Quilt inspired by Berber designs
Rosie all wrapped up!
While studying Moroccan embroidery I was fascinated by the designs of the Berber people who live in the rural areas of Morocco. They have many designs which protect them against the 'Evil Eye'. These designs have many elements, but often include odd numbers and especially five, which represents the hand of Fatima. The purpose of the designs is to deflect the 'Evil Eye' away, so they are made up of pointy shapes, such as triangles and diamonds. The inclusion of imperfections is deliberate as it also disrupts the path of the Evil Eye.
My daughter was leaving home and it seemed very appropriate to make her a wrap covered with these designs to keep her safe. My palette was the yellows, oranges and browns found in Berber textiles. I mixed some original Berber designs and my own modified ones. The whole wrap is made up of strip patchwork worked on the diagonal, naturally giving rise to lots of diamonds and a saw tooth edge. The pieces are purposely not accurately aligned and have been dyed subtlety different shades of yellow. I also rust stained my fabric to break up the background further. Designs have been screen printed in various ways and embroidery, particularly couching has been worked to outline and accentuate some of the shapes. The number five is everywhere.
The lining of the wrap is soft and luxurious, being made from discharge velvet. I have screen printed my own design with discharge paste and dyed back into the fabric. Again the pieces are not places exactly and I have had used the nap of the velvet to further disrupt the design.
I recently came back to Berber designs by using them for my first exhibited pieces of collagraphs from textiles - see the other gallery, Berber Collagraphy.
By the way, five years on, my daughter is still safe!