Now about the spiders!!!

Spiders have fascinated most major cultures for centuries. In Ancient China it was believed that seeing a spider drop down from its web  was a certain sign that you would be blessed with gifts and good luck from heaven.  Romans  had a favorite  precious  stone they carried for luck upon which a spider was engraved.  Egyptians associated  spiders with riches and carried spider charms at all times.. 

Throughout the history of crazy quilting spider webs have been used as embellishments on crazy quilts. During the Victorian era they were thought to bring good luck to the quilter and they became a necessary part of each crazy quilt.      It is  rare that I do a crazy quilt piece that I do not include  a spider and web on it somewhere.  I do it for tradition and to pay homage to every woman who has put her needle in crazy quilt in the last 100+ years.  And a little good luck coming my way wouldn't hurt either.

So many times embroidered spider webs look like they were laid out with a ruler and every part of the web is perfectly spaced.  Spider webs are not like that and I love it when they look natural.

For spider web inspiration I always look to Helen Stevens, renowned English embroiderer but on the bag I want to have every web be unique.

Another resource I have is a quilt I bought on e-bay several years ago.  It is entitled "Anachrophobia" and was stitched by award winning quilter Lisa DuCoing of Nevada.

I have tried often to get a good full size photo of this quilt but I gave up because the beauty of this quilt is in the detail.  The ribbon and seam work are exquisite.

There are spiders and spider webs in almost every patch and each is unique.
She combined a wide variety of fabrics mixing silks, cottons, fabric flowers, buttons and beads and top stitching on the rose fabric.

In addition to beaded spiders there are beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, etc

I love owning this quilt and find new delights every time I look at it.  There is just one thing that has always  bothered me.  If there is a masterpiece askew on the wall, no matter how beautiful the painting your instinct is to reach out and straighten it. After countless hours of detailed work on this piece it was finished with uneven machine top stitching around every patch and it detracts from all the other beautiful needlework..

Finally I've decided that a good use for my large supply of narrow vintage laces is to use them to frame these gorgeous squares and hide the uneven machine stitching.. A good deed to make my hands happy.

Now the next step is the modify the bag pattern, draw the vine work and to select the fabrics.  DH is taking a group to Israel and leaving Thursday morning so I will wait until then to drag out all the fabrics for my spider bag....


Marilyn said...

I do think the quilt will look so much better with the uneven machine stitching covered up - the hand stitching is beautiful. Lucky you - a few days all to yourself. I see pj days coming up

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What a beautiful quilt - you're so right in thinking you discover something new each time you look at it. And thank you for the spider info - good to know.

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