The theme for this quarter was "Wishes", well that certainly taxed my poor brain! Once again the hardest part of the quarterly challenge was actually coming up with something in my head that would fit the theme, the second hardest part is then trying to create what is in my head :)
Fortunately, in all of my musings on the theme of "Wishes" I came across this old Scottish proverb "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". The saying was mentioned in a collection of Scottish rhymes and proverbs in 1721, although it had been around in a slightly different form since 1628! For some reason I could not get the saying out of my head so I had the idea for the theme all I had to do now was create it!
And here it is, my "Beggars would ride" quilt response to the Endeavourers Challenge.
The quilt backing is loosely based upon a Bargello arrangement with the greys of the town/city home of a beggar gradually becoming the greens of the countryside where horses can roam. The greens were quilted with fan shapes to represent the rolling hills, whilst the greys were quilted in a squarish grid pattern to represent cobblestones. The darker greys were more intensely quilted than the lighter ones.
The horse is appliqued with two shades of hand-dyed silk (sadly not dyed by me!). I used an outline from a colouring book for the shape as my drawing skills are definitely not that good. Sheer luck resulted in the dyed fabric on the head resembling an eye, as the supplier only had a small piece of the silk shade that I ordered so there wasn't enough fabric to allow for any fussy cutting!
I tried to create the mane with hand embroidery but couldn't get the flow right as you can see here, one thread was too spindly and more threads meant the fringe was clumpy (!), so eventually I tried free-form machine embroidery to get the look that I wanted. I also wanted the horse figure to seem more solid nearer the ground so the tail was created with some textured embroidery threads, which were couched down after the silk applique pieces were raw edge machine appliqued.
There is some evidence that registered beggars in Scotland around the time of the proverb may have worn "Beggars Badges" that granted them safe passage between parishes and the right to beg for alms.
My "Beggars Badges" were created from empty tea light holders and an empty soft drink can! The washed and dried metals were embossed and then die-cut before being stitched to the quilted background. I like to think too that in recycling these tins I am giving a small nod to the times I have chosen to represent :)
As ever these challenges take me in directions that I cannot predict but thoroughly enjoy whilst taking them!
Head on over to The Endeavourers to find out how the rest of my fellow Endeavourers have interpreted this theme, I am sure that you will be amazed, I always am!