A couple of years ago I made two Irish-themed wall hangings for St. Patrick's Day, one for me and one for my mother. I split a fat quarter in half so each hanging was compact (I think I wanted something I could hang on my cubicle wall at work). The needlework part involved hand quilting, embroidery, crochet, and some hand sewing. I digitally altered some St. Patrick's Day antique postcards and printed them out on fabric, and I combed through my stash of weird odds and ends for items I could use on each hanging.
The hanging I made for my mother (upper left) featured several vintage buttons, both green plastic and metal; a square of orange and green from a vintage quilt block, which I quilted; a brown plastic buckle I thought had a swirling Celtic feel; an Irish crochet motif with a rose center; two of the postcard appliques; and a crocheted shamrock edging along the bottom.
|An Irish rose, antique buttons, and crocheted shamrocks.|
For my own hanging I included a Guinness bottle cap, an antiquated-looking jewelry box key, and a stray key from a musical instrument, as well as a variety of vintage buttons of all kinds. I embroidered shamrocks in the corner of the hanging to contrast with all the 3-dimen-
sional items I'd glued or stitched to the hanging.
|Embroidered shamrocks combine with 3-dimensional items.|
|Even a little commercially embroidered trim works with the theme.|
buted to the effect, I wasn't choosy about their composition or style.
Although I did use green binding on the edge of my hanging, I left the edges of my mother's hanging raw. Again, I let the look of the piece dictate how I wanted to finish it. These hangings show how imagination can substitute for authenticity when gathering items and images for a collage or similar piece.