This was a project with special meaning for me. Judy Harper always encouraged me to try new things, push the envelope with adaptations, and strive to improve my stitching. She sent me one of her books – To Weave for the Sun: Andean Textiles in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last year. She said she hadn’t been able to figure how to stitch these designs that she loved and she was sure I could handle the task. She didn’t get to see this project, but it was stitched in her honor and with love.
To finish the Peru Mantle, I said I wanted to do some top stitching, which the Incans also did on their textiles. I wanted to use the Stem Stitch like they did, but I couldn’t get it to look right and ripped it out. Then I tried a second stitch and ripped it out. Last night I tried a 3rd time, using Backstitch to get things completed. I started with the smaller curly pieces at the top of the large Ocular Being, adding a yellow line through the middle of the curls. (The lighting is different this time and that yellow mouth definitely looks green to me!)
Then I needed to add a few tiny faces in the bands at the top and the bottom of the piece. These smaller faces (and tiny cats) were stitched all over the original piece, but as usual, I went for a simpler, uncluttered design. There are 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom, attached to the ends of the scrollwork like the original.
So the Peru Mantle is now completed. It’s about 16″ X 16″. It bright. It’s loud. And it doesn’t fit anywhere in my house! LOL But I’m very glad I stitched it – something completely different from what I’ve done before.
When I get around to finishing this as a pillow, it will need a band of light orange around the design to set off all the black edges. The back can be black.