Signs of the Times
1 - Picking up the threads
By Eva Cantin
After taking part in Threads of Time last year I felt it was a shame that we had not made a group work for HALS to keep – a record of some sort, in textile. Then I heard about Signature Quilts and something clicked. Before we had our first meeting I was already thinking about using the signatures of the group members as the focus for my piece.
Several of the documents displayed at the early meetings featured signatures or personal marks; a ship’s crew agreement, a record of servant’s pay, a ship’s cargo list. Then Susan Hall posted the article “Old Signatures” so the decision is easy – signatures will be my theme.
I am not a Quilter, and would rather make something which can be displayed and stored fairly easily, so I won’t be making a Signature Quilt. I think I will be aiming at something more like a book format.
First I need to enlist the cooperation of all the group members. I will need their signatures as the focus of my work will be the names of all the artists making pieces for Threads of Time 2. I hope they will be willing to join in as it will involve an extra bit of work from each of them. Ideally I would like them to stitch their own name for me, but I suspect I will be stitching some of them myself.
I have plenty of good fine white cotton & linen cloth suitable for the job. I think I will tea dye it first. As a messy worker I find white very daunting and also tea dying gives a colour more like old documents. I’ve chosen a stranded cotton for stitching the names, it’s variegated dark brown tones and should be easy for for everyone to stitch with. Now I need to get on with making up packs to distribute and hope that everyone else is happy to join in!