Portuguese Border Stitch

I know I already have too many things started, but I just couldn’t help myself.  This week’s stitch for the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge was not suitable for the spirit doll I’ve been adding to each week.  Instead I imagined it working well with an armadillo that I’ve had on the back burner for months.  So far it has only been in the planning stages, but with the fiber art show for which it is intended coming up in January, it was past time to start.

I began by  embellishing some black felt with hand-dyed blue wool.  This was generously given to me by a spinning friend who was closet cleaning.

Next, I stitched some old zippers together to form the banded portion of the armadillo’s shell.  Then I stitched the felt to the band of zippers and added the Portuguese Border stitch.  This is all for now.  If I am lucky, some of the next few challenge stitches will be just what I need to finish the shell embellishment.  Then I get to figure out how I’ll finish the rest of my armadillo.

I used two different weights of thread for different effect.  The heavier thread is a 3 ply Watercolours cotton by Caron, handpainted-color indigo.  Next to that row is an unknown thread that was probably from my grandmother’s sewing things that she gave me long ago.  I think it is a wool and nylon blend.

This project started way back, years ago with a box of zippers that I bought at a garage sale.  It was only $2 for a shoebox full.  Some of them were new in package although, in reality, quite old.  Most of the zippers were salvaged from old clothing.  I was intrigued  by the thought of someone diligently unpicking all the stitching to remove worn out zippers.  Had she ever reused any of them?  If so, for what?  I was pretty sure I would not use them in clothing, but surely I could find something to do with them.  My first art zipper project was for a show called “Portals”  that my playgroup had.  It is titled “Parallel Universes.”

It was recently in another show, with Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana.  If you check out the link, you’ll see that the Universes were hung upside-down.  Despite a hanging sleeve on the back of the work!  And at an art gallery that has hung fiber art before!  I was taken by surprise to say the least.  The gallery did correct the hanging, but it was too late for the pictures.

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6 Responses to Portuguese Border Stitch

  1. Triche Osborne says:

    Hi Lucy,
    I found your blog in a link from a TAST link (IIRC) and was so fascinated by your dolls that I subscribed immediately and have followed you ever since. This post brought an unexpected delight: I’ve been trying to find out how to get hooked into CFAL for several years. Might I contact you off-blog for more information?

    To the point, “Parallel Universes” is a wonderful piece, and I suppose you could take up MFA/art critic-speak and say that “The versatility of its orientation furthers the meta-narrative of perspective in a society of multiple and varied world views.” 😉

    (BTW, I suspect this sort of unintentional re-orientation happens more often than artists would like: My husband and I recently noticed a piece hung upside-down in one of the galleries in the Shaw Center.)

    • I’ll answer you privately about CFAL.
      Thanks for subscribing. I love your comment about the perspective of world views. I may have to use that sometime. It’s true that not all realities are the same for everyone.

  2. Grr. How dare they get it wrong?! I’m rather intrigued by your zip work, I must admit..

  3. Queeniepatch says:

    The Portuguese Border stitch has a ‘zipper’ look about it so you have made a perfect match!

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