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.

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  1. I think I would call that shibori myself. Looks like it, acts like it, it is. Evocative of waves, sunlight on water, and what water looks like when one is under it scuba diving. I like it.

  2. Great idea to create the lines. Reminds me of gathered fabric that gets exposed to sunlight over the years and fades in some spots depending on the gathering. Nice job!

  3. Reminds me of a ‘broomstick’ skirt I once owned. Lovely!

  4. Paulette, stunning use of Shibori, the change in colour is subtle and soft. Well done

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