.  The first step was to determine the placement of the heart and then begin piecing around it, incorporating the heart into the rainbow.
I wanted to make this heart stand out from the flow of the rainbow, yet still be part of it.  This was a technical stitching challenge, and the solution came to me while riding my bike to yoga Monday morning.  Once again, the best ideas come to me while doing something physical, whether that be walking, riding or yoga...
I could therefore begin piecing...
The white cotton is the foundation.  I piece the two fronts as one section, and will cut out the two halves after the piecing is finished.
The white areas in the centre will be cut away.

I now have it hung up on my wall while I take a break and ponder the next steps.

A closer look at how I managed to incorporate the heart into the flow of the rainbow.
I'll pick this up again next Tuesday after I return from teaching a weekend colour workshop to knitters and weavers near Vancouver. I am so lucky to be able to indulge in my twin passions--knitting and sewing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Of Hearts and Rainbows

I've been playing around with hearts...
The bit of sparkle in the centre is from some metallic embroidery in the fabric
My preference (and Janine's) is for the heart in the upper right.
The next step is to review the colour choices.  I'm considering a couple of options--these are strips of neck tie fabric laid out to asses how they might work together.
Images from the cutting table:
Not sure about that light blue strip

Light blue has been replaced, and a little more orange has been added to the lower right.  
Now is the time to go do something else, and return with fresh eyes!
This will change again when I start to stitch--I usually reduce the width of the strips considerably, so there will likely be even less blue and violet in the finished scheme.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Rainbow Stole is Taking Shape

Early in April, I received an e-mail from Janine in Sydney, Australia inquiring about a stole for her ordination in June.  She has been studying at the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York for the last two years.  In a follow-up e-mail, she stated that she LOVED bright colours, particularly bright rainbow colours, and hoped I could create something vivid.  Well, I had been pondering creating a rainbow stole on spec, just to play with a whole range of colour, so Janine’s inquiry has been very timely.  Janine also requested symbols of the values that are at the heart of all religions—love, peace and transformation—specifically a heart, dove, and spiral.
My first step in the design process is to delve into my boxes of ties and start pulling out any possible candidates. I have four boxes sorted into colour groups:  (1) red and orange; (2) blue; (3) green, yellow-green and blue-green; and (4) red-violet and violet.  Plus I have a small bag of yellows (not many men have worn yellow ties over the years!) 

 (This isn’t even my full inventory—I have almost the equivalent in other ties that I can’t really work into a stole such as striped ties, tweedy wool ties, and dark browns.  Someday I’ll find a use for them…)
Here is a beautiful rainbow of ties pulled out of the boxes for Janine’s stole.  I managed to find all the bright colours plus some that are lighter in value or duller in intensity. 

The next step was to sketch out some ideas of how this stole could look.  It helped that Janine has some definite ideas, e.g. the dove at upper chest on one side, the heart on the opposite side lower down, and the spiral on the back.  Getting the “flow” of the rainbow just right meant sketching it about 8 different ways.  Janine also prefers the brighter and lighter colours—yellows, oranges and reds as well as greens—and had asked that I minimize the darker hues, the blues and purples.   Janine gave me great feedback on the first set of sketches, and with that I was able to come up with the proposed design: 
I'll be working with design B on the right.

Janine has commented:  
Your intention to help me identify what I do and do not like, seems to have worked well.  Thanks for all your efforts thus far.  I sense we are syncing well.  I love that you are as energised about this as me!  To have a unique stole hand made with passion and creativity, certainly makes it far more meaningful for me - it kinda feels like we are birthing something sacred together.

I feel the rainbow is a wonderful symbol of inclusiveness.  I had a quick look at the Wikipedia entry: the rainbow is featured in the mythology of many different cultures and is imbued with diverse yet similar meanings.  

I am really looking forward to working with all this glorious colour!