If there was a prize for perseverance then Purdah would win every quilt competition for that very thing. I am to be congratulated on keeping going with it all week except for a slight dalliance with peapod shaped pouches using just one half of a zip. I rather like the way the zip folds around so there is only one awkwardly bulky end. There was also a mini project that will be a birthday present for one of Freya’s friends involving beads and I managed to keep my hands off both of the quilts that I have sitting waiting temptingly in kit form!
Back to Purdah… I took a photo of it during the week where it just looked like a wrinkled mess. The plan had been to stamp paisley shapes down both long edges of the shawl using black embossing powder but I changed my mind and printed seed pod shapes instead which were barely perceptible. This made me decide to blanket stitch around every single almost invisible shape then sew black beads down the centres in the same style as on the felt purdah screen section – which took much longer than I thought.
I consulted Mo on her opinion on how to hang the finished piece and initially I considered curved curtain poles. We discovered a shaped wooden pelmet frame in her shed so that looks like a promising way to go after trimming it down and painting it black. She tried to persuade me to add a splash of red onto the black shawl but I stood firm, insisting that the front shawl has to be absolutely black. I looked at images of burqas and chador shawls online and was convinced not to start adding any more embellishment as they are so plain. When I originally thought of this project, I intended to hang everything behind an unadorned shawl but I realised there would have to be something to see, leading to examining the layers beneath.
I triple stitched around the entire shawl using the dual feed lever, carefully making sure that the sides did not gather in too much under such a heavy duty stitch. The mindless job that took almost 10 hours to complete was pulling away the threads from the cut edges to create a neat fringed edge all of the way around, which was more than 332 inches to be precise. Because the wool suiting was a close weave this took ages and my fingers ached.
I think I am finally in sight of finishing Purdah after months of work. I have to make a simple black sleeve to attach the 3 quilts together which will reduce the bulk that has to be attached to the doubled-up shawl. It will take some time to ensure that there are no more stray threads and bits of fluff but I won’t really be happy until the label is sewn on and I can take the submission photos. Oh…and just one more thing will be to write an amazingly highfaluting artistic statement that will attempt to explain what I was thinking!