Tuesday, 19 January 2016

1916 Easter Rising Project

I know I have been a little absent on this here blog for the last month or so. That's one of the reasons why I now want to share a pretty big project I have been working on now for quite a while now.There is a little bit of history involved as well, so sit down comfortably, have a cuppa and read on.
This year is the centennial of the Easter Rising in Dublin, in 1916, over the Easter week. It was an extremely violent uprising of the Irish, and brutally crushed by an enormous amount of troops by the English. 
(hope the link works, if not, just c&p)

The local art gallery in the town where I live will be hosting an Exhibition called "100" to mark this important event in irish history. I, together with 2 others, was approached by the secretary of my patchwork Group "Schoolhouse Quilters", asking if I was willing to make a small quilt for this exhibition, what theme I would like regarding the rising and if I could outline how to go about it. As spaces in the Gallery are limited, we had to apply to participate, delivering at minimum the idea of what we wanted to do. Our ideas seemed to please whoever in the local town council was the decisionmaker and so the 4 of us got in!
We were to make a quilt each, about 1mtr square, all with a different theme for The Rising.
I had read a couple of years ago, that in the Easter Rising, as in any violent conflict, there were child victims, too, shot either accidentally by ricochet or on purpose by the armed forces. I have 4 children myself and so this particulary struck a nerve with me. Never under any circumstances anywhere should children get in the crossfire of something like this!
So I decided to make my quilt in memory of them and to remember them. There are 38 child victims of the rising and my intend was to have each and every single known child victim represented by a spirit doll, placed into a fabric pocket and with a name and age tag so we know who they were and so we can remember them.
I asked the Gallery if I could publish pictures on my blog and they were delighted about the idea, so here we go.

Look at this closely! You will likely never see this again! It is my sewing and arting workspace cleared of everything to concentrate on this one thing! (Tehehe, just had to throw this one in ;-))

These are the pockets. Each pocket is made individually from folded fabric squares, sewn onto a quilted background square and then joined together in rows. The white rectangles at the top corners are my row markers and you can already glimpse some of the ribbon I am using to tie the dolls into their pockets later.

This is it upright, if you look closely (I know, it is not a high quality picture) you can see some of the quilting lines in the backgound squares. The pockets are made from the folded green/brown/grey fabric, with green and brown ribbons. Here you can see I tied the ribbon neatly so it would not be in the way of my quilting the lines between the squares, or "in the ditch" as we quilters say.

I picked the orangey green fabric for the binding because it reminded me of flames and since Dublin was literally burning during the rising I tought it was very appropriate. The flower fabric you see behind the corner is the fabric I used for the backing and will generally not be seen by anyone later, unless they take a peek behind it that is.

And now the pockets are ready, the white rectangles with the rounded corners are the name tags for each individual child spirit doll.

Now, I am going to continue this in my next entry, I want to make a clear distinctive line between the pockets and the dolls, as they are made in totally different ways and even styles, so I hope you will read on in my next post :)

(Also I find it hard to keep track of the amount of pictures in a long post when I keep having to scroll up and down for every picture I add, but don't tell anyone...)

1 comment:

Nicole R said...

Such beautiful work! I love the idea and the way it was executed. A very touching memorial.