Monday, September 29, 2014

Transcendental Ironing

Pretty sky snapped while the ferry was docking on Gabriola.
It's not often that one has a transcendent experience whilst ironing. Last night I gave the finished stitching a gentle bath, and laid it out on a towel to dry. (Washing note - I used a few drops of Seventh Generation Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Geranium Blossom and Vanilla Scent. I love the stuff!)
 When it was almost dry, I began pressing it, face down on a thick towel. I was especially careful around the embroidery, barely caressing the surface of the cloth with the iron. I could press a little more firmly on the rest of the linen cloth, and as it flattened and dried it became so crisp and smooth. The drawn thread lace work un-crinkled to reveal its intricate beauty.
The iron felt like it was skating or dancing on the surface of the cloth. I said metta over it, imbuing a blessing for Chris. For a moment, I felt like there was no separation between me and the cloth, we were as one in a shimmer of molecules. Pretty groovy, huh!
I did eventually return to Planet Earth. After my experience creating the ultimate smooth cloth, I couldn't bear to mount the piece on a folding stretcher as I had originally intended (I thought that it would be easier and safer to ship it folded.) An unsightly vertical crease would inevitably form, and be impossible to remove. So, I will be shipping the piece flat. This afternoon I put the stretcher bars together and carefully attached the natural linen backing cloth, trying to keep it on grain as much as possible. I used curved quilter's safety pins to baste the embroidered cloth in place, and I will use a curved needle to slipstitch the edges to the backing.

I am very happy with how it has turned out.

7 comments:

  1. It is absolutely stunning.

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  2. This piece is nothing short of exquisite. Perhaps this is why my mother and my grandmother treated ironing as an art form.

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  3. wonderful treatment and result

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  4. very groovy! the finished piece is stunning. love the colour of the stitching.

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  5. Breath inhaled in a great gasp of wonder: I am stunned at the beauty of this piece! Oh, my. . .

    And your description of ironing brought me back to my childhood when Mother would "allow" me to iron my father's handkerchiefs (she was very particular about the way most things were done and seldom would let me help her around the house). Ironing was quite meditative for me then (as you describe it here)----though later I learned to be in a hurry and not like it so much.

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  6. Anonymous5:30 PM

    I loved reading this Heather. Very beautiful work. -Gaetanne

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  7. this is exquisite Heather

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