Paulette Meldrum – 93 Lines of Gathering
93 Lines of Gathering
I had two designs to select from – a Line of Seagulls on a seawall on a remote Northland Beach waiting to see if we had any fish and chips to spare, or a gathered piece which reminded me of my childhood – gathered skirts, and watching my mother gather smocking dots to make a dress for my sister. I decided to go with the gathered lines.
Ninety Three Lines of Gathering is my version of Shibori, as I haven’t as yet fully explored this method of marking fabric. After marking the fabric with a central curved line, I then used my sewing machine, on a large stitch, to make gathering lines. These were then pulled up in the two directions of sewing, and the piece was soaked in a soda ash solution, before leaving to dry to a damp stage. Dye was then applied with a paint brush to the ridges. After leaving for 24 hours wrapped in plastic the stitching lines were removed and the piece was washed and ironed. What would I change if I repeated this process? I would use a heavier thread for the gathering lines, and thicken the dye slightly with a commercial thickener. This may give stronger markings and more background white.
Why did I choose to use a technique that I had not tried before? I decided that I needed to move outside my comfort zone by experimenting with new techniques and products, and this is my challenge with my Fifteen by Fifteen quilts.