This is a story that began with a dress. This dress. I bought it a couple of years ago, and it was beautiful, and hung just right, until I discovered – belatedly – that it had HUGE pockets. And once my hands found these pockets, I couldn’t seem to stop filling them with things, until one day I realised that the dress looked less like a tailored silk sheath and more like a tent that I was using as cover to smuggle contraband goods. The perfect dress for petty theft, perhaps, but not quite the elegant look I was aiming for.
So I took the pockets out and removed the problem. They were so beautiful that I couldn’t throw them away; I kept them in my fabric drawer along with leftover bits and pieces of material from all kinds of projects. On a rainy Sunday last month, I finally dug them out and began sorting and sifting through other pieces to see what might complement the colours.
I found a large square of turquoise cotton, unpicked the pockets to form four identical shapes, and then backed them with iron-on fusible paper before mounting on the fabric. Sort of like a set of balancing bowls, or mussel shells;
Then I layered other colours against it and picked out a few in silver, navy and duck-egg shades. I cut them into slices, vaguely but not precisely measuring each to ensure a kind of symmetry. Then backed them together; pinning and stitching, pinning and stitching;
Until it began to look like this!
The edges remained imprecise for a long time; when I had the final length I wanted I trimmed them down to an even length and marked a 1″ seam for folding in.
With the runner nearly 3m long by now, I did have to buy more fabric to back it; I chose a heavyish, velvety curtain fabric that gives weight to the runner and ensures it doesn’t slip and slide around. As with Harry’s baby-clothes quilt, my workmanship on the sewing does not bear close scrutiny, and my seams are rambling and a little slapdash. But still, I am left with an almost stained-glass like creation that looks good on the table, and equally good draped over the end of the bed. A shorter length would make a lovely, vibrant evening wrap – for this one though you’d need the shoulders of a line-backer to carry it off with aplomb…
Have a wonderful week!