A “Heritage” blanket is a very special work of art! This one was created from the cashmere sweaters worn by a client’s father. When she contacted me asking if I would make some scarves for her, I hesitated, knowing that my vision and a client’s vision is sometimes very different, but we agreed to talk about possibilities.
We texted and I explained there were a number of factors to consider: How many sweaters, how many scarves, how quickly you need them, if there are enough sweaters or would we need to add some, etc.
We visited by phone and agreed there were enough sweaters to make a large blanket. She put them in the mail right away, as she wished to have the blanket before Christmas. She also mentioned that she occasionally wore her father’s sweaters around the house. I was beginning to realize this wasn’t going to be just another blanket.
Because this was going to be created from a particular person’s sweaters, I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to be able to think about him and his life as I worked. His daughter shared that he was 73 when he passed away in 2013. He and his wife were married almost 50 years and that he lost a son in the towers on 9/11. He had a very successful dental practice for 50 years. Apparently he had a huge personality, loved people, golf, food and travel. She sent a photo of a man with a huge smile wearing a bright orange sport coat!
The minute I opened the package of sweaters, I could tell they would become a bright, cheerful blanket! Such wonderful colors!! I hope this blanket will do justice to the memory of this beloved husband, father and friend.
Last year I went on a trip to France. The tour was with the Daughters of the American Revolution and focused on the anniversary of the end of WWI. We visited several of the American military cemeteries and monuments in France maintained by the American Battle Monument Commission. These cemeteries are beautifully cared for, peaceful resting places commemorating the service and sacrifice of American military in WWI and WWII.
During one of the cemetery visits, we were given the opportunity to place a flower at the tombstone of our choice. If I had thought about this before I left home, I would have looked up someone from our hometown to remember. Since I didn’t know anyone buried in this cemetery, I chose to place my tribute at the grave of an unknown soldier. As I placed the single flower, I wondered if anyone had ever placed a flower for this young man? How long had it been since someone knelt to remember him? He was some mother’s son and she must have been left heartbroken and wondering where he was for the rest of her life.
This experience inspired the cashmere blanket I recently completed. Blankets are big projects and I have decided to start naming each one. This one will be “Remembrance.” The poppies are for remembrance and were inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields.” The colors lead your eye from the darkest black through shades of gray and finally into a burst of glorious, vibrant red. This blanket will be for sale on my Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DianeHamillFiberArt
I see this blanket inspiring hope through remembrance. Even though the soldier I sought to honor is unknown, he is not forgotten and because someone remembers him, he lives on. I hope you will be inspired to remember someone you hold dear.
……my work this week! It is also the color of passion, love, adventure. It represents primal forces and energy. Historically, it was almost as rare and expensive as purple, which may explain it’s popularity. Red is the most popular color used on flags in the world. In some cultures, red is the color of good luck.
I am working on two different and red projects; one woven and one from felted wool sweaters. The woven project is a red shawl with hand twisted fringe. I warped the loom and have finished weaving it. Now it has been wet finished and is waiting to have the fringe completed. The felted wool project is just beginning. I’ve cut five different shades of red sweaters into the pieces for the project. March Madness was great for this as I could cut and watch basketball! I managed to get quite a bit of useable material from the sweaters and will start on the layout of the pieces today. This creation is destined to be a wedding gift for the daughter of a very special friend.
Working in red reminds me to be passionate about the people and things I love. Sometimes it’s frightening to let your feelings show or to invite people to share what you are passionate about. I hope you will enjoy seeing the fiber art I create and you will find your own passion!