Sunday, April 03, 2016

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart

 (Above:  Detail of Blessed Are the Pure in Heart.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Lately I've been busy delivering artwork and installations but that hasn't meant that I've stopped stitching!  Far from it!  I really enjoy handwork while riding in the passenger seat and I've been "riding" a lot lately.  The newest finished piece is Blessed Are the Pure in Heart

 (Above:  Blessed Are the Pure in Heart. 14" x 14". Crayon grave rubbing on silk combined with a vintage handkerchief and doily.  Self-guided, free-motion machine outlining of the words with dense hand stitching.)

Generally I don't gravitate toward colorful vintage linens.  If I keep them, I usually use them on the reverse of my grave rubbing art quilts.  Yet, there was something charming about this stylized rooster, something indicative of "the good ole days", something nostalgic that seemed perfect to resemble "the pure in heart".  I put the pieces together but hadn't pinned or basted them.  I still wasn't sure. 

 (Above:  Detail of Blessed Are the Pure in Heart ... including the printed name, Faith Austin, the original designer of the vintage handkerchief.)

Then, my friend Dolly Patton visited.  She immediately noticed the lower left corner and the name Faith Austin.  I hadn't seen it at all.  "Faith".  What a pretty name!  How appropriate for the Biblical grave rubbing.  I knew I'd stitch this piece.  In the mean time, I've looked up Faith Austin. She was a popular textile designer for screen printed handkerchiefs made in the late 1940s through 1960s when such items were very popular as Christmas gifts for teachers, travel souvenirs, and Mother's Day presents.  Of course, paper facial tissues (aka "Kleenex") took over the function of the handkerchiefs and it is now difficult to find such nice ones.  Collectors often pay between $15 - $25 for a single Faith Austin hankie.  I've seen some on Etsy for just over $30.  I have no regret about using one for this grave rubbing art quilt.  In fact, I think it is a perfect way to pay tribute to a former textile artist and the bygone era of the handkerchiefs she designed.

 (Above:  Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, reverse.)

For the reverse, I used another handkerchief, a plainer pale green one.  An embroidered guest towel was transformed into a sleeve and I added my name on a stitched coaster.  All these things are on a layer of dark green moire given to me by a nice woman who was downsizing her fabric stash.  Thus, all the material was "recycled".

1 comment:

Nancy A. Bekofske said...

I love Faith Austen's designs. I have collected her for 20 years. I also use handkerchiefs in my quilt art. I love how you used these together.