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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Brianstorming #1: English paper piecing

It's time to consider possibilities for my minor project. I've settled on the idea of placing materiality at the centre of my work. One possibility is English paper piecing.


Here are some ideas

  • I've been collecting patterned bedsheets and pillow cases--sticking to greens and pinks and feminine stereotypes of "pretty" patterns

  • I've started to design some fabrics which subvert traditional floral patterns by substituting the feminist raised fist symbol in place of the expected design elements--these could be screen-printed onto found plain textiles


  • I have often incorporated journalling into my work--the English paper piecing method traditionally incorporate a piece of paper as the pattern around which the fabric is stretched. This paper is often left inside the work and in this way fragments of historical domestic documents and correspondence have been inadvertently preserved--I'm thinking of deliberately hiding my journalling in the work.



Issues to consider

  • the process of paper piecing is very time consuming and probably not realistic for the time frame available

  • Designing my own fabric requires not only the screen-printing skills which I have, but also learning about using pattern repeats to produce seamless yardage. I don't have time for that either.

  • The journalling element, even though it is personal and relevant to my experience of trauma and the issues of violence against women, is quite subtle and could be too difficult for the viewer to read in the work--I'm not sure that this idea meets the criterion of courage which I have set for myself.

  • By the time I screen-print my new fabric designs and reproduce my journalling, the idea of buy nothing new for this project would become quite diluted.

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