Julia Caprara’s Stitching Techniques

Back in 2005 Quilting Arts Magazine featured a series of articles written by Julia Caprara. In the Winter issue, Julia wrote about the importance of all textile students building their own personal “touch palette”. Since reading the article, I have followed Julia’s advice and used the technique she described as “painting with fabric, thread, and stitches”.

This work, called The Day the Queen Came to Tea, has the 2 outer panels worked in Julia’s technique to give the feel of what Baffin Island valleys, in Northern Canada, look like in the fall. One early explorer recorded the valleys had the richness of a Persian carpet.

Torn strips of fabric were woven into an open-weave burlap to make the first layer of the textile.

Next, thicker yarns, cords and ribbons are threaded through the woven fabric to make the next 1 or 2 layers.

Then finer threads are worked in buttonhole stitch to make another layer. As the final layer I attached shisha mirrors to this work. [Mirrors to represent the tarns (glacial lakes) and the mirrors the Elizabethans traded with the Inuit that remained after the visitors left.]
In her article, Julia explains how a stitcher can change all of the variables to get many different effects. It is an exciting technique to play around with.

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