Thursday, December 28, 2006
Is this the first quilt or what?
Sometimes you can't see for looking. I am very interested in the history of textiles and of quilts. There is much debate about where quilting emerged, and some very old coptic quilted textiles exist as do some Chinese ones that may date to BC. But as I have been looking at the history of Syria from one of those Time Life books called "The Cradle of Civilization" by Samuel Noah Kramer and looking at the wonderful reliefs- but what do I see??? Is that a quilted textile on the horses' back? Has to be- it is the horse of Assurbanipal an Assyrian King whose reign was well documented in the ruins of Niniveh ( now in Iraq) and who reigned in 7ooBC or there abouts. The Assyrians rode with only cloths covering the backs of their horses- why would the stone mason who carved the relief go into such incredible "quilterly" detail if the textile wasn't quilted?Isn't this exciting to think that so far back they were not only weaving cloth but also embroidering and quilting it?
So of course I set out to make the textile cloth- which I am calling rug for Gilgamesh- I am about halfway through- the silk is about 1.5 metres long by 60 cm wide. I am not sure there is sufficient contrast for much visual effect- in one way there is through texture but I have come so far that I will finish it, but my goodness it has taken soem sewing . The texture is really scrumptious. And Sheila I am using cotton batting- a bit too flat for my liking I would have liked more texture. I usually use Matilda's Own Wool batting ( and I am using their cotton batting too)- it's a great Australian product!