Thursday, July 24, 2014

Not my Usual Style

In my last post I was auditioning fabrics to use as a background to a new piece.  The theme of this year's library exhibition is '1914'.   I chose the Women's Mock Parliament which took place in January of 1914 in Winnipeg Canada.  Tired of hearing why women should not have the vote, Nellie McClung and a group of suffragists performed a 'Mock Parliament'  at the Walker Theatre.  They reversed the question to ask "Should Men Vote". They used the words of the parliamentarians to describe what would happen if men got the vote.  With gender bending humour, they drew great crowds and managed to reverse the general beliefs about votes for women.
I wanted to use strong colours for strong women - red, fuschia, purple
 I thought I would start with a crazy quilt background to pay tribute to our grandmothers but I felt that the random placement of many colours and shapes would be too distracting so I stuck to squares and rectangles but hand stitched them to resemble a crazy quilt.

In the meantime I researched extensively and downloaded the script and poster of the event as well as several old posters and photos of the fight for votes and women's rights.  Before using them, I went back and recorded their origins, checking to make sure I was not violating copyright.  Most of the items were widely available in govt archives, teaching sites, historical societies, were published in newspapers from the day, were public domain or had been used extensively in the public domain for many years.  I found one that was a photo taken from a recent play so I decided to omit that one rather than have to track down permission.  The items are mostly Canadian but I also included some American and British pictures or posters - the fight for votes for women is universal.

Here are a couple of tongue-in-cheek excerpts from the play arguing that 'men' should not vote - "Man has a higher destiny than politics....the man who pays the grocer rules the world!" and "When men once get the habit - who knows where it will end - it is hard enough to keep them at home now!"  - Nellie McClung.

I finished stitching the background....

I had already figured out a placement before I started stitching.   This part was difficult for me - squares and text are not my usual cup of tea!   I knew this was an educational piece and may not be pretty but I wanted it to be easy on the eyes nevertheless.  While messing around with placement I accidentally came up with this brilliant - well, at least significant (!) idea.  Votes for women right??

X marks the spot!

Luckily I thought of this before I started stitching because I decided to carry it even further and use only x stitches to join the pieces - which I had fused to a backing so I wasn't really 'joining' them together.
close up of stitches

I will finish the edges and mount the piece on a 16 x 20" canvas.  I plan to cover the edges of the canvas in bits of quotes and articles about the event and votes for women.  On the back label I will include my sources.  A fun piece about a serious evolution in our Herstory!
I finished my second small stitched landscape piece.  This one was from a photo taken on the Jack Pine Trail when wildflowers were blooming everywhere with trees lining the background.  I love to have something to stitch in the evening when I am watching TV.

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